About | Immanuel Lutheran Church

About
Purpose Statement & Guiding Principles

Immanuel adopted a new purpose statement and guiding principles at the annual meeting in January 2018. The purpose statement and guiding principles are actively used in committee and Council meetings to help make decisions regarding our ministry. The next step is to evaluate activities, set goals and make plans for the near future in light of the new purpose statement and guiding principles.

What we believe

As a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

  • We confess our faith in the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  • We confess our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.
  • We accept the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of our proclamation of faith and life.
  • We accept the Apostles’, Nicene and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith.
  • We accept the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.
  • We accept the other confessional writings in the Book of Concord.
  • We confess the Gospel, recorded in the Holy Scripture and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create and sustain the Church for God’s mission in the world.

About
Council

The Congregation Council is entrusted with general oversight of the life and activities of Immanuel Lutheran Church and in particular its worship life. They work to ensure everything is done in accordance with the Word of God and the faith and practice of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It is the Council that leads the congregation in stating its mission and purpose, along with enabling members to fulfill that purpose.

Paul Olsen
Interim Pastor

Barb Schmidt
President

Tracie Johnson
Vice President

Les Gieselman
Secretary

Lynn Clark
Treasurer

Richard Keplinger
Member

Andrew White
Member

Tami Husen
Liaison

Don Stensaas
Liaison

About
ELCA

Regional

Immanuel Lutheran is a member of  the Northwest Intermountain Synod, an extension of God's Lutheran body.

The Synod publishes the Cross Connection a monthly newsletter to help keep members in touch with the larger community.  

Immanuel Lutheran also supports Luther Heights Bible Camp and participates in camps and retreats. Their mission is “Through safe and amazing experiences Luther Heights Bible Camp proclaims the Gospel, builds faith, and strengthens the body of Christ by serving all people.”

National / International (ELCA)

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

To learn more, please visit the links below:


 

About
Immanuel Lutheran Church History

The History of Augustana

On January 22, 1906 the Swedish Lutheran Church of the Augustana Synod in was organized under the leadership of the Rev. Charles E. Bengston of Idaho Falls. According to church records, the original building, at First and Bannock streets, had 19 charter members. Because they were Scandinavians, Swedish became the first language spoken from the pulpit.

A site for the new church building was purchased for $3,500.00 Ground was broken at Seventh and Fort Streets on May 26, 1908. The church was completed during the pastorate of the Rev. C.C. Olsson and was dedicated September 22, 1915.

On October 1, 1918, the congregation decided to hold all services in the English language, opening the doors to all Lutherans in . Another tie to its Swedish heritage was severed in 1919 when the church name was changed to Boise Evangelical Lutheran Church.

By the late 1950's it was decided to name the original building, which had been expanded to include a more modern structure, Augustana Chapel in recognition of its first synodical affiliation. The chapel continues to be used for weekly communion services, occasional weddings and special services.

Augustana Chapel is a sandstone and shingle structure in the Gothic style. Its Gothic features include a cruciform plan with off-center tower, Gothic windows and portal. It is distinguished by its compactness, measuring only 38'x64', its extremely shallow transepts, its steeple ornamentation, lack of buttresses, and its use of local sandstone for the basement and first floors.

Charles F. Hummel I, the designer, was significant for the large number of other important buildings in Idaho in which he was architect, including the state capitol, St. John's Catholic Cathedral (in Romanesque revival) and the University of Idaho administration building. The Statesman in January 1909, probably quoting the architects, described the church as being "in the true ecclesiastical Gothic style of architecture." The Gothic revival aspect of the building, even more than its great charm, makes it important in the overall work of Tourtellotte and Hummel.

The church faces north and has a gabled roof. Its tower on the northeast corner serves as a belfry. The tower's sandstone first story has a Gothic, stained glass lancet window on each of its exposed faces, and is topped by a shallow shingle coping.

The shingled second story is dominated by a large Gothic ventilator on each side, each of which is accentuated by a narrow capping gable. This second level is crowned with four finials at the corners, which are decorated with sheet iron crockets and terminate with a three-dimensional Latin cross. The tower itself culminates in a spire, containing a gabled Gothic dormer ventilator on each side. Each of these dormers is also capped by a three-dimensional cross.

Front steps lead to a slightly recessed Gothic portal bounded by the tower, and a large stained glass Gothic window. A stone gable accentuates the doorway and is capped by a Calvary cross. This cross is in front of a "Palladian" Gothic window in the second story. A narrow shingle coping again separates the first and second stories, and maintains the continuity of the north side by integrating the tower with the rest of the facade. The gable supports a small Latin cross.

The east and west sides of the church are dominated by shallow gabled transepts with large stained glass windows. The east differs from the west due to the tower and a side exit towards the rear.

Though some alterations have been made to the interior such as modern heating ducts and modern lighting fixtures, the church remains relatively unchanged since its dedication. Augustana Chapel is architecturally significant in as one of only two Gothic revival churches of its era still standing. It is the one of the two which employs the distinctive local rusticated sandstone.

The chapel is listed on the National Register of Historical Buildings.


The History of Immanuel

As the Immanuel congregation continued to grow, the Sunday school began using the garage on site in 1946. In January 1953, Dr. H. Karl Ladwig was called to serve Immanuel.  The congregation purchased a house and Lot at 715 Fort in 1954 and the Beginner’s department of the Sunday school met in the house. A kindergarten was organized and met there, taught by Marion Hoobing.  In the Spring of 1955 the property at 711 Fort Street was purchased and the construction of the Sunday school building began. The building was dedicated on October 30, 1955. Marion Hoobing’s kindergarten class also moved into the new building and was held there every school year through the late 1960’s.

By the late 1950’s, the congregation had grown to mid-300 and the congregation was crowded in Augustana Chapel.  Plans began, to add on to the Sunday school building, including office space, church library, assembly room (the overflow room) and a larger sanctuary.  Plans for the basement included additional Sunday school rooms, kitchen, fellowship hall and bathrooms.

Ground was broken for the new addition on September 13, 1958.  Much of the construction work was completed by volunteer labor given by ch members.  The new addition was completed at an approximate cost of $100,000. The facility now occupied 75% of the frontage on Fort Street between 7th and 8th streets.

