The historic Amana Church in the village of Amana, built in 1864, will be restored with a grant from the National Fund for Sacred Spaces, announced at the end of October. The Middle Amana Kleineschule will be restored for use as the Amana Colonies pantry site. (Courtesy Amana Church Society)
AMANA – Amana Church has been selected to receive a grant of $ 70,000 which will soon help the church preserve its historic buildings, built in 1864, for the 21st century.
The National Sacred Places Fund, a program run by Partners for Sacred Places in conjunction with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, announced the Iowa County recipient from a list of 15 churches. Over eight years, the fund will provide $ 20 million to more than 100 congregations. This year’s highly competitive grant included recipients such as the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, and St. Ann & The Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn, New York.
“Organizations like the Amana Church Society have a genuine commitment to service, provide tremendous civic value to their communities, and these congregations are well positioned to grow and prosper in the future,” said Bob Jaeger, President of Partners for Sacred Places. “We look forward to working with… the Amana Church Society to restore their buildings, help preserve an important piece of history, and support the expansion of their community offerings. “
The church has started raising funds to match grant dollars and complete rehabilitation projects at the two sites. The grant will be used to build new ramps to the Amana church in Amana village, replace 28 windows, repair wooden window frames, remove asbestos siding and repair or replace soffits, fascias and gutters.
To help with the Amana Church Society’s fundraising efforts, send a check payable to: Amana Church, P.O. Box 103, Middle Amana, IA 52307. Note on the contributions that the donation is for the church Our fundraising for sacred space. All donations are tax deductible.
“Amana Church is a wonderfully unique building in that it has been in continuous use since 1864,” said Emilie Hoppe, a 20-year elder at the church. “We don’t put much emphasis on the physical pitfalls of worship – it happens in the heart. The outer harmony of a room is meant to support and reflect the inner harmony of your prayers and worship.
The wood-frame Kinderschule building east of Middle Amana Church will also receive repairs and upgrades, allowing the Amana Settlement Pantry to leave the basement of Middle Amana Church. The project will include the installation of an HVAC system, electrical wiring, and window and exterior upgrades. Built during Amana’s communal era as a preschool and daycare center, the building is currently unoccupied.
The pantry, which serves about 40 families in and around Iowa County, has outgrown its basement. Its new location will provide easy access, a separate entrance with more space for freezers and refrigerators, and free community space for social gatherings.
“We need to prepare for our community of today and our community of tomorrow,” Hoppe said. “We call it a community. The Church does not adequately express our community ethics.
The congregation of over 350 people was founded in Germany and Switzerland in 1714 by a group known as the Community of True Inspiration. The Inspirationists were persecuted for defending freedom of speech and worship, refusing to send their children to Church-run schools.
In 1842, four members migrated to a plot of land in upstate New York, which they named Ebenezer. When more farmland was needed for the growing community of 1,200 members, leaders found land in Iowa.
In 1855, the community migrated to Iowa to build a village, naming it Amana from Song of Solomon 4: 8 – Amana means “to remain faithful”. In 1880, Amana was the largest municipal corporation in America.
“We are extremely grateful for this incredible opportunity and are blessed not only by this grant, but even more by our inspiring members who made it all possible in God,” said Alex Momany, chair of the church board. Amana.
The church hopes to start assessments this year and construction next year, with plans to complete the first stage of work by mid-2023.
The Kinderschule building behind Middle Amana Church will soon receive major upgrades as a pantry and meeting house for the Amana settlements thanks to a grant from the National Sacred Places Fund. (Amana Church Society)
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