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 previously served 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, Adjunct Instructor of Music Susan Musselman, vocals, the Wittenberg Handbell Choir and other university music students.
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, 164 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: Ryan Maurer
Photo By: Erin Pence
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