Monday, June 30, 2008

Parkview Flood Recovery Update

About 100 people showed up on Saturday to help with our workday at Parkview. Many of the major goals on our church facility list were accomplished. We were also able to help 2 Idylwild residents empty their homes and 3 Normandy drive residents completely gut their homes of drywall and insulation. In addition we also distributed free personal care packets throughout the Normandy area. Needless to say, we are praising God for a very productive day of work that was a blessing to so many people.

As I announced on Sunday, we won’t be having a church-wide workday again until next Saturday. This will probably be how things roll for a while, though I do expect we will round up smaller teams for other projects on an as needed basis. The residents in the Normandy area are still in need of help, so please consider rounding small groups to go in and help while there is still a need.

On Sunday I shared that Parkview is intent upon renovating our present facility and exploring all other options for future expansion. It does appear that there will no longer be the ability to expand at our present location, so this has opened up all sorts of possibilities for the future. Please pray for the Facility Task Force as we begin exploring all options. We will be having forums for church input in the next few months.

Below are a few pictures of this weekends work efforts....

This is the preschool area.

The chapel stage.

The worship center from the tech booth. The cross was one of the crosses used for past seasonal celebration weekends.

All the porcelain getting a much needed bath.

Some connecting over food. Thanks to the deaconess team for doing an amazing job at keeping everyone well fed!

Help moving people in the neighborhood.

Our parking lot is now the staging area for waste removal.

My favorite stall was the last place to get demo'd. : )

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sandbagging Hours

I guess Iowa City will get reimbursed by the federal government for volunteer hours put in sandbagging. To enter your hours, go here.

Saturday Cleanup Information


Tomorrow at 8:30 am people will be assembling at Parkview’s picnic shelter to receive instructions for the community clean-up day. We will have crews working in and outside the church as well as in the neighborhoods affected by flooding. The shelter will be stocked with snack food and drink throughout the day and a supper will be provided at the end of the workday. In order to simplify preparations and accommodate the fact that teams will be distributed throughout the city, we ask that you bring a sack lunch for your noon hour meal.


The projects range from washing windows to demolition to helping people move out of their homes. Some of the projects are planned in advance, while others will be somewhat fluid (no pun intended) based upon the needs that come up.


Please bring clothing that can get dirty and protect you since much of the work will be demolition. Safety glasses, dust masks (N95 or better), and work gloves will be needed. In some of the situations (particularly in the neighborhoods) rubber boots may also be helpful.


The following is a list of items that would be helpful for some or all of you to bring:

  • Garage booms and large dustpans
  • Industrial quality shop vacs (need 4-5)
  • Cordless drills to remove stud screws and fixtures
  • Hammers, flat bars, crow bars for demolition
  • Plumbing equipment (pipe wrench, pipe cutter, etc…)
  • Wheel barrels
  • Portable generators (need 2-4)
  • Extension cables
  • Utility knives (for drywall clean-up)
  • Saws-all cutters for demolition
  • Power washers (may need a few)
  • Floor scrapers

We already have a lot of heavy work equipment on the scene (dump trucks, loaders, fork lifts, etc…) so no additional equipment of this nature will be needed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Flood Clean-up, June 25

Below are some pictures from today’s progress. We will work tomorrow (Thursday) from noon to 8:00 pm but will take Friday off in preparation for our big workday on Saturday. On Thursday we need to focus on opening up the chapel stage as well as doing the demolition on the step areas leading to the baptistery. I believe there are also a few other clean-up projects such as removing the remaining plywood from the worship center stage. On Friday morning I will be posting all the necessary details for our big Saturday workday, so please be sure to check back on Friday.

Parkview Progress

In the last few days most all flooring, fixtures, furniture, interior doors and about ¾ of the drywall and insulation have been removed throughout the facility. We do still have plenty of work leading us into the weekend, so help is still needed every day from noon to 8 pm.

Here are many of the tasks that still remain this week….

