Church: Dorchester Salem United Methodist (May 31, 2009)

Contact: Robert Lipprandt


Surnames: Aden, Aldinger, Arndt, Aspeslet, Baker, Batten, Blair, Bocken, Boehm, Braun, Breitrick, Bunkelman, Butor, Cochran, Dozer, Edblom, Edwards, Erickson, Faulkner, Ingersoll, Jensen, Kolander, Lietzow Linaberry-Charis, Mayer, Mehner, Oehler, Pickreign, Pierce, Reckner, Romang, Roundy, Ryan, Schief, Schoenfuss, Schultz, Skerbeck, Sorenson, Wigstadt, Vieth, Voss, Zajicek, Zimmerman    

----Source: The Tribune Phonograph (Abbotsford, Clark Co., WI), Wednesday, June 10, 2009, Online Edition 

Over 90 gather for Salem United Methodist homecoming 

On Sunday, May 31, was especially meaningful to current and former members of the Salem United Methodist Church in Dorchester, Wis. Over 90 people renewed old friendships that have been separated by miles and years and worshipped in a building erected in 1883. The church holds special memories and for many marked the beginning of their faith journey. 

Under the leadership of Rev. William Kolander, the Salem Evangelical congregation was organized in 1882 at a meeting held in a log schoolhouse one block east of the site where the present church now stands for the "promotion of the Protestant witness among the German-speaking residents of the community." The congregation was part of the Marshfield mission and services were held in the schoolhouse until the present church building was erected in 1883.  

In 1946 a merger of the Evangelical Association and the United Brethren in Christ Churches was consummated on a world-wide basis, creating the Evangelical United Brethren Church. In 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren Church united with the Methodist Church, and the church became the Salem United Methodist Church. Through the years, this "little white church" has been part of a two- or three-point charge. In 1988 a joint venture and partnership was entered into with the United Methodist Church of Medford, creating what is known now as the Medford Charge for the two churches, Medford and Dorchester, Wis. 

Since March, through the encouragement of interim Pastor Clem Dozer, who served the church from 1977-82, the now 24-member congregation prepared for a "homecoming" to celebrate the people, heritage, and mission of this small church. Members embraced a remodeling project beginning with the refurbishing of the entryway of the church, an addition that was made in 1973. The leaking roof above the steeple was repaired, providing the opportunity to remove ceiling panels and paneling, replacing these with drywall, and adding a memorial book/display case, installing new windows and lighting and replacing carpeting. In addition, the basement was completely repainted, kitchen cabinets repaired, and restrooms redecorated. 

Parishioner Connie Braun, who helped organize the event, said the church plans on installing new carpet and windows this month and will be addressing handicap-accessibility issues next. 

Those attending Sunday’s homecoming celebration returned to a revitalized church congregation and building. The day’s activities began with a catered fellowship luncheon at 12 noon, followed by a special worship service where participants shared memories of their experiences as part of the church, gave thanks for those who laid the faith foundation that has continued through the years, and contemplated the dreams for the future of this congregation. 

Former pastors, Rev. Terry Erickson and Rev. Robert Linaberry-Charis, were in attendance and took part in the worship service. 

Locals attending the celebration included: Wayne Schultz from Curtiss; Eddie and Arla-Mae Voss from Colby; Don and Jean (Edwards) Romang, Jim and Carol Bunkelman, Bruce and Mary Faulkner and family from Athens; Lori and Jim Aldinger and family, Dr. Perry and Karen (Zimmerman) Arndt, Jim and Marge Blair, Wendy Bocken, Donna Cochran, Alvin Edblom, Rev. Terry and Darlene Erickson, Corliss Jensen, Steve and Eunice Mayer, Jill (Edwards) Pickreign, Barb Schief from Medford; Connie and Stanton Braun, Michael Breitrick, and Michael Schoenfuss from Abbotsford; Calvin Breitrick, Bob and Diane Braun, Craig Butor, Brian and Samantha Ingersoll and family, Dean and Carol Lietzow and family, Deloris Lietzow, Ernest and Shirley Mehner, Dan and Donna Wigstadt, Adam Wigstadt, and Zim Zajicek from Dorchester, Wis. 

Others attending were: Wayne Butor from Eagan, Minn.; Debbie (Vieth) Skerbeck and Ethel Vieth from Escanaba, Mich.; James Sorenson from Lake Linden, Mich.; Rev. Bob and Bonnie Linaberry-Charis from Duluth, Minn.; Alice and Tom Roundy from Baraboo; Jim and Gloria Pierce from Merrimac; Bert and Karen Lietzow from Montello; Gaylin and Cathy Edwards from Stoughton; Judy (Edwards) and Randy Boehm from Wisconsin Rapids; Kate Lietzow from Stevens Point; Calvin Lietzow from Madison; Tim and Alice (Aden) Aspeslet and Harold and Margaret Oehler from Mosinee; Sharie (Oehler) Baker, Matthew and Kelly Mehner, Drew Lietzow, and Patricia Ryan from Wausau; Andrea Mehner from Tomahawk; Bill and Geri Batten, Ken and Paulette (Zimmerman) Reckner, David Zimmerman and friend Dick from Marshfield; and Dr. Clem and Dorothy Dozer from Irma.  



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