Jan. 4, 2004
The congregation celebrated the 250th anniversary of its founding almost to the day (Jan. 5, 1754) with a special service and Amish-style lunch. The Rev. Thomas McKee from the synod was on hand to give the sermon. Twelve new members of the church council were sworn in, and several new members were welcomed into the church. Following the ceremony, an Amish-style wedding feast was served on the first floor, including roast (chicken with stuffing), corn, pepper cabbage, fresh bread with apple butter or strawberry jam, apple sauce, and a special cake. Caterer: Fannie Stoltzfus. After the lunch, Dr. Donald Herr, author of "Pewter in Pennsylvania German Churches," gave a short lecture on the history and significance of the church's unique baptismal and Communion pewterware. A videotape of Dr. Herr's lecture is available, and a copy of his book is in the church library.
TO CAST A SHADOW--HISTORIC VIDEO
Feb. 18, 2004
Approximately 27 people were present for the showing of “To Cast a Shadow” on Sunday, February 22nd at 6:30 pm. This video was a history of St. Michael’s congregation and was approximately 45 minutes in length. It was produced and directed in 1976 by Reynold A. Schenke, a member of St. Michael’s at the time, and narrated by Rev. George Doran. Many of the cast were members of St. Michael. Three are still members of our congregation—Paul and Gladys Smeltz and Kathy Skewis. Since February 22nd was also George Washington’s birthday, we enjoyed cherry pie and ice cream following the video.
LUNCH WITH THE BISHOP
APRIL 18, 2004
The Rev. Carol S. Hendrix gave the sermon on Sun., Apr. 18, 2004. Dr. Hendrix is the bishop for the Lower Susquehanna Synod Assembly, the fourth largest synod in the ELCA. There was also a family style banquet at Hershey Farms following the service at 12:30. Dinner included relishes, chicken, ham, green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, rolls, butter, apple pie, shoo fly pie, vanilla ice cream, ice tea, hot tea, coffee, milk. After the meal, Sherman Hendrix, husband to Bishop Hendrix, presented a half-hour program on the Konde Diocese of Tanzania, which is a companion Lutheran Synod to our Lower Susquehanna Synod. Bishop Hendrix was instrumental in establishing a Companions in Christ relationship between the Lower Susquehanna Synod and the Konde Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.
SPECIAL MUSICAL SERVICE
May 16, 2004
A special celebration of music occurred at 4:00 PM, including contributions from the bell choir, clarinet, harp, piano, organ, a unique flute quartet, guitar, and hymn singing.
SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY BREAD TRAY
A commemorative pewterex bread tray bread tray is being offered as a momento of our 250th anniversary celebration. The bread tray features a stunning image of St Michael's Church in the center and have been available since May for $20 apiece.
On June 7 & 8, pictures were taken for the 250th anniversary photo directory of church members. The directory will be available to members sometime later this year.
FLEA MARKET BENEFIT
On August 7, there was a flea market in the St Micahel's parking lot to benefit the 250th anniversary committee. Proceeds benefitted the 250th anniversary fund.
On Sunday, Sept. 26, there was an organ recital presented by James Odell from trinity Lutheran Church in Mount Joy. The concert included works by Mendelson, Ramon, and bach, to name just a few. The organ at St Michaels was built by the congregational members using recycled parts from three other organs in the area.
TRIP TO GERMANY
Milan and Sandy Kratzer organized a trip to Germany for interested members and friends of the church. The trip, which highlighted important sites in the life of Martin Luther, departed on Oct. 3 and returned on Oct. 14, 2004. Itinerary highlights included the city of Worms, where Luther refused to recount his beliefs in front of the Imperial Diet; Heidelberg; Rothenburg ob der Tauber; Munich; Oberammergau; the Fortress of Coburg, where Luther found asylum in 1530; Wittenberg, where he lived from 1508 until his death; Luther's birthplace in Eisleben; Eisenach, where Luther was educated and J. S. Bach was born; and Wartburg Castle, where Luther translated the New Testament into German in 1522.
A piano concert was performed on October 17 at 4:00 PM featuring Dr. Calvin Taylor, international renown pianist and composer. Dr. Taylor is from Bowling Green, KY.
CHRISTMAS EVE HYMN
Brian Pfennig wrote a hymn to the tune of "I the Lord of Sea and Sky" which was performed on Christmas Eve. The lyrics to the hymn are blow:
Could It Be, Lord, by Brian W. Pfennig
--written for the Christmas Eve service, 2004, in this
250th anniversary year of St Michael Lutheran Church
and dedicated to Pastor Bob & Irene Wegehoft
1 In the still and peace this night,
Have we heard of Mary’s plight?
Could we know her time had come
To bear a son?
Did we give away our bed
So that she could rest her head?
While we lie on mats of straw,
He hears her call.
Could it be, Lord? Is it He, Lord
That you send to us this winter’s eve?
Is it true, Lord? Hallelujah!
We’ll be saved if only we believe.
2 When we took the final room,
We cast her out into the gloom.
While she labored with the sheep,
We were asleep.
The cattle there were very glad
To share with her what space they had.
Can they know what she has done;
Is He the one? REFRAIN
3 Did we hear His infant screams?
Did they shake us from our dreams?
In the strain of child birth,
There lies our mirth.
While we wash inside the inn,
He has come to cleanse our sin.
Will we close the door again,
Or let Him in? REFRAIN
4 When we awaken in the morn,
We will learn that He was born.
As we part this Christmas eve,
Will we believe?
Will we fall on bended knee
Before the Son that we might see?
We were the ones who cast Him out.
How can we doubt? REFRAIN
-- December 18, 2004