October 2020 Letter

Father of American Lutheranism

 

Moving from the Old World to the New, Henry Melchior Muhlenberg established the shape of Lutheran churches for North America during a 45-year ministry in Pennsylvania. Born at Einbeck, Germany, in 1711, he came to the American colonies in 1742 (34 years before the United States declared its independence from England in 1776).

 

A tireless traveler, Muhlenberg helped to found many Lutheran congregations and was the guiding force behind the first Lutheran synod in North America, the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, which was founded in 1748. Pastor Muhlenberg valued the role of music in Lutheran worship (often serving as his own organist) and was also the guiding force in preparing the first American Lutheran liturgy (also in 1748).

 

Henry Muhlenberg is remembered as a church leader, a journalist, a liturgist, and—above all—a pastor to the congregation in his charge. He died in 1787, leaving behind a large extended family and a lasting heritage: American Lutheranism. He is commemorated each church calendar year on October 7th.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd of Your people, we give You thanks for Your servant Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, who was faithful in the care and nurture of the flock entrusted to his care. So they may follow his example and the teaching of his holy life, give strength to pastors today who shepherd Your flock so that, by Your grace, Your people may grow into the fulness of life intended for them in paradise; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

October Blessings!

 

Pastor David A. Feddern