This is the welcome that I wrote and delivered at St. Paul’s UCC. It was an interesting experience. I’d not attempted to speak German in public since High School, and it showed. My accent never was very good, but as several folks commented afterward, “You made the effort, and that matters.” I’ve always found this to be true – humbly and genuinely attempting to speak another person’s language so as to communicate and connect with them is greatly appreciated, even if the language is butchered in the process. It helps to keep a good sense of humor, because folks will undoubtedly laugh at the gaffs, even while smiling appreciatively. And the service itself was a delight. I find it interesting to worship in another language, listening for where I can understand what is being said by the context, and where I’m lost simply trusting the Pentecost Spirit to bridge the gap. Never fails. I also was glad to meet folks from The Goethe Center of Dallas, The German School of Dallas, and of course The Dallas Frohsinn Singing Society and The Alpenhorns who helped lead the service. Kudos to the choir and people of St. Paul’s for a wonderful event under the direction of Will Kanute, Choirmaster.
Welcome delivered at St. Paul’s German Advent Service Deutscher Weinachtsgottesdienst ~ Dez 7, 2014
|Welcome to St. Paul’s Church.||Willkommen bei der St. Paul’s Kirche !|
|Whether old friends or new,||Ob alte Freunde oder Neue,|
|whether devout followers or curious seekers, you are welcome here.||Ob fromme Folger oder neugierige Sucher, Alle sind hier willkommen.|
|The Christian Heritage of Germany has many gifts for the contemporary church and world.||Die christliche Erbschaft Deutschlands hat viel den zeitgenossenen Kirchen und der Welt zu Schenken.|
|This service is but one.||Dieser Gottesdienst ist nur ein Beispiel.|
|Some of our greatest theologians and composers hail from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.||Manche unserer grossartigsten Theologen und Komponisten stammen aus Deutschland, Oestereich und der Schweiz.|
|Tonight we gather to honor and celebrate that heritage as we prepare to welcome and celebrate once again God’s gift of the Christ child to the world.||Heute Abend sind wir zusammen um diese Erbschaft zu ehren und feiern, waehrend wir uns vorbereiten Gottes Geschenk, “das Christuskind fuer die Welt”, wieder willkommen zu heissen.|
|May the spirit of Christ dwell in us and lead us into the world proclaiming Peace on Earth, Good News to all.||Moege der Geist Christi in uns weilen, und uns in die Welt fuehren, um Friede auf Erden und gute Nachricht in Alle zu erklaeren.|
|Welcome.||Herzlich Willkommen .|
* Thanks to Baerbel W. for the translation.