NEW LONDON - With lawn chairs in the place of pews, this week’s storms didn’t stop a Thursday night service outside Trinity Lutheran Church.
“I think more to celebrate everyone is still alive,” said Paul Freeman of New London. “No one got hurt. It's a building. It can be replaced. But the church family is still here.”
Members of that church family felt gathering here was an important step in their cleanup process.
“The more we realized we need to be together,” said Rev. Bil Sutlief of Trinity Lutheran Church. “We need one another. We need this time to come and worship.”
Trinity Lutheran has about 600 baptized members, many suffering their own property damage in this week's storms.
Others came to the service from outside of the Trinity Lutheran church community.
“I felt bad even just driving through,” said David Kohls of Fond du Lac. “It was such a horrific experience, but from what I've seen just in the last day now, they've made such tremendous progress.”
As for the church building, it's future is unknown beyond another outdoor service planned for Sunday morning at 9 a.m.
“We don't know,” said Sutlief. “We need to get further into it to be able to know how stable it is”
“It happened,” said Freeman. “It's an act of god. We're going to get through it. The church is still going to survive.”
Anyone planning to attend Sunday’s service is asked to bring a lawn chair.
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An 11-foot-long model of the Japanese passenger liner Hikawa Maru is being sent back to Japan after 34 years at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc.
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