December 10, 2011

Kids Save the Christmas Tree

-Christmas Tree, 2011-

     In 1880, our thriving German congregation was gathering in the original building, holding both Sunday school and worship services in the cramped area. In order to save space, the Church Board voted not to place a Christmas tree in the crowded Sanctuary. However, the children held fast to their heritage adamantly demanding the German tradition of their beloved "Tannenbaum!" 
    This is an excerpt of an article written in The Lima Gazette (December, 1880), submitted by our fifth pastor Rev. John H. Stepler:

    "In the only German church in our city on Wayne Street, they have a flourishing Sabbath School. Of course its exercises are almost all in the German language, as they regard both as a duty and a privilege to keep and cherish the mother tongue. By doing so they keep unbroken the link that unites parents and children. 
     On last Saturday evening they had a most beautiful Christmas tree, and this was the more surprising, as there had been a disposition on the part of the Officers to let the matter go by default...But that was vetoed by the children. They wanted a Christmas tree and got a fine one. The exercises of the evening were of a most joyous and interesting character..."  

     Thanks to the innocent vision of those children, the Christmas tradition of the Tannenbaum still shines brightly in our Sanctuary.