Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The faith of my forefathers September 12, 2014

A view of Immanuel from the church balcony. The pews, the chancel furnishings and the stained glass windows from the old church were incorporated into the new church.

A view of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Courtland, from the balcony. The pews, the chancel furnishings and the stained glass windows from the old church were incorporated into the new sanctuary. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

I love to tell the story,
’twill be my theme in glory,
to tell the old, old story
of Jesus and his love.

Katherine Hankey

IT SEEMED A FITTING HYMN sung by the Men’s Choir during a recent Sunday morning worship service at Immanuel Lutheran Church, rural Courtland, Minnesota.

Male voices blended in perfect harmony, a soothing symphony of the aged song that transcends time, a hymn as powerful today as it was for past generations.

Karl Jr. and Anna Bode, their nine children and a daughter-in-law. That's by grandpa, Lawrence (originally spelled Lorenz) in the front row in the white dress.

Karl Jr. and Anna Bode, their nine children and a daughter-in-law. That’s my grandpa, Lawrence (originally spelled Lorenz), in the second row in the glasses.

And the past prevailed on this Sunday, a day set aside for a reunion of the descendants of Karl Johann Bode, Jr. and his wife, Anna (Dallman).

The Karl Jr. and Anna Bode siblings, including my grandfather, Lawrence, right front.

An old photo of the Karl Jr. and Anna Bode siblings, including my grandfather, Lawrence, right front.

My husband and I were there, representing my mom and our siblings—the daughter and grandchildren of Lawrence and Josephine Bode.

A historical sign outside of Immanuel Lutheran Church, east of Courtland, Minnesota.

A historical sign outside of Immanuel Lutheran Church, east of Courtland, Minnesota.

Fitting Scripture read:

Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.

Deuteronomy 32:7

Beautiful aged stained glass windows highlight the sanctuary.

Beautiful aged stained glass windows highlight the sanctuary.

My Bode forefathers left a strong legacy of faith, evident in this very church they helped found in 1859 after moving from Illinois to Minnesota. Stained glass windows from the old church have been incorporated into the new, a visual connecting today’s generation to those before them.

The symbolic bouquet.

The symbolic bouquet.

Red roses in a stunning altar bouquet honored my great grandparents. Nine yellow roses represented each of their children, Herman, Alma, Otto, Paul, Emil, George, Lawrence, Carl and Ervel.

The Bode cousins pose for a photo at the reunion.

The Bode first cousins pose for a photo at the reunion.

I am proud to be a part of the Bode family, a family still firmly standing upon a foundation of faith.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Advertisements
 

8 Responses to “The faith of my forefathers”

  1. hotlyspiced Says:

    What a precious photo of your grandfather. And nine children? I know that was common back then but I don’t know how they did it. How lovely to have had this reunion xx

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    Love the old pictures and the recent ones as well. There is nothing like family, is there?

  3. ljhlaura Says:

    Wonderful pictures. And thanks for the verse from Deuteronomy. It may go on my family history blog.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s