God’s love for us, that he gave his Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins. As we are led to faith by the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament, God’s love is our motivation, our reason for anything we do as Christians. We join as fellow Christians and members of St. Stephen’s congregation to worship our Lord in this beautiful sanctuary. This church is a special place of worship for our members. We certainly want to properly care for our church and maintain this facility for the future. We want to remember our responsibility as God’s servants, so that:

We will not neglect the house of our God.” Neh. 10:39

With that thought in mind, our Voters authorized a “Sanctuary Improvement Plan” at the 2009 Annual Meeting. A committee was formed, a plan was developed, and many proposals were prepared, including major improvements for our church interior. In 2013, the Voters approved hiring a consultant, PlunkettRaysich Architects (PRA), Milwaukee, WI, to serve as a project manager and provide professional services for the design and construction of major facility restoration components. The exterior components included a standing-seam steel roof, adding downspouts and repainting roof gutters, new glass storm windows, complete replacement of framework on all three large stained-glass windows and some re-leading, and foundation drainage improvements including basement walls waterproofing, foundation drainage pipes, sumps/pumps, and drain outlets. Our members approved the proposed Exterior Restoration project at the 2014 Annual Meeting. Restoration work began in September 2014, and all major component were completed by June 2015. Total cost of the Exterior Restoration project was $487,758.46.


So how shall we respond? First, we must remember how our Lord has graciously blessed our congregation, providing pastors and teachers to use God’s means of grace in Word and Sacraments by which we receive the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Each of us has been created, redeemed, and sanctified by our Triune God; to Him be all glory, honor, and thanks. We offer our gifts to the Lord, generously, as each of us has been blessed.

We also can serve our Lord, using his blessings on our time, talents, and treasures, as we learn more about our sanctuary restoration plans as components are developed, and provide input to the planning process.


In recent years, members have recognized many obvious needs for improvements and restoration of various components of our church interior. This list includes replacing or refinishing basic components, such as wall coverings, carpeting, pew cushions, flooring, and pews. Congregational members have also informally discussed upgrading and adding desired improvements for easier Holy Communion access, an efficient lighting system, interior redecoration, and main entrance handicap accessibility.

As part of the overall church interior restoration process, it would also be prudent to evaluate and research the feasibility of future facility enhancements for air conditioning, a family and handicap restroom, covered ramp entrance, and fellowship hall on the main level.


Why should we as Christians care about maintaining our church, devoting our personal efforts and financial offerings to enhance the functions and beauty of our worship facility? God tells us through the psalmist who says:

I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells.” Psalm 26:8

We honor our God by lovingly maintaining a house of worship to His glory! We have ample reason to rejoice in His presence! We thank God for our beautiful sanctuary, nearing a century of service as our house of worship. O It is also noteworthy that our St. Stephen’s congregation was officially established on December 5, 1875. It certainly would be desirable to have all church restoration work paid before the one-hundred fiftieth anniversary of the congregation in 2025!

How is this possible? When Jesus was asked, “Who then can be saved?”, he replied,

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matt. 19:26

Trust in God. Let God direct our work in this congregation.

The LORD is faithful to all his promises” (Psalm 145:13)

And he will continue to provide for all that we need, according to his will.

Donations may be sent to

St. Stephen’s Ev. Lutheran Church

300 West Street
Beaver Dam, WI 53916