The first worship service in the new sanctuary was held on May 1, 1960.  Copper light fixtures in the sanctuary were designed and made by Dr. Ladwig.

In 1962, the pipe organ was installed in the balcony.  In the spring of 1973, the congregation voted to expand the organ with the addition of the swell division.  Another upgrade to the organ was made in 2005 with a new organ console. Soon after that, Dr. Griff Bratt donated a 2 rank Mixture from his home organ to add to the sound of the Immanuel organ.

In 1973 the stained-glass window project for the Immanuel sanctuary began.  Windows were given as memorials to various congregation members. After the sanctuary windows were completed, The “Creation” stained glass window for the narthex facing Fort Street was completed.   In 1992 the “Ascension” Window over the East entrance to Immanuel was added. In 1995 the “David” stained glass window was added to the landing level in the stairway to choir loft.

Also, in 1995, the office area was reconfigured to provide another office and the library was moved to the Fireside room.  An elevator was added in the narthex providing easier access to the fellowship hall in the basement and the choir loft.

In 1999, a courtyard improvement project was completed.  It added an outdoor entrance to the Overflow room, brick pavers, benches, landscaping and a fountain.

In 2003, the Church Council gave permission to an artist within the congregation for inspirational paintings to be placed on panels above each of the five stained glass windows.  The paintings expanded on each window theme.

In 2006, the congregation celebrated its 100th anniversary at this location on Fort Street.  Since 2006, there have been changes made to the office areas by adding windows, so that the secretary can see when people enter the building from the alley and the educational entrance.

In 2010, Immanuel began efforts to revitalize and rejuvenate our church building. From 2011 to 2015, the Rejuvenation Mission was approved and a Master Plan was developed.

In 2012, the Rejuvenation committee made changes to the nave of the sanctuary, by bringing the altar to the center of the room, removing some pews and creating a square altar area.

In 2016, Build Us Up, Lord! capital campaign was launched to fund the rejuvenation. During 2017, Phase One of the Master Plan was finalized and the first phase of the kitchen remodel was completed. Construction of Phase One of the Master Plan began in July 2018 and was completed in February 2019. Phase One included significant electrical upgrades, improved airflow and air conditioning, improved lighting, ADA improvements, a new fire sprinkler system and related upgrades to improve fire safety. The project also included new wall coverings, ceilings, and flooring throughout the Immanuel Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall as well as improved acoustics and the completion of the upgraded Kitchen.

On March 3, 2019, the renewed Sanctuary, Fellowship Hall and related building upgrades were celebrated in a Service of Dedication.

The Immanuel building continues to evolve to meet the needs of the congregation. There is a long history of change and renewal in our Congregation and the Immanuel building continues to evolve to meet the needs of the congregation.


The History of Linden House

Below are the Inside Immanuel Weekly articles regarding the history of Linden House written by our Council President, Les Gieselman.


May 17, 2020

I’m sure you are all very familiar with our two church buildings, Augustana and Immanuel. But did you know we also own and maintain a third property? Have you ever heard of Linden House? Do you have any idea where it is located or how it has been and is presently being used? Beginning next week, I will provide the answers to these questions and begin a discussion about Linden House in our weekly newsletter so be sure to check it out.

Les Gieselman, President


May 24, 2020

If you recall, last week I introduced you to Linden House and asked several questions for you to ponder. I also promised to provide answers to those questions and begin an ongoing discussion about Linden House. Rather than publish a long and detailed article about this Immanuel property, I plan to share that information with you in shorter, easy to read articles.

Linden House is a 3-bedroom, 2 story plus basement house located at 815 N. 7th Street, adjacent to the south side of Augustana Chapel. Church lore suggests that it is called the Linden House because of the Linden trees that were planted on the street in front of the house. In the photo below (taken from 7the street and looking west), Linden House is in the center, Augustana Chapel is to the right and the alley leading to the back side of Immanuel is to the left.


May 31, 2020

This week’s article continues with the history of Linden House.

Starting in December 1943. Pastor J.K. Edwins dedicated one of the upstairs rooms of the parsonage (Linden House) for the publishing/printing of the church newsletter, Inside Immanuel. The printing was done on a hand-crank mimeograph machine. The newsletter was even sent to Immanuel members serving in the military during WWII. Inside Immanuel has continued into the 21sat century.

In 1946 the congregation converted the parsonage into a parish house which could also be used for Sunday School space. A committee studied the purchase of a new parsonage but voted the idea down for financial reasons. This idea was revisited in 1949 and another parsonage was purchased on the bench at 703 Opal Street.

Please note Immanuel members Lynnette Chandler and Dick Chilcote were instrumental in compiling this historic record on the use of Linden House. Thank you, Lynnette and Dick!

I’ll stop here for this week. Please check future issues of Inside Immanuel Weekly for ongoing information about Linden House.


June 7, 2020

In this week’s article, the various uses of Linden House from 1976 to the present time are listed.

  • From 1976 through 1986, Linden House was used to provide Emergency Housing Services and from 1987 through 1995 it was used for Emergency Housing Services for Women.
  • Linden House was used to house Immanuel’s intern pastors from 1996 through 2002 and from 2003 to 2004 it was occupied by Interim Pastor Lothar Pietz.
  • From 2004 through 2005, Linden House was occupied by Immanuel Youth Director Peter Kowitz and his family
  • In 2006, Cami Koepke, the new Youth Director, used Linden House for youth meetings. It was also used for new member classes.
  • From 2007 through 2009, Linden House was occupied by Northwest Children’s Home/Syringa House.
  • Boise Rescue Mission Ministries occupied Linden House from 2010 to 2013.
  • And finally, Linden House has been occupied by Supportive Housing and Innovative Partnerships (SHIP) since 2013.

That concludes the “history of Linden House”. In future issues of Inside Immanuel Weekly, I will discuss the current use and condition of Linden House.


June 14, 2020

In previous articles, I presented a “history of Linden House” from 1914 to the present time. Since 2013, Immanuel has leased Linden House to Supportive Housing and Innovative Partnerships (SHIP) as a residence for single men in recovery.

