In 1981 Allan Vrieze was appointed. Al had grown up in the area just west of Chatfield so this was a little different appointment as pastors usually do not receive appointments so close to home. During this time Chatfield, Eyota and St. Charles-Dover were doing pulpit exchanges on a Sunday morning once in a while. Also during this time a couple of “Mission Trips” were done with a men’s group going to Arkansas in 1986 and a Youth group to McCurdy. It was also in 1981 that Chatfield UMC celebrated its 125th Anniversary on October 25, 1981. The morning service had special music from the Siegel Family and senior choir. A delicious potluck dinner was held at noon and a special program at 2:00 pm was led by Pastor Vrieze and narrated by Marilyn Denny.ÂFifty-year members were recognized with corsages and honors. Special music was presented by Bobbie Kehret and Betty Thomas and the adult choir. A special coffee hour was held after the program.
On November 22, 1987 there was a Celebration of Dedication of the Chatfield UM Church building. You do a dedication once the building is paid for so it only took eleven years to pay off the note and it was time to celebrate!!Â By this time the suspended ceiling in the Fellowship Hall had been installed and carpet was on the floor making the Fellowship Hall a quieter place for all the activities to occur including Sunday School.
It was during this time that the “Three Rivers Parish” was formed which included Chatfield, Eyota and St. Charles-Dover. The Three Rivers Parish had some notable things happen: A Senior High work camp to McCurdy School in New Mexico, parish wide picnics, a Lenten Prayer Breakfast led by a Roman Catholic sister, an Easter Music Festival with combined choirs, pulpit exchanges, and a parish wide church Conference (1985) with agenda to celebrate the local ministries of all churches of the parish. The Three Rivers Parish consisted of a ‘Parish Council’ which was three lay representatives of each member church along with the clergy. They met quarterly to plan programs and various parish events. Three Rivers Parish is living proof that larger parishes offer opportunities for several churches in a reasonable geographical area to do many things together which may not be possible when churches try to go it alone.
In 1988 Ken Rogers came to the parish as pastor and would remain here until 1996. Some of the highlights of Ken’s tenure with the church will be in next month’s newsletter.
So for this ten year period only two pastors were appointed: