MELROSE -- It's been nearly 6 months since a devastating fire destroyed part of St. Mary's Church in Melrose and now the community is starting to pick up the pieces.

The St. Mary's Steering Committee along with church officials are hosting a set of three meetings to figure out what should be done to the church. The community is invited to all three meetings.

The big question is should the church be restored to resemble the original church or be made into a more modern church.

Committee chair, Rick Klaphake says the church asked the committee to hire a consultant to help the process move forward.

"We've hired a liturgical consultant, we have a lot of different opinions at this point with the church as far as restoring, remodeling, tearing down and building new."

Klaphake says the consultant will help lead each meeting. Tonight's meeting focused on identifying the needs of those within the community, the values of the those who attend the church and obtaining the treasures that were once inside the church.

The consultant will gather the information from tonight's meeting and use it to form a discussion at the second meeting which will be hosted on Sept. 14. On the final meeting (scheduled for Sept. 27) the consultant will review, summarize comments and let both the committee and church officials know what the community's thoughts are on the future of St. Mary's Church.

Klaphake says from that point it is up to the church to decide.

"From there we as the steering committee, which is only preparing, gathering and collecting, and presenting ideas to the parishioners, from there it will be the parishioners choice, not the steering committee. The steering committee does not decide what to do."

All meetings will be held at the American Legion in Melrose.

St. Mary's Church caught on fire on March 11, investigators believe the cause of the blaze was arson. The investigation is still active, anyone with information is urged to call the Minnesota Arson Hotline 800-723-2020.