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Muhlenberg

October 7, 2020

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God – not the result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Today the church commemorates Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, pastor and founder of the first permanent Lutheran synod in America. Lutherans had come to North America in the early seventeenth century, but their churches suffered due to the lack of properly trained clergy (which is funny, because sometimes churches suffer because of properly trained clergy!). In 1732, Pennsylvanian Lutherans asked for help; that help arrived ten years later in the person of Muhlenberg.

Muhlenberg helped prepare the first uniform Lutheran liturgy in the colonies, drafted ecclesiastical constitutions, and called together The Mininsterium of Pennsylvania in 1748. This synod is still in existence today, having merged into the ULCA, which merged into the LCA, which merged into the ELCA (Lutherans are gifted at making alphabet soup).

Muhlenberg and his wife, Anna Maria Weiser, had eleven children. Their son, Peter, was a major general in the Continental Army. He commanded the First Brigade in Lafeyette’s Light Division, serving alongside Alexander Hamilton in the decisive Battle of Yorktown. Another son, Frederick, served as the first Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

We thank God for our mothers and fathers in the faith in this land, and pray that we would build upon their legacy in ways that are ever more faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of the church, we thank you for your faithful servants who have held alight the hope of the gospel throughout the ages. May the light of Christ burn brightly still today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Portrait of Muhlenberg, artist unknown, circa 1780, Preservation Society of Newport County (public domain).

From → COVID-19

2 Comments
  1. Robert Jandeska permalink

    Dear Pastor,

    You have a typo in the Ephesians posting. You typed words instead of works.

    Best regards, Bob J

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