SHIP’s motto is “Safe and Sober Housing in a Therapeutic Environment”. Furthermore, their website messaging says “SHIP provides gender specific safe and sober housing for persons in recovery from substance abuse and mental health issues”.

The Church Council has been supportive of SHIP’s use of Linden House since taking care of these men in recovery fulfills our Purpose Statement, “We Share God’s Gift of Love With All” and specifically, one of our Guiding Principles, “We Are a Community of Joy, Gratitude and Generosity”.

But in 2017 and perhaps earlier, concerns were expressed about the age of the building and ongoing repairs needed to keep it safe and habitable. And some even raised the question, “what is the best future use for Linden House”?

That’s all for this week. In future articles I will discuss appointment of the Linden House Task Forces, their findings and their recommendations to Church Council.


June 21, 2020

Last week’s article was about the group presently leasing Linden House from Immanuel, Supportive Housing and Innovative Partnerships (SHIP).

The Church Council has been supportive of SHIP’s use of Linden House since 2013. Taking care of these men in recovery fulfills our Purpose Statement, “We Share God’s Gift of Love With All” and specifically, one of our Guiding Principles, “We Are a Community of Joy, Gratitude and Generosity”.

Starting with this article, I will provide you with a chronological presentation of some important meetings, discussions, and reports about Linden House, beginning in November 2017. My intention is to give you the important background information about this historic building so you will have a better understanding of the issues surrounding Linden House.

November 12, 2017 Council Meeting: Dave Harris led a discussion about the utilization of Linden House and potential options for the facility. Here are the details of that discussion, obtained from the Council Meeting Minutes.

“It is aging and has required some significant repairs with more repairs pending. Is this still our Church mission? The property is tied to the Church plat and may be difficult to sell off. The utilities are also tied together with the Church. Our property is located in the Hays Street Historic District but this will not be a problem to a sale. We would need to consult with Boise Planning and Zoning regarding commercial usage. A surveyor will need to create a separate plat. The fee for this is $3,800. Idaho Power will evaluate separation of utilities. Dave will contact a Realtor who specializes in the sale of unusual plats.”

That’s all for 2017 (and this week’s article). In the next issue I’ll start with 2018 and move forward.


June 28, 2020

In last week’s article, I began a chronological presentation of some important meetings, discussions, and reports about Linden House, beginning in November 2017. This week I will start with 2018 and continue moving forward in time. My intention is to give you the important background information about this historic building so you will have a better understanding of the current issues surrounding Linden House.

May 14, 2018 Council Meeting:

  • Bart Cochran, licensed realtor and property manager for Love, Enterprises, Accountability and Peace (LEAP) Charities, presented a formal proposal to lease to own, manage and care for the Linden House property and its residents for one year with the option to purchase at the end of the lease (plus option to extend the lease for one year, if needed).
  • LEAP is a faith based nonprofit organization focused on alleviating human suffering that would preserve Linden House’s current status in Boise’s very low-income rental market.
  • Bart met with Ellen Anderson, Dave Harris (Council Liaison for Linden House), our pastor and subsequently Mike Schmidt for a tour of Linden House.
  • Highlights of LEAP’S tentative proposal are as follows:
  • Linden House sales price to be $100,000 which is under market value
  • LEAP to immediately assume responsibility for maintenance, utilities, repair, and expenses for upgrading the property to meet current codes
  • Current SHIP residents will remain and transition out as they move on with no new tenants to be added
  • Will be maintained as a low-income rental property, but only single family and no changes made in parking status
  • At the end of one year, sale to non-profit under Planned Unit Development guidelines as a HUD property. This application process can take about 6 months. Neighbors would need to be notified and the Boise City Council would give final approval.
  • All fees required such as surveying and utility division will be covered by LEAP
  • Funding will be through the federal Housing Trust Fund. The Housing Trust Fund (HTF) is an affordable housing production program that complements existing Federal, state and local efforts to increase and preserve the supply of decent, safe, and sanitary affordable housing for extremely low- and very low-income households, including homeless families. HTF funds may be used for the production or preservation of affordable housing through the acquisition, new construction, reconstruction, and/or rehabilitation of non-luxury housing with suitable amenities.
  • Discussion points of this tentative proposal are as follows:
  • What are ILC’s financial risks moving forward if LEAP changes its focus?
  • This usage of Linden House (low income housing) would be consistent with our Purpose Statement and Guiding Principles.
  • If Council approves this proposal, it would need to be presented to the congregation for discussion and approval at a Special Congregational Meeting or at the Annual Congregational Meeting.
  • Further discussion to occur at the next Council Meeting.


July 5, 2020

In last week’s article, I presented information about Linden House from the May 14, 2018 Council Meeting Minutes.

This week I have something special to share with you. Immanuel member Susan Rowe remembered an article she originally published in 1995 and has graciously given her permission to reprint it here. I trust you will enjoy this glimpse into the historic details of Linden House as much as I did. Thank you, Susan. Linden House Closes after 20 Years of Service (pdf)

In the next issue I’ll start with the June 11, 2018 Council Meeting Minutes and keep moving forward. My intention is to give you the important background information about this historic building so you will have a better understanding of the current issues surrounding Linden House.


July 12, 2020

In last week’s article, Immanuel member Susan Rowe shared her 1995 article about Linden House. I hope you enjoyed learning these important historic details as much as I did. 

This week I’m taking a break from reporting on Linden House due primarily to spending a significant part of my time working in the Quilters Room and Youth Room in Immanuel’s lower level. I will resume this ongoing series next week.


July 19, 2020

This week I am resuming the chronological presentation of important meetings, discussions, and reports about Linden House, beginning in June 2018. My intention is to give you the important background information about this historic building so you will have a better understanding of the issues surrounding Linden House.

June 8, 2018 Council Meeting: Linden House Proposal--Council received the proposal last month. Dave Harris recommended that the section regarding Immanuel buying back the property, should LEAP Charities decide to sell the property, be amended to say the purchase price would be $100,000 plus the cost of any improvements. Jo suggested that the $100,000 LEAP Charities is proposing to pay for the property be held in a dedicated fund until it is determined Immanuel has no interest in purchasing it back. It was also suggested that language in the lease agreement could be refined before it is finalized. MSC to firm up (finalize) the language in the proposal from LEAP Charities by the July Council meeting.

