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First Lutheran hosts holiday pie sale

An army of bakers worked from noon until 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 to make 114 pies for the first annual Pie Sale Fundraiser at First Lutheran Church in New Richmond. The money raised from the pie sales will be used to move more than 25 stained glass windows from the current church to the new church.

When an army of bakers volunteered for the pie sale fundraiser at First Lutheran Church, they had no idea what they were getting into.

"There was some surprise," said Pam Swanson, one of the volunteers. "Not everybody knew how many pies we had."

In all, 114 pies were made for the fundraiser, which will help the church pay to remove, restore and relocate the more than 25 stained glass windows in the current church.

The first annual pie sale was a huge success, Swanson said.

"We were hoping for 100 pies for the first year," she said.

All the pies, including crust and filling, were made from scratch in the church's kitchen, she said.

"Blueberry and pecan were our most popular," she said. "That was kind of surprising. We sold the fewest apple and pumpkin."

Swanson said it took the group more than nine hours to bake all the pies.

"We started at noon and the last pie came out at 9:30 p.m.," she said.

Most pies were sold to church patrons; however, Swanson said she expects the sale to grow as word spreads.

"This was just in the paper last week," she said. "We think it'll grow."

Bob Olson, a relocation project team member, said there are 25 small stained glass windows and one large window, along with a few hanging pieces, being moved from the current church at 258 N. Third St. to the new church, currently under construction on County Road K near the New Richmond Golf Course.

The windows, which were added to the sanctuary in 1969 through donations by various congregational families, will not be removed from the current church until after Christmas, Olson said. It's the hope of the committee that they'll be installed at the new church in early 2013, he said.

The goal is for the windows to be prominently displayed in the new facility's sanctuary to weave the histories together.

Over recent years, increases in church membership, growth of the accredited child care program and accessibility for members created a need and interest for rebuilding the church. In April 2012, First Lutheran Church voted to build a new church and plan to be in the new facility by Easter Sunday of 2013.

According to Pastor James Bump, the new location will provide greater accessibility, visibility and room for expansion -- to serve generations of parishioners. The first phase of construction for the 20,166 square foot facility includes licensed childcare space for 100 children. Total cost will be approximately $2.86 million, and is financed by the ELCA Mission Investment Fund.

First Lutheran Church (ELCA) was founded in 1945 after a merger of the Norwegian Lutheran Church (est. 1889) and the English Lutheran Church (est. 1891), on the north side of New Richmond.

Since its origin, First Lutheran Church has grown from 200 baptized members to more than 2,000.