This year the Lutheran congregation at Huff's Lutheran Church, Alburtis, is celebrating its semiquincentennial, or 250th year in existence.
Although specific church records confirming a date are non-existent, 1760 is recognized as their date of origin. Historians point out that there is sufficient evidence in the form of township and tax records to indicate that there were plenty of inhabitants (mostly of German origin) living in the area at that time, and they conclude that these immigrants who left the old world for reasons of religious persecution would certainly have been worshiping in an organized fashion, at least by this date.
To date there have been 17 recorded pastors that have served the Lutheran congregation, beginning with the Rev. Jacob Miller, followed by 15 other male pastors. Presently they are enjoying their first female pastor, the Rev. Jane Moffat Kropa, who has been serving both the Lutheran and UCC congregations since 2000.
The 250th anniversary committee has purchased a digital picture frame with intentions of displaying photographs of all previous pastors (that are available) as well as the current one.
The committee has been working hard to set up some meaningful events throughout 2010 to celebrate this momentous occasion, beginning with an Olde-Tyme Service on Jan. 10 at 10:30 a.m. The congregation will be entertained by German readings (with English translations) during a service patterned after ones used in the late 18th or early 19th century. A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch 'Nei Yaahr's Winsch' will also be offered by Peter Fritsch, as well as other Pennsylvania Dutch music. A covered dish featuring traditional area foods will follow in the Rohrbach Chapel.
On Feb. 21 at 3 p.m., Philip Cooper, a renowned organist, will be performing a recital on the Krauss Organ, a large pipe organ which was built in 1852 and installed at Huff's in 1865. Cooper has created a CD of organ music which contains some songs played on this organ, and these are available for purchase.
The big celebration service will be in the park on Sept. 12 at 3 p.m. Guest speakers include Bishop Zeiser from the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod and the Rev. Dr. F. Russell Mitman, the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ president. Special music will also be presented by the Shaped Note Singers, a group led by David Miller. Previous Huff's Church pastors and student pastors have been invited to attend. A celebration dinner will follow in the park that day.
Other 2010 events include a Tea and Quilt Show around Mother's Day, a talent show the end of July, a Colonial Crafts picnic on Oct. 2 and luncheons to honor veterans and the church's elders in November and December respectively.
In addition, every third Sunday Huff's normally offers a fellowship hour between the 8 and 10:30 a.m. services. For 2010, confirmands from specified five-year periods are invited as special guests during the third Sundays. For Jan. 17, anyone confirmed at Huff's Church from 2005 to 2009 is invited as a special guest, and is thereby provided with an opportunity to reunite with former class members.
The anniversary committee is selling glass ornaments to commemorate this milestone. The ornaments include an acrylic stand, as they are suitable for year-round display.
To find out more about Huff's Union Church, or to get more information about the anniversary events, check out the Web site at www.huffschurch.com.
Contact Tess Woloszanski at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in purchasing a CD or ornament.