Renee Bergquist will speak with Dave regarding risks involved for the sale of the Linden house and the implications on property tax. Dave will contact Bart Cochran with LEAP Charities to move forward on finalizing the Linden House proposal.

July 9, 2018 Council Meeting: Linden House Proposal--Jo Stensaas relayed information from Mike Schmidt who recommends that we contact a real estate attorney to be certain that we proceed legally and in the best interest of the church. Alan Schroeder suggested Stephen Bradbury. our pastor recommended the committee looking into the Linden House proposal be expanded. This committee will contact the attorney and get an estimate on what the cost would be for an initial consultation and look into legal issues and options concerning Linden House. They will report their findings to the Council. Jo will contact Alan Schroeder, Diane Schroeder, Mike Schmidt, Bill von Tagen and Ellen Anderson to see if any are interested in being part of the committee. The committee should look at the proposal from LEAP charities and see if there are other options we haven’t considered and work with the attorney to ensure the Council is fully informed before making a recommendation to the congregation. Jo will contact people recommended to be part of the Linden House Committee and contact Bart Cochran to update him on ILC Linden House.

August 13, 2018 Council Meeting: Linden House--A newly formed Linden House Advisory Team, consisting of Bill von Tagen, Ellen Anderson and Mike Schmidt will research options for Linden House. They will be meeting with Bart Cochran for a presentation from LEAP Charities’ interest in Linden House.

October 8, 2018 Council Meeting: Linden House usage fee (Mike Schmidt)--Property Committee recommends that we increase the Linden House usage fee by $100 to $450 a month. This is needed to keep up with the maintenance and build up a fund to cover bigger issues. Motion: to increase the Linden usage fee by $100 to $450 per month—motion passed.

That’s all for 2018 and this week’s article. Next week I’ll start with 2019 and keep moving forward.


July 26, 2020

This week I am continuing the chronological presentation of important meetings, discussions, and reports about Linden House. I discovered one more document from 2018 which is where I will begin this week. My intention is to give you the important background information about this historic building so you will have a better understanding of the issues surrounding Linden House.

December 5, 2018 Linden House Advisory Team Meeting:

  • Bart Cochran (LEAP Charities) and associates to estimate the cost of bringing Linden House up to current code standards and estimate its present worth.
  • Ask Bart Cochran for names of potential real estate attorneys.
  • Dick Chilcote to prepare a history of Linden House and its uses over the years. This will help the congregation understand the past, present and potential future use of Linden House.
  • NOTE: Bill von Tagen resigned from the Linden House Advisory Team for health reasons.

February 21, 2019 Special Meeting: Ellen Anderson, Bart Cochran (LEAP Charities) and Les Gieselman (new Immanuel President) met to update Les on the background of Linden House and the potential future use of Linden House.

March 30, 2019 History of Linden House: this document, prepared by Dick Chilcote & Lynnette Chandler and reviewed by Les Gieselman, was sent to Church Council members on 4/3/19. NOTE: the contents of this document were published in Linden House Updates earlier this year on May 21, May 29, and June 5.

April 8, 2019 Church Council Meeting: Les Gieselman presented an update on the use of Linden House and the advisory team work done thus far:

  • The Linden House Advisory Team has been inactive since December 2018 for a variety of reasons.
  • On April 6, Bart Cochran (LEAP Charities) provided an estimate of updates and repairs needed to bring Linden House up to code standards and make it competitive for renting to low income tenants: $148,218.
  • LEAP proposes a long-term land lease and transfer of the ownership of the building itself from Immanuel Lutheran Church (ILC) to LEAP.
  • LEAP would partner with ILC to provide professional services as developer, manager, and resident services coordinator of the project. All expenses and upkeep would be borne by LEAP.
  • There are ongoing costs to maintain Linden House such as replacing the boiler for heating.
  • The concept of having LEAP Charities update/remodel Linden House and provide affordable, low-income housing is certainly attractive and is an appropriate mission.
  • Les Gieselman expressed a variety of concerns including, but not limited to the following issues: real estate, property and income taxes, insurance and liability coverage, maintaining our tax-exempt status, long-term lease implications, retaining ownership of the land but selling the building, separation of utilities, the need to hire an attorney and possibly a CPA, etc.
  • Les Gieselman recommended the Linden House Advisory Team (LHAT) resume monthly meetings and work toward a formal proposal for the potential use of Linden House. He offered to be the LHAT Council Liaison and ask Ellen Anderson to consider chairing the advisory team.
  • Andrew White explained that the building is legally part of the Real Estate and we can’t separate the building and the land. He also suggested we consider a covenant that would run with the land to retain as Low-Income Housing. We will need to research enforceability and the legal definition of low-income housing. LEAP uses a federally defined definition.
  • Jo Stensaas provided some history on the project during 2018. The goal was to propose options. The original presentation to Council from LEAP Charities was in May 2018.
  • The Council recognizes this will be an emotional issue for the congregation.
  • Council agreed to have the LHAT resume meeting regularly and move forward with researching options for Linden House.
  • Les Gieselman will be the LHAT Council Liaison.

That’s all for this week’s article. Next week I’ll continue with April 2019 and keep moving forward.


August 2, 2020

This week I am continuing the chronological presentation of important meetings, discussions, and reports about Linden House, beginning with May 2019. My intention is to give you the important background information about this historic building so you will have a better understanding of the issues surrounding Linden House.

May 13, 2019 Church Council Meeting: Les Gieselman reported the Linden House Advisory Team members are Ellen Anderson, Dick Chilcote, Les Gieselman (Council Liaison), Mike Schmidt and our pastor. Their next meeting is May 14, 2019.

