Spiritual Menomonie

Spiritual Menomonie

Walking around town and visiting the different churches in town was a unique experience. Menomonie reminds me of my hometown of Marshall in the sense that there are a large variety of churches. Residents of Menomonie have a variety of churches and religions to choose from.

Many of the churches find ways to help the community. Most of the churches have ministries here at Stout. To be a little more specific, the Jesus Fellowship church has a coffee shop that has volunteer workers, and the proceeds from the shop go to church events. The church of the Nazarene gives clothes to people in need.

My personal favorite church was the St. Joseph Catholic Church. The main entrance had beautiful stained glass that told stories from the bible. The interior was designed to without an obstructed view of the Alter. All in all, the churches were beautiful.

–  Curtis L.

Menomonie is a beautiful small town in Wisconsin.  It’s full of nice locals, studying college kids and also some of the most gorgeous churches.  Every church has its own unique appeal from a coffee shop to lovely organs, but the most spectacular of the churches is St. Joseph. 

When you view St. Joseph from the outside it comes off as an odd shaped, very bland building.  However upon entry you truly come to understand the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  The interior of St. Joseph is stunning.  The inner windows run high with stained glass art work, the walls have paintings depicting the bible in chronological order and audience appealing seating.

The members come off as very friendly and open.  If ever in Menomonie and looking for a nice church with spectacular art I strongly suggest visiting St. Joseph.

– Alex M.

  Throughout Menomonie there are many different churches of multiple different denominations. My group visited a handful of these churches and from the ones we went to it obvious that they all contribute to the community through various methods. Whether it is providing shelter for the homeless, free meals and clothing for those in need, services throughout the week and fellowship within their congregations, the churches are able to reach out to the community to create relationships and give support. For example, the Nazarene Church we visited set up a system where members of their church and people around the area are able to donate clothing they no longer need for the church to then give away for free. The church has members waiting inside to greet those who come in and welcome them into their congregation.

I can see myself attending many of the churches I visited on the trip to not only further my religious views but to also get to know the people in the community. Because there are so many churches many of the people in Menomonie attend them. These churches are places for me to introduce myself to those around me and start gaining a sense of familiarity with Menomonie and its members.

Overall, Menomonie has a wonderful number of churches which provide people with an opportunity for building relationships and getting involved. The churches allow for community members to share similar experiences, become acquainted with something they maybe otherwise wouldn’t get involved in, and to discover something new.

-Megan M.

Menomonie seems like a nice place.  However, in my opinion, there are too many churches in comparison to the population.  Yet, for the first time in my life, I find myself appreciating this.  In addition, for most of the churches we visited, I found myself actually interested rather than cynical.  Mind you, I was still cynical about some projects, such as missions to other areas to “spread Jesus’ gospel.”  But there were other, for more helpful projects, such as clothes donation.  Another church had a (very) small garden, and some artwork made by a Stout student.  After seeing all this, I realize that many of these people actually care.  I may even attend a Sunday prayer just to see if it helps out in stressful times.  Either way, it was an eye-opening experience; one that will help me in years to come.

-Daniel M.

     I come from a town of about 2,000 people. Menomonie is larger than that. Still, I can see the similarities between the two towns. Even though Spencer has less than 2,000 people; we have five different churches. Each of them has a different denomination. That same diversity is reflected in Menomonie. Just within a few blocks we had the chance to explore a large number of churches. Some of them were traditional while others were more modern. The buildings that housed them also reflected this theme. Some of the buildings dated back to the 1800’s, while others were just a few decades old. Some had schools attached while one even had a coffee house. Some stood simply in the shadow of other’s stained glass windows that told stories from The Bible. There was such a wide variety in everything about them. Even though these churches had so many differences, they seemed to have one common thing tying them together. All the places we visited had their own ways of connecting with the community. Everything from food drives to helping rehabilitated convicts was being done. It goes to show that nothing is too small when it comes to helping people. Overall, the places we visited were very welcoming and excited to share with us the history and purpose of their churches with us.

-Abigail K.

Every church has something else to offer, just like every member in a community. Having many churches rather than a few creates a more welcoming and diverse atmosphere. People are able to feel like they have more of a choice when it comes to something as important as faith.

I haven’t gone to a church service in many years; however, I see myself possibly joining a church here in Menomonie. That would be a fantastic way to feel more at home and apart of this community as a whole.

In my hometown, St. Michael, MN, we have two churches. One Lutheran and one Catholic. My town’s background is primarily catholic. Our town is very welcoming an has a great sense of community. It may all be due to the fact that the town shares the same faith, but nevertheless, whether a town has only two churches, or over twenty-five, community is just that—community. In the end, the people make the town.

-Jessica L.

