Ron Klopfanstein

A gathering for food, fellowship brings life to Lowell Church

Published Oct 10, 2018 at 4:00pm

Alan Chrysler, who is retired from both the Air Force, the Navy, and Revere Copper, traveled all the way from Taberg just for a spaghetti dinner at the Lowell United Methodist Church. He’s an old friend of Rev. Fred Bailey, who used to be the pastor at his church in Lee Center.

“We know half the people here,” Alan said. “The food is always good.”

On Saturday, the church was filled with friends and family who all gathered for food, fellowship and to support a good cause.

“This rug is here for a reason,” Anne-Louise Bailey gestured toward the corner of the fellowship hall.

That reason is that floor of the fellowship hall has been sinking and the parishioners are working hard to fix it.  

Nobody has done more than Kyle Eychner, who has braved the dark recesses of the crawlspace (and all the creepy crawly things that might be under there) to temporarily prop the floor with jacks.

“It’s not fun,” Kyle said. “But this is where my heart is. Any inspiration I have to do something good I give God credit for. He put it in my heart.”

“Kyle has done his best to prop up the floor,” Anne-Louise said to the gathering.

More needs to be done. So the church has set up a GoFundMe page for people to contribute:

“We are a little congregation,” Anne-Louise Bailey explained. “We need fundraisers for this and other repairs.”

Despite the challenge of being a small congregation, Lowell Methodist Church filled to bursting with laughter and good spirits. Tables were decorated with Halloween tablecloths, each with a fall-themed centerpiece, there was lots of food and plenty of entertainment.

Award winning author, Dan Szczesny was reading from one of his books of travel memoirs when sisters Skyler and Georgia Gilboy, age nine and ten, arrived dressed in pink and purple outfits with sequins and sparkles.

“The Princesses have arrived!” Dan announced from the stage.

Their four-year-old brother Sheldon arrived with them and it wasn’t long until he and the princesses were on stage singing and dancing to “This Little Light of Mine” performed by local musician, Donna Muck.

“I want to stay up here!” Sheldon declared once the song was over, so he joined Dan in performing the poem, “The Mountain and the Squirrel” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

“Talents differ; all is well and wisely put,” Dan read while Sheldon stood on a chair next to him and basking in the attention from the forty or so people in attendance.

“I love this little church,” Kyle’s sister, Pam Dence, “This is the church where I came to know Jesus.”

For the Eychner’s involvement in the church goes back generations. Kyle and Pam’s grandparents, Lyle and Louella Eychner were married in the church.

“You need churches like this,” Pam emphasized. “You need that foundation.”

After the desserts were served and the guests departed. Deanne Grube was helping clean up in the kitchen.

“It’s a lot of work,” she observed. “But it’s fun. Lots of good fellowship.”

“I love coming to this little church,” Donna Muck said as she packed up her instruments. “I’m always blessed by this place. You can feel the spirit whenever you’re here.”

“Everyone at our church is determined to keep it going to be a force for good in the world. We take seriously the commandments Jesus gave to love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself,” Anne-Louse said. “But, if we don’t repair our church we can’t continue our missions and grow spiritually ourselves. We are also the only public building in Lowell so want to be open to members of our community gathering for various activities.”

“It came off really well,” Lay Pastor Wendy Grosjean decided. “For our first spaghetti dinner it was a success. I believe everybody had a good time. They were all pleased with the food.”

As Dan Szczesny finished autographing the last of his books he said, “I call these things ‘pot luck events,’ they are universally the best events. People are really engaged. It’s like a family coming together in a big living room. You walk away and have a dozen new friends.”

At the Lowell United Methodist Church, you can really feel that. Services are every Sunday at 9:30 a.m., they can be found on Facebook by searching for Lowell United Methodist Church in Lowell, you can call Pastor Bailey at 315-430-2256, or email

“We are all living in the moment,” Rev. Fred Baily said. “And we are living in the presence of the Lord and his people.”

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