We continue working hard prepping our church to safely be open while dealing with the ongoing pandemic; we are organizing areas and rooms as we move toward more and more indoor functions. In our administration wing, we had new carpet installed in two of our offices while prepping our 2 Sunday school classrooms for our “Kids Community” kickoff. We are also working on organizing our chapel.

I want to thank Pete Peterson and Jim Brown for allowing me to take part in assembling the advent stable for our Christmas celebration; during the assembly I could feel the connection it has to not only Pete and Jim, but the congregation. When I look at the altar, I see joy, I see hope, I see every person that helped bring it to life; again, thank you for including me in the process. Prepping for our holiday services can be very trying, but with help and guidance from our great staff and volunteers, it was a joy that I will keep with me.

During what I am calling “Snowmageddon 2021”, we had minor damage to some outdoor equipment (2 pop-up canopies) and some moisture seeping in on the lower levels, but overall our church stood up tall to the elements. A reminder, with winter upon us, please be careful of slick surfaces due to moss, leaves and ice. Facilities will do our best to keep stairs, pathways and parking areas clear and safe.

Through hard work, Emma Standish, Director for our Congregational Preschool, was able to receive a grant to assist in upgrades and repairs to preschool space that we have been holding off on for various reasons. From installing a new window in the children’s bathroom to installing new hall entry with security doors off the atrium, plus asphalt repair, carpet cleaning and other miscellaneous projects, the grant will make a significant difference to our preschool environment. Emma and her outstanding posse of teachers are fantastic to work with, and “Hank” is excited for the children for 2022!

Finally, I wanted to let everyone know that I will be leaving First Congregational Church as Director of Facilities in April of 2022. My wife Darci has accepted a position as Curriculum and Instructional Design Specialist with South Central College in Mankato, Minnesota; she will be on campus January 3rd, 2022. I will be joining her in April of 2022 as I have made a commitment to FCC concerning daily operations and projects, and to the preschool to oversee the project repairs and upgrades from their grant. It was a very difficult decision to make…though I am not a member of First Congregational Church, I have been overwhelmed with everyone welcoming me into this house, and the chorus of “Hi Frank” from the preschool children just makes my heart melt. Being part of staff and different committees has allowed me to build fantastic friendships that I hope last past this life changing event.

Through my military service, my post professional career and volunteering during disasters, I can honestly say that being part of FCC has been so rewarding and one of my best decisions was joining the staff. FCC is not just a church, it is a community, it is a family and I am going to miss everyone greatly. I hope to touch base with all before my last day, and hopefully I will be able to see you without a mask while having a cup of coffee!

Warm regards,
Frank Spangler, Director of Facilities