A Holts Summit Church Sunday began what it hopes will become an annual fall event – a festival celebrating the church’s German heritage and faith.
The Grace Lutheran Church hosted its first GraceFest, inviting church members and the public to enjoy authentic German food, music and singing, and games. The film “Martin Luther” was also screened at the event, which is about the 16th century Catholic priest who attempted to reform the Catholic Church and ended up initiating Protestant Reformation.
Sunday’s event announced, “We will celebrate our Reformation heritage of grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone!
GraceFest stems from a family tradition held by church members Cole and Mary Oxley.
Over the past decade, they have hosted an annual event with family members showcasing old German family recipes. The group would wear tights, play Octoberfest music and sing karaoke. Sometimes they mixed things up with different themes, ranging from whiskey night to Missouri night – a night featuring all the foods made in Missouri.
“We just said, ‘Why not make it a church thing,’” said Cole Oxley, sporting his own lederhosen. “Not many people realize what German cuisine is or have an appreciation for the culture. There is a lot of rich history, especially in Lutheran culture, which comes from Germany, and it’s not so bad. . The Gutenberg Press, that’s the reason we can read the Bible in English and other languages, it’s thanks to Germany. “
Sunday food included cutlets, bratwurst sausage, sptzle, sweet red cabbage, sauerkraut, pretzels, two German potato soups, apple strudel, black forest cake and lep cookies. They also had hot dogs and macaroni and cheese for the kids.
“I just want to keep the family traditions alive,” Cole Oxley said. “If you lose your culture you sort of lose your identity and they just die. Being proud of who you are and where your family is from is part of our American heritage. And part of the reason we have it. left Europe and came to The United States is for our religious freedom. “
Oxley did a lot of the cooking. Siggi Ming, who was born and raised in Germany, made pork sptzle and cutlet.
Ming moved to the United States in 1989 and has just moved to Holts Summit from North Carolina. They dated Grace Lutheran.
“I think it’s great,” she said of the event. “I’m proud to be American. But it’s a beautiful (event). It brings people together.”
Next year Cole Oxley said he hopes to expand the event. Among other things, he would like to present a sketch based on Luther.