Cambridge Lutheran celebrates renovation with open house

Pastor Andy Romstad with Cambridge Lutheran Church.
Photos provided

The community is invited to a free pig roast this Saturday, Aug. 12 to celebrate the renovation of the Cambridge Lutheran Church. It will include games for kids, tours of the new facility and music playing throughout the building.

The church recently renovated most of its 36,000 square foot building. The Aug. 12 event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The congregation cares greatly about community kids and wanted to invest in creating irresistible spaces for young people,” said Pastor Andy Romstad. “The renovation is about place, people and purpose. Everybody needs a welcoming place to go, people to do life with and a purpose for living. We were created by God to know and be known, to love and be loved. We welcome everyone.”

The KidZone children’s ministry center was the focal point of the renovation.

The renovation includes spaces designed for children (KidZone), middle school youth (Ignite) and high school youth (Surge). A former pastor at the church, Jon Pederson, researched national children’s ministry design firms, one of which was hired to envision the space.

There is also a parent-child room so parents can be with their children during worship if they get restless as well as two nursery spaces. All lobbies are equipped with sound and TV monitors with live video of the worship service in case parents wish to step out with their children.

The church is also investing in staffing these spaces. Recently hired as the new children’s ministry director is Brendon Fatland, formerly of Evergreen Community Church in Bloomington. Leading the senior high “Surge” area is Rich Holleque, senior high youth director. The church is also bringing on a new pastor to focus on the middle school ministry.

New Children’s Ministry Director Brendon Fatland.

The commons areas and a new Faith and Life Center were also part of the renovation.

The church offers “multiple front doors” with three services and two different worship opportunities each Sunday. The Horizon service happens in the new Horizon Commons space designed for a modern worship experience for people who prefer a more informal, come-as-you-are experience with rock music and sermon series focusing on the everyday concerns of people’s lives.

Leading the Horizon worship experience is area musician Kenny Krona, along with singer Gwen Anderson and long-time Twin Cities blues keyboardist Bill Carson.

The historic Sanctuary was also renovated. The organ and church pews were restored and new sound, lights, cameras and other technology were added throughout the space. Leading worship in the Sanctuary are area teacher and Play Inc. director Aaron Knudsvig with organists Mary Kay O’Neill and Michelle Trunk.

The Renew Renovation Team was co-chaired by Leon Carson, a member of the church, who also chaired a similar project at St. James Lutheran Church in Burnsville in the 1990s.

“We are so thankful to Leon for all the attention and the countless hours he has poured into the project,” Romstad said.

“The real beneficiaries of this project will be people who’ve never even walked through our doors, and people who’ve not even been born yet,” said Arne Everson, who also co-chaired the Renew Renovation Team.

The Horizon service happens in the new Horizon Commons space designed for a modern worship experience.

Also being re-purposed are both floors of the former parsonage next door to the church. One of the women’s ministries, Local Global Mission, is redesigning the use of the house, built in 1904, to be a center for outreach ministries to care for the poor across the world. They create quilts, baby kits, health care kits and other items.

Lutheran World Relief recently created a video detailing the work of Local Global Mission ministry so that other churches might learn from their inter-generational approach to relief work at the church. It was in the basement of the same house that the Shalom Shop was started decades ago. That ministry is now housed on Highway 95.

The renovation also created space suitable for overnight guests from Path to Home, the area outreach to families without a home that church members were instrumental in launching over a dozen years ago.

The church sought to use as many local contractors as possible. The general contractor was B.J. Baas Construction and financing was provided by Cambridge State Bank. Workers on the project included people from Cambridge Lutheran Church, North Isanti Baptist Church and First Baptist Church among others. The architect and interior designer was Lea Kangas of Inside Outside Architecture who has worked on many local buildings.

“We welcome anyone seeking out a church home,” Romstad said. “The vision statement of our church is ‘Find Life.’ We believe the renovation will help us experience that vision in the future.”