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Ulen Church to Re-open Saturday for Couple with Family Ties to say "I Do"

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Ulen, MN (WDAY TV) - Just outside Ulen, Minnesota tomorrow, an old Lutheran Country Church, closed for a decade, will re-open for one afternoon.

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Atlanta Lutheran shut its doors 12-years ago.

But a wedding couple with strong family ties to the old church wanted to say "I do" in no other church.

And so the farm couple is dusting off the pews for a huge, memorable wedding tomorrow afternoon at the church known for its 90-foot high steeple.

“I want to put new numbers up.”

It has been awhile since the church sign at Atlanta Lutheran has been updated,

“Can I get a dash?”

But 12-years after the church closed.

The church is opening its doors for a wedding, years after the last couple said their vows. The inside of the old Scandinavian church glows in stained glass light. A little of yesterday is everywhere, and that is why this couple will walk down the aisle tomorrow.

“I love the quaintness of it, just such a classic church.”

What other bride, a day before her wedding, can be found vacuuming the sanctuary, Krista Sletmoen was. And her groom, Shane Syverson was hoeing weeds outside the church steps in preparation for his wedding day.

“Pretty near out here.”

The two could have chosen any venue for their wedding, a ceremony for 300. But the family is tied to this church.

“Just perfect.”

Shane's family, Norwegian immigrants settled here in the 1800's they have been married and buried here since then.

Krista Sletmoen/Bride: “We wanted something that meant a lot to our families and his family is connected and both sides, great grandparents part of this church, small little church, we love it.”

And the connections for Shane and his family are many here, his great grandfather Selmer was the first baby baptized in this baptismal font here in 1893.

Shane Syverson/Groom: “Both sides, mom's and dad's, a lot of connections out here I guess.”

For generations, the bell here at Atlanta Lutheran called the farm families to Sunday worship. But this weekend, the harvest will have to wait. Because the old timber immigrant church has one last holy hurrah to host.

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Kevin Wallevand
Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.
(701) 241-5317
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