Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Preserving the past at Immanuel, Courtland, MN. August 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:44 AM
A view of Immanuel from the church balcony.

A view of Immanuel from the church balcony.

If I had to choose between worshipping in a modern church building or in a sanctuary that has been around for years, I would typically opt for the vintage. I appreciate the architecture, the artisanship, the craftsmanship and the sense of reverence that abide in the church buildings of yesteryear.

But sometimes, just sometimes, when a congregation constructs a new house of worship, they get it right, as did Immanuel Lutheran Church of rural Courtland.

When the new church was built several years ago, stained glass windows, pews, the altar, even the 100-plus-year-old pipe organ and more from the old church were incorporated into the new structure.

The result is a stunning reflection of the congregation’s past.

My forefathers, the Bode family, who helped found Immanuel 150 years ago, would be pleased with the forethought that went into planning this more functional, yet historically beautiful, church.

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The Good Shepherd stained glass window at the front of the church.

The Good Shepherd stained glass window at the front of the church.

A side stained glass window features grain, reflecting the congregation's agricultural heritage.

A side stained glass window features grain, reflecting the congregation's agricultural heritage.

Another window shows Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Another window shows Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.

A commemorative plate shows the old and new Immanuel churches and celebrates the congregation's 150th anniversary.

A commemorative plate shows the old and new Immanuel churches and celebrates the congregation's 150th anniversary.

A close-up of pipes in the 114-year-old pipe organ, played today by a member of the Bode family at Immanuel.

A close-up of pipes in the 114-year-old pipe organ, played today by a member of the Bode family at Immanuel.

A majestic vintage pipe organ graces Immanuel's balcony.

A majestic vintage pipe organ graces Immanuel's balcony.

A rear photo shot of Immanuel, looking up to the balcony and toward the spacious fellowship hall.

A rear photo shot of Immanuel, looking up to the balcony and toward the spacious fellowship hall.

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