Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, October 7 ... and a visit to one of his congregations

Today Henry Melchior Muhlenberg is commemorated on our church calendar. He was an influential German Lutheran pastor during the colonial era in America. You can read more about him by clicking here. His son, Peter, by the way, was a pastor, later a major general in the Continental Army, and also served in the U.S. Congress.

This last summer, 8 youth and 3 adults attended the Higher Things youth conference in Scranton, PA. After the conference, we drove down to Philadelphia to see the sights there. On Sunday morning, we attended the Divine Service at Old Zion Lutheran Church, a congregation that was once served by H.M. Muhlenberg.

The people of Old Zion were very warm and welcoming. They invited us to stay for a time of refreshments after the service and shared some of the history of the church. They still have many German speaking people attend from various parts of the city. One of the hymns we sang alternated stanzas in English and German, and during the speaking of the creed and the praying of the Lord's Prayer, you could hear others around you saying them in German.

Below are some pictures taken when we were there. Thanks to Ron Pratt for the great shots.

This last one is not a statue of Muhlenberg. It's Rocky Balboa, situated outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and yours truly at his feet. Now, I know what you're thinking: "Is Sylvester Stallone on our church calendar?" No. I threw this one in just to prove I was really in Philadelphia since I'm not in any of the other pictures above. But I did run up the steps of the museum like Rocky did in the movie (actually, on our tour of Philly we learned it was a stunt double).

Here's how I felt afterward ... and that's not my stunt double.

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