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Community + Service: First Lutheran Church, Milford, Iowa Project

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At CFE, we pride ourselves in the mark we can make on agriculture and our local communities. Our lumber division is a way we serve our agricultural customers and members while also serving our surrounding towns and businesses. This summer, our Spirit Lake lumber team was able to assist in creating an outdoor projector building for First Lutheran Church in Milford to fit the needs of their outdoor worship facilities.

“It was a fun project to be part of,” Harris Brown, CFE Lumber Sales and partner with Colton Howard, contractor for this project, said. “You knew that this type of project many would benefit from.”

Although there have been outdoor options for many gatherings since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, this outdoor service tradition goes as far back as 1949, when a group of men wanted to create a church service that would be appealing to vacationers.

Pastor Aalgaard, First Lutheran Church Senior Pastor said, “The group went to the local drive-in and asked, ‘If we pick up the trash on Saturday night, can we have church there on Sunday?’ and it took off from there.”

Every summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the outdoor service reaches over 200 parked cars turning on their radios to signal in the service, while churchgoers at picnic tables with family members listen to the service on speakers.

“It allows us to be able to worship outside and oftentimes enjoy the gift of the sunshine,” Pastor Aalgaard said. “This past year, we knew we needed to add something to our stage. We wanted to add a visual so people—no matter where they were parked—could see us, songs we were singing and be able to better communicate with everyone,” Pastor Aalgaard shared. “We went to CFE Lumber as a community member of ours to ask if they could help make this happen. We appreciate how easy they were to work with and being able to envision the needs of our church to be able to serve our community.”

First Lutheran Church is excited about additional ways to use this outdoor worship space in the future, including with their youth group. Pastor Aalgard said, “The setup of this additional screen and speaker building makes opportunities for greater community outreach, and we appreciate the role that CFE played in that.”

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