Connections all fit together for
baptismal font at Chatfield church
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 3:13 AM
An artist's vision has transformed a baptismal font that needed refinishing into a beautiful creation that graces Chatfield United Methodist Church.
Chatfield United Methodist Church's baptismal font has been refurbished by Pilot Mound artist Karl Unnasch. It has been rededicated and will be used in the church's baptisms, beginning this month with the baptism of Gaylon and Marge Amy's great-grandchildren. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
The baptismal font, originally dedicated to the memory of Frank Anderson, has served as the place from which CUMC's baptismal waters have come for at least a generation. However, last fall it was in need of the creative hands of Pilot Mound artist Karl Unnasch.
The project started because the wood was chipped and needed to be refinished. Unnasch took the old font stand and refurbished it with varnish and paint. However, the font had just a silver stainless steel bowl insert. The artist and the Rev. Debra Collum, pastor of Chatfield United Methodist Church, decided to upgrade that as well.
"He made a new font bowl from copper, which he fashioned into a beautiful bowl with blue waves surrounding the lip of the bowl - the blue waves echo the wave pattern on the font stand," said Collum.
The copper bowl almost never came to be until Unnasch unexpectedly spotted something he thought might work at an area store. When the two were working on the project last fall, they thought that copper might be beautiful, but it got to be expensive, so those plans were put on hold.
"One day, Karl was at Menards and saw a sink and thought he could do something with it. He called to ask if it was OK to use it, and we decided it would work well," said Collum. "He had to take the collar off and had to make a few adjustments to lower the sink bowl in so it wouldn't look like a flying saucer had landed on the stand...and he made the waves on the bowl and stand. It is truly beautiful."
The refurbishment was made possible through memorials given in honor of the late Marge Amy.
"On the Sunday after Christmas, the family, son and daughters and husband of Marge Amy - Gaylon - gathered around the bowl to dedicate it to the service of God, just before we laid her ashes to rest in the Chatfield cemetery. Last Sunday we celebrated the Baptism of our Lord by renewing our own commitments and covenants that we took at our baptisms and confirmations," noted Collum last week. "We received a blessed shell from the waters of the new baptism bowl. We will have the first baptism this Sunday, and great-grandchildren of Marge Amy will be baptized."
And as the waters wash over the Amys' great-grandchildren, they'll be immersed in a family history that indeed includes a special sink with even more significance to the family.
"The Amys - Gaylon and Marge - owned a plumbing business in town, and their son works for Menards, so the connections were very fitting," said Collum.