After six weeks of worshiping in the parish hall, the members of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church will once again worship in its nearly 114-year old church building in Norge.
On Sunday, September 17 at 10:30 a.m., the parishioners of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church will rededicate its worship space following an extensive renovation of the building. (Joining the members and guests will be the newly installed Virginia Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Bishop, Robert F. Humphrey.)
In April of this year, Rudy Sheets, the Property Committee chair, was alerted by someone who spotted one of the grand piano's feet below floor level. Sheets said, "I saw one of the piano's feet had broken through the flooring. The only thing holding it in place was the carpet." Sheets explained that there were spaces in the basement where one could see the flooring. "When I found the spot where the piano foot sank through the flooring, I discovered two things," Sheets continued, "the first, there was no subfloor and the second, there was asbestos fabric on the ductwork."
"When Rudy told me about the piano and the asbestos, I responded that the piano was the 'canary in the mine,'" said Jim Nickols, Our Saviour's Lutheran Church's pastor. He continued, "The piano gave us a heads-up to some serious issues. There hasn't been any major work done on the church in a long, long time."
Sheets explained that there were only two ways to get to the asbestos: either through the basement ceiling or the removal of the flooring. Since there was no subfloor and the pine flooring was 114 years old and already weak in some places, the congregation approved taking up the pinewood flooring.
Acting as the congregation's coordinator for renovation work, Sheets arranged for the abatement of the asbestos, the removal of the flooring, the installation of the subflooring, the painting of the interior, the installation of the new oak flooring and carpet runner, the removal and installation of new windows, the blowing in of insulation in the attic and the walls of the church, and repairing and up-grading the handicap ramp.
"This extensive work on the church is giving it renewed life for its second hundred years," stated Richard Hartman, Worship and Music chair.
Following the Service of Rededication, there will be a reception in the Parish Hall adjacent to the church.
(Humphrey was elected bishop this June at the annual Virginia Synod Assembly held at Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia to succeed Bishop James F. Mauney, who announced his retirement in June 2016. Humphrey was installed as Virginia Synod's bishop on Saturday, September 9 in Waynesboro, Virginia.)
Our Saviour's is located at 7479 Richmond Road, in Norge. For more information about the Service of Rededication or the church's ministries visit the website (www.oslcnorge.org).
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