The European Reformation – Pastor’s Travel Blog

Monday, August 7, 2017

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Spent the day in Erfurt. A beautiful little village where Luther lived as a monk at the Augustinian Monastery. Here are some pictures of the Merchant’s Bridge.













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The Methodist Church is at the entrance to the Merchant’s Bridge. Here are some pictures of the Village from the top of the bell tower.

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This is the sanctuary of the Methodist Church.















Sunday, August 6, 2017

Here is a picture of St. Thomas Church where J.S. Bach played.
















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Here are pictures of Luther’s death bed, the grave stone of Luther’s young daughter, and the crucifix in the church where Luther was baptized (Most of the crucifix’s in the early church had real human hair).







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My final service at the Castle Church in Wittenberg. The members and friends of PHLC that came to Germany and worshipped at the Castle Church.














Saturday, August 5, 2017

AsianYouthGroup CapellaIt’s back at the capella for yesterday service. We had two Asian youth groups to join today.

















I don’t know what this is, but it’s all over the place. I’m afraid to try it. I know, I’ll give it to my wonderful secretary Barb!















Thursday, August 3, 2017






Back at the Castle Church for today’s service. These are the graves of Martin Luther and Phillip Melanchthon. They are buried in the church with Martin Luther buried beneath the pulpit where he preached. Today I was asked by a Professor at the International Chinese Biblical Seminary to come to China and preach. It’s an English speaking seminary!







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Wednesday, August 2, 2017







Today’s service was in the former sacristy, now a chapel, in the Town Church. What an amazing journey! We have met English speaking Lutherans from Germany, Australia, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Tanzania, Thailand, China, Poland, Norway, Iceland, France, Britain, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, The United States and of all places – Pittsburgh!













 Tuesday, August 1, 2017

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Had a day off so we went to Berlin. Here are some pictures of the Berlin Cathedral.




























Here is a picture of Checkpoint Charlie, some of the torture chambers at the Berlin Wall, what remains of the Wall, and next to the Berlin Wall, a museum that stands where the Gestapo Headquarters once stood.


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Here is a picture of the Brandenburg Gate, once dividing two cities. Also a picture of the famous Hotel where Michael Jackson held his infant son over the railing (must have been a slow news day!) and also the American Embassy right next to the Brandenburg Gate.


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Monday, July 31, 2017

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Monuments to Martin Luther and Phillip Melanchthon in the town square in Wittenberg.













Sunday, July 30, 2017





Visited the home where Luther lived while in Wittenberg. Pictured are one of the first printing presses, the room where Luther held his famous “table talks”, a causable worn by Luther, paintings commissioned depicting the 10 Commandments, a cast Iron chest where the coins for indulgences were collected and part of the original home destroyed in war.

























The queen of Denmark made this altar frontal by hand as a gift to Wittenberg. It hangs on the altar in the Castle church only on Reformation Sunday, Pentecost Sunday and for confirmations.









Saturday, July 29, 2017


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Presided at a full liturgy today at the Castle Church. A humbling experience to stand in Luther’s pulpit and preach.










You haven’t sung A Mighty Fortress until you’ve sung it in the Castle Church. It’s a spine-tingling experience. This video doesn’t do it justice.













Friday, July 28, 2017






Today’s service was in the Kapella (The chapel) behind the Town Church. This was originally the Baptistery (later turned into a storage facility and then made into a chapel). In the early church, before a person could enter the church building they had to be baptized so these Baptisteries were built outside the church buildings.












StMarysChurchFloorPanel StMarysChurchOutsideIn the late 13th century a casting mocking the Jewish Religion was installed on St. Mary’s church. It was installed to discourage Jews from settling nearby. In November 1988, this bronze floor panel was placed on the ground just below the casting. It has four uneven paving stones with guilt (sin) oozing through the cracks which also makes the sign of the cross. Even the church had sinned.













This morning we went to the panorama museum. An artist used digital imaging to recreate what Wittenberg looked like in 1500. This doesn’t do it justice at all – it was huge and there was so much to look at. It will be in Wittenberg for five years and then will travel around the world. Looking forward to Pittsburgh!









Thursday, July 27, 2017

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Today, I will preach at the Castle Church. This is the church where Luther posted his 95 Thesis.










Attended an organ recital at the Castle Church. A view of the streets of Wittenberg.








ThePeaceAngel ThePeaceAngelFrontAnother of Ernst Barlach’s sculptures, “The Peace Angel” is found in the nave of the Castle Church. It was a memorial of the victims of the First World War. No one could have imagined the unspeakable carnage that gripped the battlefields, the barrages, the tank and submarine operations, the destructive power of poison gas and flame throwers, the mass death that was to be the course of the new technological way of warfare. Luther wrote, ” One has to advise peace instead of war . . . and can do more than enough with words and letters so that neither cut nor thrust is needed. For God wants peace and is an enemy to those who start war and dishonor peace.”














Wednesday, July 26, 2017 (2nd entry)



Today, my first service was at St. Mary’s, the town church. This was Luther’s home where he did most of his preaching. This is a picture of the high altar at St Mary’s.


In 1929 sculptor Ernst Barlach was commissioned and created eight figures entitled, “The Communion of Saints” among them was this one entitled “The Great Beggar” It was so unpopular that it was confiscated and not in public view for 16 years. Martin Luther declared, “We are all beggars!.” The statue now sits in the sanctuary of St. Anne’s Church












Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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Made it to Germany after a long flight and little sleep.  Got off the train and was greeted with a huge Bible. The plan is to dismantle the Bible after the Reformation celebration, but the locals are fighting to keep it. First stop was the Castle Church to look at the doors where Luther posted his 95 theses.