June 2019 Linden House Advisory Team Report to Church Council:

  • Per Council’s request, LHAT resumed their regular meetings on 5/14/19 with all members present (Ellen Anderson, Dick Chilcote, our pastor, Mike Schmidt, and Les Gieselman (Council Liaison)
  • LHAT Meeting:
  • Review of the history and direction of the group.
  • Brief look at previous options discussed for Linden House (LH).
  • Importance of maintaining transparency during this process.
  • Agreed on the importance of getting advice from an attorney who focuses on real estate transactions.
  • Council member Andrew White had specific concerns regarding long term lease specifics.
  • Group felt that we should have a general estimate (appraisal) of the current market value of LH. Relators Diane Schroeder and Keith Jacobs were mentioned as two ILC members who might be helpful.
  • Continued relationship and possible partnership with LEAP charities was discussed in the context of furthering our mission statement as a church.
  • Ellen Anderson will follow up with these questions for Bart Cochran: What is his funding timeline and how might it match with ILC’s? Willingness to meet with council member Andrew White to discuss lease details? Value of LH in its current state? Real estate attorney recommendations.
  • Les Gieselman will contact: Real Estate Attorney for information on LH sale/lease options and an estimate of consulting fees. Andrew White, Council Member, to potentially meet with Bart Cochran to discuss LH sale and lease issues. Diane Schroeder or Keith Jacobs to assist with LH appraisal
  • Les Gieselman met with Keith Jacobs and Tennyson Berty (Keith & Gail’s daughter) of Coldwell Banker Realty on 6/11/19. They discussed:
  • LH options of lease versus sale
  • Single family residential use versus commercial use of the property
  • Historical Landmark status
  • Possibility of replatting the property for eventual lease or sale
  • Obtaining an estimate of current market value
  • Cost to remodel LH (using LEAP’s estimates)
  • Keith & Tennyson offered the following comments:
  • LH is a very desirable and valuable property asset. $100,000 for a 30 years lease seems too low (even if remodeling cost is ~ $150,000). No need for a Real Estate Attorney at this time. They will review the official property plat to determine how LH might be separated onto its own plat.
  • Tennyson Berty and Keith Jacobs are still conducting their research and when complete will present their findings at the next regular LHAT Meeting, which has not been scheduled yet.

That’s all for this week’s article. Next week I’ll continue moving forward in 2019.


August 9, 2020

GONE FISHING!

Greetings everyone. I have taken some much needed time away for fishing in the McCall area and am therefore not providing information about Linden House this week.

This column will resume next week, continuing with information from 2019.


August 16, 2020

I have returned from my hiking and fishing trip in the McCall area and am continuing the chronological presentation of important meetings, discussions, and reports about Linden House, beginning with August 2019. I am sharing the important background information about this historic building so you’ll have a better understanding of the issues surrounding Linden House.

(August 21, 2019) Linden House Advisory Team (LHAT) Meeting:

Members Present: Ellen Anderson, Dick Chilcote, Les Gieselman (Council Liaison), Mike Schmidt and our pastor

Invited Guests: Tennyson Berty and Keith Jacobs, Immanuel members and Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group realtors

LEAP Charities Funding Timeline: Ellen reported LEAP’s funding timeline follows the calendar year and matches the budget cycle of Immanuel Lutheran Church (ILC).

Bart Cochran (LEAP Charities) is willing to meet with Andrew White (ILC Council member) to answer questions Andrew had about a long-term land lease with the transfer of building ownership of Linden House. Les did not pursue scheduling a meeting for Bart and Andrew at this time since Tennyson Berty and Keith Jacobs will likely address these concerns at their presentation today (see below).

Real Estate Attorney Recommendation: Les has postponed this for now. If Immanuel decides to pursue the long-term land lease and transfer of building ownership of Linden House by LEAP Charities, Les will contact an attorney to assist with reviewing the lease options, as needed.

Assessment of Linden House by Realtor not Affiliated with LEAP Charities (presentation by Tennyson Berty & Keith Jacobs):

  • Tennyson and Keith explained Linden House is a valuable and desirable property asset due to its location in the North End, within the Boise High School District, Historical District status, the lack of adequate and affordable housing, closeness to downtown, etc.
  • Their estimate of the present value of Linden House, if it were to be sold, is $400,000 to $450,000. NOTE: they have not yet toured the property.
  • Strictly from a financial perspective, they feel LEAP’s offer of $100,000 for a 30 years lease seems too low (even if the cost of remodeling Linden House is about $150,000).
  • There is no need for a real estate attorney at this time. If Immanuel decides to pursue a long-term land lease and transfer of building ownership with LEAP Charities, it would then be necessary to consult an attorney to make certain Immanuel’s interests are protected.
  • Linden House is presently included on the same property plat with Immanuel and Augustana (all 3 properties are on the same plat) and it is classified as Commercial property.
  • If Linden House is to be sold, the property must be surveyed and replatted to separate Linden House from Immanuel and Augustana and place it on its own plat. It could also then be reclassified from Commercial to Residential property, if desired.
  • Surveying and replatting the Linden House property would cost about $3,000, would require about six (6) weeks to complete, and the cost would be borne by the purchaser. Keith and Tennyson recommended Sawtooth Land Surveying to survey the property, should Immanuel decide to sell Linden House.
  • If Immanuel retains the ownership of Linden House (does NOT sell it), there is no need to replat the property.
  • Tennyson and Keith reported they already have a client interested in buying Linden House for a price up to about $450,000. They would need to do a tour of Linden House before proceeding down this path. Tennyson & Keith’s realtor fee is 6% of the selling price.
  • There has previously been concern about the difficulty and cost of replatting the Linden House property. Tennyson confirmed those costs are borne by the purchaser, should Immanuel choose to sell the property.
  • If Immanuel decides to sell Linden House, what control does Immanuel have over the type and quality of business or residents that would occupy Linden House? There is some control early on as Immanuel would know about the buyer up front. But the buyer could then sublease the property, sell it to another entity, or change their business model, all of which would be out of Immanuel’s control. The LHAT expressed their concern about giving up that control.
  • Utilities (electricity, gas, water and sewer) for Immanuel, Augustana and Linden House are presently on one account, primarily because all 3 buildings are on the same plat. How would utilities be split up and what would be the cost to Immanuel? If Linden House is sold, the buyer would pay the cost to separate the utilities for Linden House from Immanuel and Augustana. These costs would be revealed during the survey process.
  • Keith and Tennyson would like to be informed when Immanuel makes a decision about the future use of Linden House. They would like to tour the property and list it for sale as soon as possible.
  • The LHAT thanked Tennyson and Keith for their insightful and helpful information about Linden House and they were excused from the meeting.

LHAT Group Discussion:

  • What process should the LHAT follow to educate the congregation about Linden House and obtain their input? The team agreed we need to fulfill our obligation as an advisory team by preparing and presenting a preferred option to Council. Council will then decide how to proceed.
  • our pastor recommended and the team agreed the focus for our team decision and recommendation to Council must be based on ILC’s Purpose Statement and Guiding Principles.

Ellen shared concern that after the realtors’ presentation today, the team’s focus might shift into a transactional/financial focus and away from the original intent of the group. This original intent was concern for the ongoing financial burden of ILC caring for Linden House, being responsible stewards of the property, and exploring other options which are an extension of ILC’s Purpose Statement and Guiding Principles. This coincided with an opportunity to partner with LEAP Charities, who have expertise rehabbing and managing properties, and their vision to use Linden House for housing low-income residents.

Next Steps:  Les will prepare Pros and Cons for the three (3) options for the future use of Linden House (Continue Present Use, Long-Term Land Lease & Transfer of Building Ownership with LEAP Charities, or Sell the Property). The team will meet again to discuss the three options, review and modify the Pros and Cons lists, and decide on a preferred option to recommend to Council.

That’s all for this week’s article. Next week I’ll continue moving forward in September 2019.


August 23, 2020

This week I am continuing the chronological presentation of important meetings, discussions, and reports about Linden House, beginning with October 2019. It’s important for you to be aware of the background information about this Immanuel property so you’ll have a better understanding of the issues surrounding Linden House.

(10/14/19) Linden House Advisory Team (LHAT) Council Report:

Last Meeting: LHAT met on 9/24/19 and all members were present (Ellen Anderson, Dick Chilcote, Les Gieselman (Council Liaison), Mike Schmidt, and our pastor Bingea

Special Meeting--Review of LEAP Charities Proposal (9/11/19): Les G. reviewed the notes from this special meeting attended by Bart Cochran (LEAP Charities), Andrew White (Council Member) and Les Gieselman (Council Liaison, LHAT).

  • The overall goal of this meeting was to understand the details associated with LEAP’s proposal for a long-term land lease and transfer of building ownership of Linden House from Immanuel to LEAP.
  • Andrew W. clarified that the land and building are one entity and therefore inseparable. They all agreed that LEAP can either lease Linden House OR purchase Linden House from Immanuel but it CANNOT do both simultaneously.
  • Bart C. also informed Andrew W. and Les G. that LEAP would prefer to purchase Linden House but LEAP was previously told by Immanuel that was not possible, due to potential problems with replatting the Linden House property, etc.
  • However, on 8/21/19, Keith Jacobs and Tennyson Berty (Immanuel members and Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group realtors) informed the LHAT that replatting the Linden House property is probably complicated, but certainly possible.

Feedback from Bart Cochran (LEAP Charities) (9/24/19): Les G. summarized the results of a telephone conversation he had with Bart C. about either purchasing or leasing Linden House from Immanuel:

  • Option 1: LEAP would purchase Linden House from Immanuel and use the property for low-income housing. This would involve surveying and replatting the present Immanuel/Augustana/Linden House property to separate Linden House onto its own plat. LEAP would pay the costs for surveying and replatting the property. This is the preferred option for LEAP. The maximum subsidy for HUD funding (which LEAP would use for Linden House) is $296,666 for a four (4) bedroom house. This means that is the maximum amount they could spend on Linden House. LEAP would then deduct the cost of rehabilitating & upgrading the property ($150,000 to $200,000) from the total which would leave a purchase price of about $100,000 to $150,000 to be paid to Immanuel. These estimates are all preliminary and subject to change but he wanted us to have some information to work with for today's meeting.
  • Option 2: LEAP would enter into a long-term (30 years) lease with Immanuel. The duration of the lease is dictated by the funding source (federal funds). LEAP would pay the cost to rehabilitate and upgrade Linden House and use the property for low-income housing. This is a secondary option for LEAP. But instead of a purchase, they would lease the property. They would capitalize the lease (pay all the lease payments at once and up front). The estimated capitalized lease payment is identical to the purchase price (about $100,000 to $150,000). Again, this estimate is preliminary and subject to change but he wanted us to have some information to work with for today's meeting.

Pros & Cons List for the Future Use of Linden House: the LHAT previously determined there are three (3) viable options for the future use of Linden House. While brainstorming the Pros & Cons of these three (3) options, the group agreed there are now four (4) viable options:

  • Option 1--Continue Present Use—Immanuel is Owner & Landlord
  • Option 2--Long-Term Lease of Linden House with LEAP Charities
  • Option 3--Sale of Linden House to LEAP Charities
  • Option 4—Sale of Linden House on the Open Market

The group is still working their way through the Pros and Cons of the four potential options for the future use of Linden House. They will resume their brainstorming session at their next meeting.

Questions & Answers: Les to contact Bart Cochran for an explanation why LEAP’S proposed lease capitalization payment is identical to their proposed purchase payment. Les to investigate the potential tax implications for Immanuel if we decide to lease or sell Linden House.

Next LHAT Meeting (11/5/19 at 2:30 pm): Les to standardize and update the Pros and Cons List for the future use of Linden House to include four (4) viable options. LHAT will continue brainstorming the Pros and Cons List, select a preferred option for the future use of Linden House, and agree on a formal recommendation to Church Council.


August 27, 2020

I will be backpacking in the Boulder White Clouds Wilderness from Thursday, August 27 through Wednesday September 2, 2020 and am therefore taking a week off from publishing a Linden House article. This column will resume on Friday, September 4, 2020.


September 6, 2020

I have returned from a week-long backpacking trip to the Boulder White Clouds Wilderness, south of Challis, Idaho. It was great to get away and spend some quality time with friends in the beautiful Idaho backcountry.

This week I am resuming the chronological presentation of important meetings, discussions, and reports about Linden House, beginning with November, 2019. It’s important that you be aware of the background information about this Immanuel property so you’ll have a better understanding of the issues surrounding Linden House.

