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Central District approves office relocation

April 19, 2012 One Comment


Lutheran Church–Canada's National Office in Winnipeg

by Thomas Prachar

At its February meeting, the Central District Board of Directors voted to move the district office from its present location in Regina to vacant space at the Lutheran Church–Canada office in Winnipeg. The board’s previous December meeting had authorized staff to investigate the ramifications of such a move.

The need for a move has become more urgent in recent years as the present house-office location has continued to deteriorate. Cracks in ceilings and walls are more evident as the foundation has shifted in the south Regina clay. Water seepage has also become a problem.

Alternatives were first sought in Regina and area. Leasing or purchasing a building proved difficult since Regina’s office vacancy rate is less than one percent. Building a modest addition to an LCC congregation in Regina meant building costs of more than $400 per square foot, resulting in an expenditure of well over $500,000. In addition to office space, the district archives need to be housed. Using the facilities of an existing church or empty parsonage outside Regina would not provide for long-term stability and easy access for board members and the airport.

That left the option of moving into vacant office space at the synodical office in Winnipeg. According to the district’s legal counsel, there are no impediments to moving the office. As well, the Financial Services Commission of Saskatchewan has given approval to moving the Church Extension Fund—it would simply continue to operate by the same regulations. Lutheran Church–Canada would take over all accounting responsibilities for the district, as well as provide an administrative assistant to the district president, resulting in financial savings of more than $60,000 annually. Assuming congregations continue to contribute approximately $800,000 a year, the district would see a balanced budget for 2013 and 2014, with more money going to both district and synod missions. The office would be more “central” to the rest of the district. Staff could be retained and hired more easily given the larger synodical office staff, which would provide an easier means of covering for vacation and sickness. The district would retain its identity through its own telephone line, email address and website.

On the negative side, travel costs may increase as two-thirds of the district’s congregations are in Saskatchewan. If the office remains at its present location, an estimated $100,000 would be needed to renovate. While the archives can be moved into the synod office, it may be more effective to find space in a local Winnipeg congregation. The district would have to appoint another archivist as the current archivist, Maxine Holm, would not relocate to Winnipeg.

Sale of the present property will more than pay moving costs for the office and president, as well as severance for the current administrative assistant, Maureen Wiskar, who is not expected to make the move to Winnipeg.

No exact date has been set for the move, but tentative plans are to have the office relocated by the end of 2012 or early 2013.

At its February meeting, the Central District Board of Directors also approved a budget with an operating deficit of $158,779 for 2012. This includes office relocation costs that will eventually be realized in the following year’s budget through the sale of the district office property.

The board appointed Rev. Harold Borchardt, Gerald Greinke, Gloria Rathgeber, and Amanda Knodel to the District Reconciliation Committee.


Rev. Thomas Prachar is President of the Central District of Lutheran Church–Canada.

One Comment »

  • man with a van said:

    That’s really great. Finally Central District Approves relocation of office. Thanks a lot for sharing this news here and aware us from it.

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