Valparaiso University Chorale members shared their musical gifts today with the people of Mark Zwuschen, who celebrated the construction of a chapel banned for decades by the former communist government of East Germany. Watch a video with highlights from the celebration.
The circular, red clay block chapel, barely more than 20 feet across, is the first new church to be build in the former East German nation since the beginning of the Cold War says Pastor Thomas Meinhof.
“You are our angels, bringing the gift of music to our celebration today,” Pastor Meinhof said of the Chorale. “The people here wanted to build a church for many year, but it was not permitted. Now we are bringing this to life.”
Hilary Clark, a music education major, said performing during the afternoon roof-topping service was a perfect way to celebrate her birthday.
“It’s so cool, the history of this church and the people here, and we get to be part of it and help glorify God through our music,” Clark said. “I’ve felt called to be a missionary for some time, and this might be the place. There’s such a need for churches here to minister to people and help them, and that’s something as an American you can forget how other people haven’t had the same freedom that we have.”
Chorale members ate lunch with the people of Mark Zwuschen and savored the German tradition of Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) prepared by the townspeople.
“This gives a whole new meaning to international education,” said Chorale conductor Dr. Christopher Cock. “It’s a purity of the idea of faith that we so easily lose touch with. This was a small group of people who come together to build a church and each person here today probably placed a block in the wall with their own hands."
Pastor Meinhof says the chapel should be completed and begin hosting services by the end of June.
May 20: Concert - Leipzig, Lutherkirche (7:30 p.m.)
May 23: Service - Seyda (10 a.m.) and Gentha (1 p.m.)
May 24: Concert – Rottenburg am Neckar, Wallfahrtskirche Weggental (7 p.m.)
May 25: Choral Workshop – Rottenburg am Neckar (9:30 a.m.)
May 26: Concert - Bernburg, Schlosskirche (7:30 p.m.)
May 27: Concert - Köthen, St. Agnus kirche (7:30 p.m.)
May 28 - Service - Leipzig, Thomaskirche (5 p.m.)
May 29 - Cantata - Leipzig, Thomaskirche (3 p.m.)
May 30 - Service - Leipzig, Thomaskirche 10 (a.m.)