  • Finishing removing drywall and insulation in the south wing: Most of this can be done by hand, but in some cases would benefit from a hammer and flat bar.
  • Removing the gymnasium flooring: This will require sharp utility knives to cut the flooring. It is my understanding that this job may also require something along the lines of a large putty knife to separate the flooring adhesive from the concrete.
  • Removing the masonite flooring on the stage gym floor: This will require a flat bar, hammer, and pliers. As the flooring is lifted, it will leave staples about ever 4 inches which will either need to be pulled with a plier or submerged into the floor with a hammer.
  • Remove screws from the wall studs: This will require hand drills with a Phillips head and may require a step stool for those of you who are more vertically challenged.

A wheel barrel will also be needed for most of these tasks. If you don’t have one, don’t worry because there are several already located on site. There are several additional tasks to be done, but the previously listed were what was identified in my walk through with Steve Kohli yesterday late afternoon.

We are still planning on having a major workday on Saturday that will be much more community oriented as we branch out and help our surrounding neighborhoods. I am still working to identify what those tasks may be. I will be posting no later than Friday morning with a list of supplies needed for that work day.

If anyone takes pictures of the progress, be sure to pass them on.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Saturday Work Day

On Saturday, several other churches and a representative from our disaster relief office of the Evangelical Free Church of America will join Parkview for a clean-up day both at the church facility and in our neighborhood. We will start the day around 8:30 am with some brief instructions at the picnic shelter. Since our parking area is still restricted, be sure to car-pool if possible.

If you know of a homeowner in either our neighborhood or in the Parkview Terrace area that would like interior demolition work done, it will require them signing this release form. Please let Lisa Hollan know of any requests ASAP so we can prepare in advance for the various tasks we will be performing that day. Clean-up plans are being mentioned at the Idylwild homeowners association meeting this evening. Pray that they would be receptive to our desire to help make a difference! I hope you can all join us on Saturday!

* Lisa's email is:

Demolition Continues

These pictures are courtesy of Ed Pennington from last night's demolition process. We are making good headway on our building and are hopeful to have a major clean-up thrust that will expand into our neighborhood on Saturday from 8:30 am into the evening. More on that later.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Flood Relief Information

It has been a whirlwind of a week with scores of meetings and numerous projects related to area flooding. On top of this the church staff team is attempting to keep most of our ministry programming operational. I am receiving anywhere from 4-5 contacts a day of churches in our multi-state region ready to send teams and materials to our area. This has been such an encouragement to us and will be a tremendous blessing to our community. The following is information specifically directed toward churches and organizations interested in getting involved in our local flood relief efforts.


We are working as quickly as possible to get our church facility completely opened up by removing all furniture, fixtures, flooring, dry wall and insulation. After looking at the facility this afternoon, with decent participation it appears that the building may be completely opened up for drying in the next two days. Mounds of trash have accumulated in our parking area, but loaders will hopefully remove most of that in the upcoming days and weeks.

Once the church is drying we will have a little less urgency in our schedule, but will still have weeks of work to do including things like power washing parking lots and exterior walls, cleaning up landscaping, etc. Of course, once the building is dry, we will begin the reconstruction process. This may open up opportunities for skilled volunteer labor, but we will also likely involve professional contractors at some level.


Tomorrow I have a meeting with the pastoral organization that is trying to coordinate and align numerous aspects of the flood relief effort. Between that organization and the interaction I am having directly with the city, I am expecting there will be plenty of opportunities for outside groups to come in and make a big difference within our community.

If you are a group interested in coming in to help, please contact my Administrative Assistant, Lisa Hollan (, right away. Over the next two days she will be forming a database of churches and organizations interested in helping. Those of you who have been in contact with me over the last few days will be added to that list.

When contacting Lisa we need to know:
  • When you are expecting to arrive
  • Duration of your stay
  • How many people you will be bringing
  • What kind of work you will be prepared to do
  • What kind of tools and resources you will have at your disposal
  • What kind of needs you will have in terms of food, lodging, etc.
We will do all we can to house volunteers coming, but may have limited resources depending on the overlap of visiting groups. Also, in most cases, we will not be providing on-the-job leaders for your teams, so it would be best for you to have one or more qualified leader(s) who can help direct your team(s) when they are on location throughout the city.


