Lake Fellowship has been an active lay lead congregation since 1960. Early on, members met in typical rental places: schools, lodge rooms, and the town hall. In 1968, the gas company built and exhibited an all gas home at the Minnesota State Fair. At the end of the Fair’s run, the building was to be auctioned off. One of the members had the winning bid that came with the condition that it must be moved within two weeks. The congregation quickly raised the money needed to buy and move the building, purchase the property (which was deeded to the Fellowship), and build the basement foundation.
The building was moved and nestled into the edge of the woods that were on the property.. Over the years, updates and maintenance have been undertaken on the A-frame. A large deck overlooking the woods has been added and renovated, the kitchen updated, the parking lot was asphalted and maintenance matters, both large and small, are taken care of as they arise. The connection to the Gideon Glen project by the city of Shorewood was quite a project to coordinate as the conservancy abuts the property. This has all been funded entirely by the generosity and hard work of our members.
When the loan became due in 1979, the members again rallied. In one day, enough members accepted debentures in return for putting up money to pay off the loan. These debentures have since been paid off in full and the Fellowship A-frame and land are now debt and tax free. The property is maintained solely by the contributions of members. The Fellowship is affiliated with and help support the Prairie Star District of UU and also the Unitarian Universalist National Organization.
The Sunday programs at the Fellowship continue to be varied and inspirational, which is a true benefit of being lay-led and also is a challenging labor of individuals and the group as a whole. Members have made presentations and led discussions on all manner of interesting and controversial topics. We continue to cherish our traditions of lively open discussion and a light lunch after programs.
When the Fellowship undertook the responsibility of creating a home for the congregation in a permanent building there was a strong resolve that it should be made available for community use, not to stand idle during the week. In the course of 57 years, it has been used for AA meetings, political caucuses, peace groups, pottery sales, seminars, private parties and Fellowship hosted garage sales and now Fine Art shows can be added to the list.