REED CITY — Within the next three years, members and officials of Trinity Lutheran Church and School are hoping to raise enough money to expand the building to better support its congregation, students and community.

"The goal of the Light of the World campaign is to further unite the church with the school and continue Christian education in the Reed City area," said Trinity Lutheran Interim Principal Connie Jonsson. "What we're looking for is to build people up and get the information to the people about what we could do."

The current two structures, located on U.S. 10, are about 10 years old and feature a sanctuary, a narthex used for school activities and lunches, a few rooms designated for classrooms and offices that only are used for classrooms. For sports, the school uses their former gymnasium located at New Beginnings Fellowship Church, formerly Trinity Lutheran Church and School.

"We really need some space," Jonsson added. "We're cramped and we're using every possible space here. The staff have been more than willing to adjust to keep everything going."

Although there are three tentative plans ranging from $2.4 to $4 million which can add up to about 27,500 square feet, the church and campaign officials will decide which additional features they need most at the end of the campaign in 2018 after reviewing its allocated funds. Additions of classrooms, a parish hall, gymnasium, kitchen, cafeteria and more have been areas of discussion, and each is subject to further refinement.

"Everything depends on how much money will be raised," said Lori Pruitt, community director for the campaign.

She said fundraising is already underway, with plans for an auction later this month, grant application submissions, campaign pledges from church members, one-time gifts from local organizations, businesses and individuals, matching gift programs and the Thrivent Financial Choice Program. More ideas are flooding in from church members as well, Pruitt added.

The church's ability to outreach will increase due to the expansion as well. Jonsson and Pruitt believe the extra space can provide areas for bible classes, meetings, care ministries, community and organization events, dinners and more. Also, it could provide an incentive for more families to enroll their child at the school.

"I think a Christian education is so important and worth every penny," Pruitt said. "I hope the ministry we've had for so long continues and we hope to stimulate the community to want a Christian education."

Jonsson said the Trinity congregation is looking forward to the potential the project is giving the church and school as a whole, and are praying it proceeds in a positive direction.

"We're really excited about this project," she added. "God blessed us when He gave us our church and I can't imagine Him turning us down with something like this for all of these children."

To keep updated on the expansion project, find Trinity Lutheran Church and School on Facebook and on YouTube. Donations can be directed to the church by calling (231) 832-5186.