Some churches and organizations have asked about other ways they can help. Here are some of those alternatives:
  • Financial donations to Parkview Church designated “Flood Relief” is one strategic way you can give. The pavilion at our facility has been and will continue to be a staging area for flood relief teams. At this location we are feeding people, providing dust masks, coordinating efforts, tools for labor, etc… Donations to Parkview’s flood relief fund will help subsidize related expenses to this staging area and fund additional expenses incurred by our sandbagging and demolition efforts.
  • Financial donations to the Johnson County United Way are being utilized for the area flood relief efforts. We have been assured that designated funds are being used solely for the purpose of helping those in need due to flooding in our specific area.
  • Clothing donations are being managed by the area Salvation Army. It is my understanding that these donations are being utilized to help the efforts both in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area.
I believe this is all the information I have for now. I will be updating this link or adding new links as information comes in. Please be patient as we are a bit bottlenecked with all that is going on. Also, you can now reach me at my Parkview email address if you have additional questions, though I would recommend contacting Lisa first because she will likely provide a quicker response.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Demolition Begins

This afternoon was our first major day of demolition at the church building. Though this is the beginning of a long process, we made some significant headway thanks to the help of many. Remember that we'll be continuing our clean-up efforts every day from noon to 8:00 pm.

Here's a few pictures from today courtesy of Terry Carlson.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


This post contains important information for Parkview, community, and visiting volunteers who would like to participate in flood clean up efforts over the next weeks and months.


We will be beginning initial clean up efforts tomorrow Sunday, June 21st from noon to 8:00 pm. This work schedule of noon to 8:00 pm will continue every day from Sunday until Parkview’s organized relief efforts are discontinued (or until an amended schedule is released). Every work shift will have an appointed leader who will be overseeing that shifts clean up focus. If you show up during a shift to work, ask anyone working for who is “in charge” and they will direct you to that shifts work coordinator.


Flood clean up is dangerous and dirty work. Because of this, children will NOT be allowed to participate or be allowed on the premises. We also ask those who have health conditions prohibiting them from physically strenuous activities to abstain from participation in the labor intensive aspects of clean up. We recommend that anyone desiring to help be updated in his or her Tetanus vaccination and that all workers wear eye protection, gloves, a mask, and appropriate clothing for demolition of material such as carpets and drywall.

Throughout the daily work shift we will be providing water and food for the workers. We will also be providing some kind of meal during the supper hours. If you are unable to help with the physical labor, help with food preparation and serving is needed. To get involved in this way, please contact the church office at 319-354-5580.


Parkview’s missional goal is to love God, love others and serve the world; consequently, it is our desire to do all we can to restore our facility while also helping others in our community whose homes were damaged by flooding. This means that throughout our clean up efforts we will be mobilizing teams going to local neighborhoods to assist the community-wide clean up efforts.


If you are an outside church group interested in bringing teams to help in the effort, please email me at with specifics regarding how and when you would like to participate.

If you are a Parkview attender, we will need help housing volunteers coming into our area, so please let the church office know how many you would be willing to host.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Iowa River Flood Update 12

Numerous individuals helping coordinate the church on our facility clean-up effort have made great progress in recent days. We are hopeful to have limited access to our facility in the very near future. This will be a key step in us getting the building opened and dried out. We are so thankful for how the local government has worked with us in recent days to get this situation under control. On Sunday we have the privilege of being joined in our services by Iowa City's new City Manager Michael Lombardo. I will be interviewing him on progress with the flood efforts in Iowa City as well as exploring how it is we can get involved in helping our community and officials through action and prayer.

