The concrete that has made up the outdoor seating area of the amphitheater for almost a century will be replaced in a multi-year project, starting this summer.
Concrete is a material consisting of coarse granular material (cement) combined with sand and water. It hardens after mixing and placing while chemical processes stabilize the material.
We have hired as our consultant on this project Oakland Masonry Pros who have built several outdoor venues for churches, youth groups and family parks.
We will start with our annual movie under the stars and barbeque the weekend after Easter.
In May, over Memorial Day weekend, we will kick off summer with our dance and singing contest.
More events will be announced in the coming months
The Peace Lutheran Church was originally built in the 1920s.
It is a National Register Historic District building.
This means that it can never be demolished, tampered with structurally, or altered without approval from the Department of Interior.
However, this does not mean that renovations are impossible. When possible, renovations are encouraged to keep buildings up-to-date and relevant to modern society.
Renovations have been ongoing for several years now. “This has been ongoing construction since before I got here… This place is really old,” said David Meckley, who became pastor of Peace Lutheran Church nine months ago.
Pastor Meckley came to Omaha eight months ago from South Carolina. He is originally from Ohio.
The ongoing renovations are not for cosmetic purposes. Pastor Meckley said that “the goal in doing all of this is to make it functional in the years ahead so that when someone comes in there, they’re not just walking into a building but they can walk into a place where God’s at work.”
Many community members have come together to give their time and money to renovate Peace Lutheran Church. According to Pastor Meckley, “a lot of people have given up Saturdays” in order to renovate different parts of the church building. One such member is Joe Regan of Baltimore House Painting. He and his team have contributed time, supplies, and love to our ongoing renovations.
Community members have also donated money specifically for the renovation project.
For instance, several months ago, Peace Lutheran Church had a “Love Thy Neighborhood” day. It was on this day that community members were able to interact with each other while working on the church’s renovations together, and afterward, everyone gathered for a meal in Griggs Hall.
After the meal, Pastor Meckley explained to everyone why these renovations are so important. He said that it is “so critical” because of the number of young families moving into our neighborhood. This means there is an increasing need for churches among our community members.
The next Sunday after this gathering, Pastor Meckley asked all who had attended Love Thy Neighborhood to come upfront at Peace Lutheran Church during his sermon time after the worship service. At that time, he presented them with a Sunday School classroom.
In addition to members of Peace Lutheran Church, community groups have been helping out on the renovations as well.
For instance, last year from August through October, Girls from Covington’s Middle and High school had a Habitat for Humanity project where they helped restore some of our church windows. These projects were sponsored by various Christian churches in Covington.
“All the different groups that come here want to be involved,” said Pastor Meckley about why these groups choose us instead of other churches in town to work on their service projects. “We’re making this place friendly to people wanting to give back.”