The service, a campus tradition since 1985, brings the Christmas season to a close. Wittenberg Professor of Music, University Organist and Choir Director Donald Busarow and former University Pastor Larry Houff developed the service, which is conducted entirely in German and uses a format from a contemporary German Lutheran hymnal.
Pastor Stephen Foster, a retired Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) minister who serves as a chaplain at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, will conduct the service. University Pastor Andy Tune will serve as assisting minister, and special music will be provided by Busarow, organ; Amanda Marenchin, class of 2010 from Ashland, Ohio, violin; Ben Williams, class of 2010 from Louisville, Ky., oboe; and Professor of Music and Department Chair David Schubert, vocal soloist.
Associate Professor of Languages Timothy Bennett has arranged for German language majors or minors to give readings. The Psalm will be read by Valerie O'Brien, class of 2010 from Edgewood, Ky.; the First Lesson by Emily Daniels, class of 2009 from Grove City, Ohio; the Second Lesson by Emily Wendel, class of 2008 from Copley, Ohio; the Closing Prayer and the Lord's Prayer by Emily Heidrich, class of 2008 from West Chester, Ohio.
Wittenberg was founded by a group of pastors who broke with the German church and created the English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Ohio. With respect for their German tradition and language, the pastors believed that the English language was a way to foster the inclusiveness of the new American nation. In 1842, the new synod voted unanimously to establish a theological and literary institution that would serve the educational and cultural needs of new immigrants and new communities, and Wittenberg was founded in Springfield three years later.
The German Language Epiphany Service honors the heritage of those whose vision lives on today, 163 years after the first class sessions took place, at Wittenberg University.
The service is open to the public, and Weaver Chapel is accessible to those with disabilities.
Written By: Phyllis Eberts
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