(11/11/19) Linden House Advisory Team (LHAT) Council Report:

Last Meeting: the LHAT met on 11/5/19 and all members were present—Ellen Anderson, Dick Chilcote, Les Gieselman (Council Liaison), Mike Schmidt, and our pastor Bingea.

Feedback from Bart Cochran (LEAP Charities) (9/24/19): Les Gieselman summarized the results of a telephone conversation he had with Bart Cochran about the capitalized 30 year lease price being equivalent to the purchase price for Linden House. It is because the amount of money being paid is capped based on a maximum amount allowed under federal financing programs instead of market value. If price was based purely on market value, the purchase price would be greater than the capitalized 30 year lease price.

Linden House Tour (10/17/19): Les Gieselman reported that Matt Christman escorted Keith Jacobs (Immanuel member and Realtor) and another real estate agent on a tour of Linden House. Per Keith, this agent (experienced with North End properties and Church properties) was impressed with the possibilities for Linden House. They (Keith and the real estate agent) are eager for Immanuel to decide on the future use of Linden House.

Income Tax Implications--Capitalized Lease versus Sale: Les Gieselman summarized the results of the extensive research graciously conducted by Renee Bergquist. Immanuel is classified as a 501(c)(3) exempt organization and should not pay federal or state income tax on proceeds of either the capitalized long-term lease or sale of Linden House.

Pros & Cons List for the Future Use of Linden House: the group is still working their way through the pros and cons of the four (4) potential options for the future use of Linden House. They will continue brainstorming these options at their next meeting:

  • Option 1--Continue Present Use—Immanuel is Owner & Landlord
  • Option 2--Long-Term Lease of Linden House with LEAP Charities
  • Option 3--Sale of Linden House to LEAP Charities
  • Option 4—Sale of Linden House on the Open Market

Questions & Answers: Les G. to contact Bart Cochran (LEAP Charities) for an explanation about how Immanuel would be protected if we entered into a long-term lease with them and the lease was terminated early. Should Immanuel reserve funds for this potential eventuality?

Next LHAT Meeting (Les will email the group with potential dates):  Les will update the Pros and Cons List for the future use of Linden House based on the changes agreed upon by the group at their 11/5/19 meeting. The LHAT will continue brainstorming the Pros and Cons List, select a preferred option for the future use of Linden House, and submit a formal recommendation to Church Council.


September 13, 2020

This week I am continuing the chronological presentation of important meetings, discussions, and reports about Linden House, beginning with December, 2019. It’s important that you be aware of the background information about this Immanuel property so you’ll have a better understanding of the issues surrounding Linden House.

(12/16/19) Linden House Advisory Team (LHAT) Council Report:

Last Meeting: the LHAT met on 11/19/19 and all members were present—Ellen Anderson, Dick Chilcote, Les Gieselman (Council Liaison), Mike Schmidt and our pastor Bingea.

LHAT Meeting Notes (11/5/19): the Meeting Notes were approved with one minor correction

Feedback from Bart Cochran (LEAP Charities) (12/4/19): Les Gieselman called Bart Cochran to obtain answers for these two questions about a potential long-term lease between Immanuel and LEAP Charities:

1.   If either party should default on the lease agreement, would Immanuel be protected by the Default of Lease clause in the lease agreement? Answer: yes, language would be included in the lease agreement to protect the interests of both lessor (Immanuel) and lessee (LEAP Charities), should there be cause to enforce the default provision of the lease (curing the default).

2.   Should Immanuel reserve funds for this possibility and if so, how much should be reserved? Answer: yes, an amount sufficient to cover potential court costs, fees for legal counsel, and other ancillary expenses. The leasing agent and/or real estate attorney should advise Immanuel accordingly.

Pros & Cons List for the Future Use of Linden House: the group finalized their review of the pros and cons of the four (4) viable options for the future use of Linden House.

  • Option 1--Continue Present Use—Immanuel is Owner & Landlord
  • Option 2--Long-Term Lease of Linden House with LEAP Charities
  • Option 3--Sale of Linden House to LEAP Charities
  • Option 4—Sale of Linden House on the Open Market

Option 1: Continue Present Use--Immanuel is Owner & Landlord

         Pros:

  • Supports our Purpose Statement and Guiding Principles—continues our relationship with Supportive Housing & Innovative Partnerships (SHIP) as lessee
  • Immanuel retains ownership & control of property use
  • Community partnership with a respected charity (SHIP)
  • Maintains Immanuel’s historical connection with property

         Cons:

  • Linden House is an aging property that Immanuel is responsible for maintaining, repairing and updating (potentially expensive)
  • Rehabilitating and updating the property would cost about $150,000 and require a significant time investment by Immanuel
  • For at least the past 10 years, Linden House has not been a priority for Immanuel

Option 2: Long-Term Lease of Linden House with LEAP Charities

         Pros:

  • Supports our Purpose Statement & Guiding Principles—supports low-income housing
  • Community partnership with a respected charity (LEAP Charities)
  • LEAP’s intention is to pay to rehabilitate and upgrade Linden House
  • Immanuel would no longer be responsible for maintaining, repairing and updating Linden House—LEAP Charities assumes all these costs and responsibilities
  • This would be one less property for Immanuel to manage
  • Immanuel retains ownership and control of Linden House, per the lease agreement   

         Cons:

  • Long-term lease (30 years) is a significant time commitment
  • Proceeds from property lease capitalization would need to be monitored and managed in a special account

Option 3: Sale of Linden House to LEAP Charities

         Pros:

  • Supports our Purpose Statement & Guiding Principles—supports low-income housing
  • Community partnership with a respected charity (LEAP Charities)
  • LEAP’s intention is to pay to rehabilitate and upgrade Linden House
  • Immanuel would no longer be responsible for maintaining, repairing and updating Linden House—LEAP assumes all these costs and responsibilities
  • This would be one less property for Immanuel to manage
  • Proceeds from property sale could be used to support Immanuel’s mission and ministries

         Cons:

  • Immanuel loses control over future use of property
  • Immanuel would need to spend significant time and energy determining how to best use proceeds from the sale of Linden House

Option 4: Sale of Linden House on Open Market

         Pros:

  • Immanuel would no longer be responsible for maintaining, repairing and updating Linden House—purchaser assumes all these costs and responsibilities
  • This would be one less property for Immanuel to manage
  • Proceeds from property sale would be based on current market value and would be greater than the maximum allowed by LEAP charities
  • Proceeds from property sale could be used to support Immanuel’s mission and ministries

         Cons:

  • Immanuel loses control over future use of property
  • Immanuel would need to spend significant time and energy determining how to best use proceeds from the sale of Linden House
  • Immanuel would lose out on a ministry opportunity (low-income housing) to fulfill its purpose

Preferred Option for Future Use of Linden House: following a final review of the pros and cons list, the group voted and reached a consensus group decision for their preferred option which is Option 2. There were four (4) votes for Option 2 and one (1) vote for Option 4.

