Over the past year and a half, there has been a surge of interest in improving the physical infrastructure of our church. Generous donations have allowed us to address some immediate needs around the building. However, as the Trustees continue to evaluate our church property, they have identified other long-deferred needs.

Exterior signage project: Replace original brick sign
Estimated cost: $35,000

Zion’s current sign was constructed by congregation members in 1962. It announced the new home for Zion Evangelical United Brethren Church, built on a potato field at the south edge of Grand Forks. It was not until 1968 that the EUB merged with the Methodist Church to form our current denomination. The red glass gable, when backlit, reveals a cross.
This old, rugged monument is showing its age. The wooden frame is decaying. Its modest signboard, which is parallel to South 24th Avenue, is not easy to read from passing cars and is even less visible to traffic on 10th Street.
The current sign will be replaced by a new, larger sign with a top cabinet announcing the church name and a new logo. Below it, an LED board would allow messages to be electronically updated from within the church, if chosen. The three-foot-high brick base will keep the upper part of the signage well above midwinter snowdrifts. The sign will be angled to be more easily readable from the street.

Kitchen project: Repair water-damaged east wall and interior remodel
Estimated cost: $115,000

Zion’s kitchen has long been a center of church activities. Its wood cabinetry and countertops, installed when the church was built in 1962, extend across all four walls. The exterior east wall (to the left) has a door that gives access to the back parking lot. A commercial gas stove on the back wall, still in use, is also original. The vaulted ceiling is a continuation of this architectural feature of the sanctuary and fellowship hall.
The kitchen’s east wall is of particular concern. Over the years, it has deteriorated. The extensive snow during the winter of 2022-2023 was a tipping point when ice dams formed above the exterior kitchen door, causing water damage, much of it hidden by the cabinetry. The formation of ice dams was due in part to insufficient insulation in the kitchen ceiling.
Repair of the east wall will require the removal of the cabinetry along that wall. These cabinets will likely not be salvageable. The repaired wall will be insulated and drywalled. The ceiling will be lowered to allow for better insulation to mitigate the ice dam problem. This necessary work has created the opportunity to update the entire kitchen interior. The commercial gas stove, which is difficult to use, will be replaced with two standard gas stoves. The existing under-counter commercial dishwasher will be raised for easier loading and unloading. All remaining cabinetry will be removed, and new cabinets and work surfaces will be installed. The end result will be an updated, structurally sound workspace that will serve the church for decades to come.

Stained glass windows project: Replace 48 exterior windows
Estimated cost: $96,000

Forty-eight exterior stained-glass windows grace the original building. These humble single-paned casement windows have provided subdued natural lighting in our sanctuary and education wing for more than six decades.
A closer look shows that these windows have deteriorated considerably over time. The caulking is crumbling, and the metal frames are rusted. Replacement panes do not match the existing glass. Some windows won’t open, while others do not close completely. Inside, plexiglass covers provide modest barriers to the elements.
All exterior stained-glass windows will be replaced with new double-paned glass windows. Some will be operable. A clear-glass example is shown here. At the lower right corner rests a sample plate of a dimpled-glass alternative. Once all are replaced, the increased insulation will help reduce heating costs, and more natural light will enter the sanctuary and other rooms.

Parsonage project: Repair/replace windows and gutters
Estimated cost: $20,000

Zion owns a parsonage that has served multiple pastors and their families over the years. As you can see, it is in a nice neighborhood and has some attractive features. Note the large picture window facing the street and the two skylights.
Inside the parsonage, there is work to be done. Black mold has overtaken the frame of the picture window, and there is damage around both skylights. The gutters need repair. As owners of the residence, it is the church’s responsibility to keep the property in good repair. All of these problems and more need to be addressed to preserve the property and ensure the health and wellbeing of our pastor’s family.

Here, you can find the results [LINK] and summary [LINK] of the online survey that was conducted and closed on May 5th. Thank you for your feedback!