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Plainview-Elgin youth help renovate Lenora house

Fri, Jun 25th, 2010
Posted in Faith & Worship

Recently, some of the youth from Peace United Methodist Church (Plainview-Elgin, MN) came and spent several days at Lenora, Minnesota, doing clean-up, demolition and preparation on a retreat, meeting and fellowship house for the historic Lenora United Methodist Church built in 1856. The youth gathered at the site of the old church and went next door to a small, humble and very-much-in-need-of-repair house that the church has leased for church mission and ministry. The Reverend Deanna Woodward, pastor of Peace United Methodist Church thought that a local mission project would be very appropriate this year.

Instead of traveling many, many miles and investing money in transportation costs, the group of about a dozen youth and their leaders spent three days working at Lenora stripping, gutting and pealing multiple layers of wall paper from the old house. One young man enjoyed hooking a log chain behind a Chevy Suburban to pull out over-grown bushes! The youth enjoyed knocking down an abandoned and precarious chimney that was about to fall and tearing down a bathroom with a rotting foundation. The youth also pulled up multiple layers of linoleum from the kitchen and livingroom floors. Mr. Tony Severson of Preston, who delivered the dumpster, reported that roughly 2.5 tons of demolition waste went to the Fillmore County transfer Station from the house.

In the future, the leadership team overseeing the preservation and care of the old Lenora Church hopes to make continued use of the house for meetings, restroom facilities, small retreats, special events and possibly small receptions, etc. The house, when fixed-up, has potential that could enhance the historic church and historic site.

The youth and leadership of Peace United Methodist Church (Plainview-Elgin) are to be commended for this creative, innovative and effective mission project. The youth and adults from Peace UMC did not have to travel very far to have a great mission trip experience. During the church's mission trip, the group stayed at the Eagle Bluff Environmental Center near Lanesboro and also enjoyed touring and experiencing historic Forestville State Park, Mystery Cave and feasted on some mouth-watering pizza in Spring Valley! Mr. John Johnson, one of the youth leaders, salvaged an old, tube-type stereo that he might try to restore as it still played music on one FM radio station. Pastor Deanna Woodward was very pleased with how effective the group was in making a positive difference for good in Lenora. The Plainview-Elgin group did an excellent job in beginning the repair project at the small house in Lenora. It is hoped that other local churches and or groups would be interested in helping out with various projects that will come about as the small, Lenora House is worked on in days to come.

Already, donations of money and building materials are needed. Materials like: carpet/floor covering, wood paneling, windows, exterior doors, deck material, woodstove, electric heaters, exterior siding, plumbing and wiring, etc. could be very helpful. Financial donations should be made out to: Lenora United Methodist Church and mailed to the treasurer Ms. Diana Fitch at P.O. Box 415 Mabel, Minnesota 55954. For information about donating time, labor and materials please get in touch with Pastor Mark Woodward at P.O. Box 10, Eyota, Minnesota, 55934 or contact the Fillmore County History Center in Fountain, MN.

In time, it is hoped that the small, humble house adjacent to the historic Lenora United Methodist Church can become an inviting and useable place for people to gather for fellowship and other special events associated with the old church. The Leadership Team will take one step at a time and will have faith in God and will count on the help and support of people in caring for and enhancing this historic site in Fillmore County all to the glory of God. It should be noted that the old church was re-shingled this spring. It is really a beautiful and spiritual historic site that has much significant potential for people today and for future generations.

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