Supporting Decision Points for Option 2—Long-Term Lease of Linden House with LEAP Charities

  • historical connection between Immanuel and Linden House is preserved
  • Immanuel maintains some control of Linden House, per the lease agreement

Supporting Decision Points for Option 4—Sale of Linden House on Open Market:

  • maximizes Immanuel’s financial opportunity
  • proceeds can be used to support Immanuel’s Purpose Statement and Guiding Principles
  • general dislike of long-term leases (too many variables)

Formal Recommendation to Church Council: after a comprehensive review of the pros and cons of the four (4) viable options for the future use of Linden House, the Linden House Advisory Team recommends to Church Council that Immanuel pursue Option 2—Long-Term Lease of Linden House with LEAP Charities.

LHAT has Completed its Mission: the assigned mission of the Linden House Advisory Team was to research, review and determine the best possible future use for Linden House and then submit a formal recommendation to Church Council. That work is finished, the mission is now complete and the LHAT has no further meetings scheduled. However, LHAT members have agreed to attend Council meetings and Congregational meetings, as needed, to provide background information and answer questions about the future use of Linden House.

That’s all for this week’s article. Next week I’ll continue moving forward in January 2020


September 20, 2020

I am continuing the chronological presentation of important meetings, discussions, and reports about Linden House, beginning with January 2020. It’s important you be aware of the background information about this Immanuel property so you’ll have a better understanding of the issues surrounding Linden House.

(January 13, 2020) Church Council Meeting:

Linden House Advisory Team Formal Recommendation – Les Gieselman

  • Council discussed the Linden House Advisory Team recommendation. Discussion will continue at the February Council Meeting to obtain input from those absent (Richard, Jo and Andrew) and new Council Members.

(February 10, 2020) Church Council Meeting:

Linden House Advisory Team Formal Recommendation – Les Gieselman

  • Council discussed Linden House Advisory Team recommendation and requested input from new Council Members. Council appreciates the time that was put into the process, agrees on full engagement of the Congregation and the importance of maintaining ILC options in any proposed contract.
  • Les Gieselman explained the proposed process. Council will agree on recommended course of action and present to the Congregation for full consideration and input. Legal Counsel will be obtained, as needed, to assist with contract and process. Les will explore ELCA Mission Builders process.

§ Richard Keplinger moved to accept the recommendation of the Linden House Advisory Team to pursue Option 2 – Long-Term Lease of Linden House with LEAP Charities. Motion Passed unanimously.

(March 23, 2020) Church Council Meeting:

Linden House Proposed Congregational Education Sessions (postponed) – Les Gieselman

  • Les Gieselman and Carolyn Korn will create a PowerPoint presentation to help communicate options to the congregation. Les Gieselman confirmed LEAP Charities is still very much interested. Andrew White offered to help with communications.

That’s all for this week’s article.


September 27, 2020

This week’s article continues the series of chronological presentations of the important meetings, discussions, and reports regarding Linden House, from April 2020 through September 2020.

(April 20, 2020) Church Council Meeting:

  • Linden House Update – Les Gieselman
  • Process is on hold until Idaho Stay at Home order is lifted. LEAP is still interested in the opportunity and is flexible. Consider preparing written communications to Congregation that we have been looking at the utilization of this property.
  • Discussed sign in front of the Linden House.

(May 18, 2020) Church Council Meeting:

  • Linden House Update – Les Gieselman
  • Started first round of communication via Inside Immanuel Weekly to raise awareness and educate the congregation about Linden House.

(June 15, 2020) Church Council Meeting:

  • Linden House Update – Les Gieselman
  • Discussed weekly articles on Linden House. We have received positive feedback so far.     

(July 20, 2020) Church Council Meeting:

  • Linden House Update – Les Gieselman
  • Continued sharing information on Linden House through the weekly ILC Newsletter. Council suggested including this information on the ILC website.

(August 17, 2020) Church Council Meeting:

  • Linden House Update – Les Gieselman
  • Continued updates on Linden House have been published and nearing the point where Council will need to discuss how to gather ILC community feedback on next steps.

(September 21, 2020) Church Council Meeting:

  • Linden House Update – Les Gieselman
  • Information update article series should be completed this week.
  • Discussed Zoom meeting sessions to answer questions and process to present to the Congregation for a vote.
  • Carolyn Korn will summarize Linden House updates, post on ILC website and send printed copy to those without technology.

Council suggested Linden House communications provide invitation to reach out to Les Gieselman with questions.


The Linden House Update series is now complete. I hope you have a better understanding about the history of Linden House and the important role it has played and continues to play in our community. I encourage you to begin thinking how we can make the best possible future use of this historic and valuable Immanuel property. 

So what’s next? First, Carolyn Korn, Parish Administrator, will combine all the Linden House Update articles into one place on the Immanuel website. That will allow you to review that information at your leisure. Details about how to access that information will be provided in early October.

The next step will be to provide several Linden House Information Sessions (online via Zoom) for you to ask questions, voice your concerns, and obtain feedback from me and others. I will notify you when those information sessions have been scheduled, likely starting in mid-October.

And finally, the congregation will vote on their preferred option for the best possible future use of Linden House. This will occur either at the Annual Congregational Meeting in January or at a Special Congregational Meeting, should that be necessary.

If you have specific questions or concerns about Linden House that cannot wait until the information sessions in October, please feel free to contact the church office at office@ilcboise.org .