Be sure to be check our website for the latest news. Here's a couple of pics Dan posted earlier today. The water is definitely going down.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Iowa River Flood Update 11

The river is going down! Here are some pics I snagged around 8:30 am this morning. Please pray that we will be given access to the building ASAP. The sooner we can dry out the building, the more we can reduce the risk of dangerous mold growth and serious damage to the building's structural integrity.

For those of you who labored so intensely by filling sandbags, please know that your labor was not in vain. We recently learned that one of the greatest and most costly causes of structural damage in flood situations is a damaged foundation. The sandbagging we did protected the foundation from river current and therefore greatly aided our cause to save our facility.

As of today, our Parkview email is still out of commission. If you know them, you can email staff at their personal email accounts. In recent days the decision was made to move all church staff to our present office location. Consequently, if you need to reach a staff member, just call the office during operating hours at 354-5580.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Iowa River Flood Update 10: A New Home

The church staff is busily working at getting our new office space up and running at 1040 William Street in southeast Iowa City. The ability to use this space in the upcoming months has been a great provision from the Lord. When it’s all said and done our staff will be working on three different floors. Thanks goes to Jim Douglass and Phil Gugliuzza who are feverishly working to get our network and internet access online. Emails are starting to come through (be it sluggishly), but there is a chance emails from the last 5-6 days may be lost forever. Only time will tell on that. If you sent any staff members an email over that time period, please feel free to resend in order to ensure a response.

Here is my new office with an x-ray film panel that provides mood lighting for this doctor's office turned pastor's office.

Here's what you see when you enter the front office door.

This is the front of the building. To get to our main office section go into the center doors and take the first left. Family Ministry staff is upstairs and College Ministry staff and a few of the Worship and Arts crew are in the basement.

Please be sure to check our website for regular updates from numerous media outlets regarding the flooding. I had a meeting today with several evangelical pastors where we met with Iowa City’s City Manager Michael Lombardo. The time was informative and helped us to get a better idea of how we can help our community in the upcoming weeks and months with all the various needs including helping those who are homeless due to flooding and how to help mobilize the massive clean-up efforts that will begin in upcoming weeks and months. More on that in future posts.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Iowa River Flood Update 9: The Church United

Today Parkview Church gathered at West High Auditorium for a very meaningful time of family worship. It was beautiful coming together as a community to worship our God and to experience such great unity grounded in our common purpose. There were tears, hugs, and laughter.

Four weeks ago those of us in the Worship Ministry thought it would be good to introduce the song “I Have a Shelter from the Storm”. Here are the lyrics:
I have a shelter in the storm
When troubles pour upon me
Though fears are rising like a flood
My soul can rest securely
O Jesus, I will hide in You
My place of peace and solace
No trial is deeper than Your love
That comforts all my sorrows

I have a shelter in the storm
When all my sins accuse me
Though justice charges me with guilt
Your grace will not refuse me
O Jesus, I will hide in You
Who bore my condemnation
I find my refuge in Your wounds
For there I find salvation

I have a shelter in the storm
When constant winds would break me
For in my weakness, I have learned
Your strength will not forsake me
O Jesus, I will hide in You
The One who bears my burdens
With faithful hands that cannot fail
You’ll bring me home to heaven
Little did we know that the second week we would sing this song would be days after the tornado decimated the town of Parkersburg, Iowa. As is tradition when we learn a new song we planned to sing it again this weekend long before we knew of the 500 year flood about to hit our community and state. How amazing it was singing these words and realizing that our sovereign God is perfect in His timing. What a great source of truth and encouragement for such a time as this.

Below are a few pictures (thanks Holly) from today’s services followed by a few additional updated pictures of today’s continued flooding.

Here Pastor Jeff is leading in the prayer following his message.

These pictures show us closing our service with the hymn "It Is Well".

These were taken this afternoon at the church. If you look at the basketball hoop and play set you can see that the water has only risen a few more inches since yesterday.

This is a picture below the emergency spillway at the Coralville Reservoir. The water was incredibly violent. The good news is that the reservoir crested today. Though the river is still a few days from its crest, we are anticipating the waters to go down in a matter of days.