Even though a June 12 storm leveled the new worship facility of Risen Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church — which was about one-quarter completed at that time — the Manteno, Ill., congregation is still on target for holding their first worship service in the new building before Thanksgiving.
“While our prayer is to have our Thanksgiving Service in our new sanctuary, our expectation is that the dedication of our new building will happen before that — perhaps on Sunday, Nov. 24,” Risen Savior Pastor Kevin Werner told Reporter.
“In any case, this is possible because God used a very sad moment — the destruction of our church under construction — to bring us many volunteers and generous financial gifts [and] offerings” along with “a faithful insurance company. All of these combined helped to keep our timeline intact.”
Congregation members, Werner added, are “awed at the goodness of God, who brought blessing out of sadness and good out of destruction.”
No one was injured when tornadic winds demolished the construction project in June. (See related Reporter story, “Storm levels Manteno, Ill., church construction.“) Eight Laborers For Christ workers who had been with the project since April rode out the storm in their RVs on the church property.
Grateful to God that no one was hurt, the Laborers nailed together a 4-by-3-foot cross of wood from the damaged church and positioned it upright in the debris to symbolize “that Christ is still present among us,” Werner told Reporter the day after the storm.
That cross now sits atop the entrance to the newly rebuilt church.
See a related story, “Flattened by tornado, Manteno church back on track,” by Dennis Yohnka in The Daily Journal.