I was a part of the spiritual Menomonie group.  We explored churches in the area and found out about the history of the church if we could find someone to talk to. My partner and I visited four churches and only two were unlocked but in the first church (First Congressional United Church of Christ) we couldn’t find anyone to talk to.  We still looked around though and it was really beautiful and traditional.  Everything was original; it still had all its original windows and doors.  All the door knobs and hinges were metal with symbols and designs on them.  The second church we went to that was open was the Jesus Fellowship of the Believers.  We met a woman named Becky, and she has been involved in the fellowship for 16 years.  She told us about their ties in the community.  Their first pastor ran a local coffee shop/ bakery and eventually bought them the building.  It was too hard for him to run both the church and his shop so he moved it into the basement of the church.  Since they started their fellowship they built a church and a school in the Philippines, their congregation gives donations to help them pay for school.  They have a student organization that is a part of Stout, they hold discussions in the MSC.  Lastly, they help inmates and drug addicts. They help them deal with their addiction and give them free housing until they find a job, which they assist them in finding. Through my tour today I realized just how involved churches are in their community and how much they help people in need.

-Zoe L.

 Today I explored Spiritual Menomonie with my group for the City as a Text activity. Together we explored four churches: St. Joseph’s Parish- a catholic church, Our Savior Lutheran, St. Paul’s Lutheran, and Jesus’ Fellowship of Believers- a non-denominational church. These churches all contribute to Menomonie’s community by providing multiple worship services and various campus ministries. These church services and campus organizations often provide comfort to students who have left their home congregations, or are looking to join new ones. Jesus’ Fellowship of Believers puts on a program called Street Level Ministry. They also run a small coffee shop in the basement of their building, and have a radio station on channel 101.7. These churches’ congregations are made up of many long-time, multiple generation members, as well as many new comers (many of which are Stout students).

I plan to attend worship services at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 10:30 on Sundays, because I grew up going to a Wels Lutheran Church. I may also join one of the other Christian campus ministries.

There are many places around Menomonie that provide opportunities for students here to grow spiritually. There’s really something for everyone.

-Erin L.

My group visited several churches and religious groups as we walked around Menomonie. Many of the buildings were beautiful, both inside and out. From gorgeous stained glass to artwork created by Stout students, each building felt like a miniature gallery. However, what was truly beautiful was the effort the religious groups make to improve our community. For example, the Jesus Fellowship of Believers is an open community made of mostly students. They are involved both in and out of the Menomonie area. They do work to help inmates and drug addicts in Dunn County area, as well as building churches and a school in the Philippines. Overall, the religious communities contribute positively to the Menomonie area.

-Brenna L.

The churches that I visited while touring “Spiritual Menomonie” contribute to the community of Menomonie in a variety of ways. Each church had a unique way of reaching out to the community. The church members that I met were eager to invite new faces into, not only the church, but the outreach programs and activities as well.

The first church I visited was the First Church of the Nazarene. They provided an inclusive, small town feeling. The first Wednesday and Saturday of every month they have an organized shop in the church basement where they give away clothes. They have a variety of outfits that have all been donated and are completely free for anyone that wants to take them.

Next, I visited the St. Paul Lutheran Church. They offer Sunday School classes for the entire family. They also provide classes and services at different times of the day to provide for peoples differing schedules. They have a campus ministry at Stout and provide potlucks in the park.

The last church I went to was St. Joseph Catholic Church. They have a school across the street as well. On September 14and 15 they are hosting a Fall Festival as a part of their community outreach. The church offers free meals on Tuesday for anyone that wants to come. In the winter, they house the homeless in the church basement.

Each of these churches welcomed me without hesitation. They provide food, clothing, and shelter not only for those in need, but also for people that want to have fellowship with one another. While I attend Stout, I hope to participate in the various activities that these churches sponsor.

Being involved in “Spiritual Menomonie” will provide me with a chance to network with people and participate in the community itself. I want to help others by preparing food for potlucks, playing piano, and singing in the choir.  Church will also provide me with the chance to relax and take a break from the stress of school work.

-Maria L.

Along with numerous other churches in the Menomonie area, the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church is beneficial to the surrounding community.  Being a church, it provides a safe place for people of faith to gather with one another and support each other in their beliefs. However, it also reaches out into the community to help individuals of the surrounding area as well as those on the Stout campus with community ministries including such things as community puppet shows and a campus ministry.  St. Paul’s has been a part of the community since the 1870’s – though there have been a few more recent renovations to provide for the needs of the congregation and community.  Because it has been a part of the community for so long, it can be considered a stable part of the area and in turn creates a stable feeling that encompasses the Menomonie area in general.  By reaching out into the community and being a positive presence in peoples’ lives, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church helps people to see Menomonie as not just simply a place to live but rather a place that they can call “home.”

 -Danielle M.

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About stouthonors

https://www.uwstout.edu/programs/hc/
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