Grace United Methodist Church to rededicate sanctuary

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 07/08/97.

The remodeled sanctuary of Grace United Methodist Church.

The long awaited day has arrived for the Grace United Methodist Church congregation which is located at 500 River Street on Highway 23 in Paynesville.

On Sunday, July 13, two special rededication services will be held at 8:30 and 10 a.m. to bless the sanctuary. Pastor Ric Koehn invites the public to attend the special services. Bill Schultz, Paynesville, will perform special music at both services.

From 1 to 4 p.m., an open house will be held with Diane Johnson of Howard Lake playing the new Ahlborn-Galanti digital counsel organ. The new organ operates the pipes in addition to playing 44 different sounds.

During the open house, refreshments will be available in the fellowship hall in the basement.

It has been almost 20 years since the Grace United Methodist Church did any remodeling to their church. At that time, a handicap entrance was added to the building.

On Easter Monday, March 31, work began on remodeling of the sanctuary at the Grace United Methodist Church. As with most remodeling projects, items had to be moved out before the real work could begin. On Sunday afternoon and evening, March 30, several members of the congregation gathered to loosen all the screws holding the church pews in place. On Monday, once the pews, organ, piano and pipes from the organ were removed, the dirty work could begin.

Contractors removed all the old plaster from the walls in the sanctuary and eliminated the two rooms which flanked the altar/choir loft area. The church was rewired, insulated, and the various mechanical systems were updated.

With anticipation, church members watched weekly as the work went from demolition of the sanctuary as they knew it, to the reconstruction and finished product.

During the remodeling project, the congregation held worship services in the fellowship hall in the basement.

As part of the construction, new light fixtures were ordered. The center light contains 15 light bulbs ranging from 100 to 500 watts and weighs between 75 and 100 pounds. Five of the larger lights are installed on a hoist system so the lights can be raised and lowered as needed.

The floor now consists of more than 500 square yards of carpet.
A new Ahlborn-Galanti digital organ was purchased and the old pipes were refurbished to fit the new front design of the sanctuary.

The narthex will also have a new look. A fake wall will house two stained glass windows which were discovered hidden in the attic. Harold Easterday is in the process of making a stained glass cross which will be located between the two windows.

Many hours of work and planning went into the remodeling project. The church trustees held many meetings to iron out problems. Trustees are: Gary Herzberg, Gary Haglund, Marge Hartmann, Warren Nehring, Roxanne Bergstrom, Betty Boehl, Dwight Putzke, Wayne Kahle, and Doug Stade.

The trustees wish to thank everybody who helped make the project possible and to the congregation for their patience.

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