A Small Investment, A Big Idea

VOLIN — Faith United Lutheran Church has taken its latest fundraising idea from the Bible.

Committee members were given just $20 to invest in the church. The goal was to turn the $20 into a bigger lump sum, which is based on a parable in the Bible.

One of the ideas was to put on a parade of homes in the Volin area, and now that idea is a reality.

This Sunday, Faith United Lutheran will put on a tour of homes and it will include four other houses in the area along with the church, which was put on the National Register of Historical Places in 1980.

The tour will start at the church at 1 p.m. and it will go until 4:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served at the church and tickets can only be purchased on the day of the event.

Part of the money that will be raised will go into the church's general funds.

"It will cover regular expenses, and the big idea is to have it help out the children," said committee member Kathleen Gorsett. "We have WOW Wednesdays for child in the community three and up."

The Rev. Velma Larson said WOW Wednesdays has been a popular program for the church.

"We usually have 40 or more kids, and some have no main church they go to, but they come here to learn and celebrate," she said. "They ask if they can bring a friend, of course I say yes."

The other portion will go to the church's scholarship that was started in 1997. The scholarship is a one-time $250 payment for students in the congregation who maintain a 2.0 grade point average and are going on to continue their education.

The church was founded in 1872, and it was rebuilt after a fire in 1915.

Now, Faith United Lutheran has 200 baptized members, and Larson said a lot of new members have joined during the past few years.

"I always say, we are all a bunch of sinners, so if you are a sinner, you will fit in well here," she said with a laugh. "The church has changed with the community. It's a family that represents a community of faith."

One of the features of the church is the butterfly garden in the front of the church that is maintained by Karen Habeck during the summer.

"It was designed to bring the beautiful creatures God has made that bring joy to us," Larson said. "It's pretty cool, I think."

Another feature of the church are the stain glass windows. About six years ago, Faith United received a generous donation from a former member who moved away to help fix the windows.

In 2004, the big window was replaced in the back of the church, and in 2005, two smaller windows were fixed. But the church still needs to replace one big window and five smaller ones.

"We are going to have to wait to replace the rest until the economy improves," Gorsett said.

The other stops on the tour include the home of Chauncey and Carla Christensen, who built their dream house in 1997. It has a 2,600-square-foot layout.

Norman DeJong's house will also be on the tour. The home was built in 1890 and has been in the DeJong family since 1940. The house has the original wainscoting that lines the interior of the four-season sun porch.

Orvin and Marie Oien will open up their house for the tour. One of the attractions is Orvin's restored 90-year-old gas pump by his garage.

The last stop is the home of Bill and Robin Huether built in the 1920s. The house features original woodwork, original hardware, leaded-glass bookcases and rich wooden colonnades.

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