The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Celebrate being Lutheran and German

Congregation-sponsored Oktoberfests blend fellowship and outreach

Celebrating German heritage is a community event for two Lutheran churches in Texas and Georgia. Brats, strudel, beer and, yes, even lederhosen can be found — along with much, much more.

Oktoberfest at First Lutheran Church,
Oktoberfest at First Lutheran Church, Galveston, Texas.

Island Oktoberfest at First Lutheran Church, Galveston, Texas, will take over four city blocks Oct. 22-23, said George Black, sponsor chair. Festivalgoers can expect to find authentic food and drink, games and an auction. The event will feature music from local and area bands. Black expects up to 15,000 people will attend the two-day event.

What began 29 years ago as a three-hour fall festival for the congregation has become a major fundraiser for First's ministries. Profits will help the congregation run The Lyceum, a newly remodeled community center.

Oktoberfest played a special role for the island in 2008. After Hurricane Ike ripped through the area, Oktoberfest was in danger of cancellation. The church and community worked together to hold "Ike's Over Fest." Black said, "Everybody was so beat down. We needed something to celebrate. It was a catalyst for rebirth of the island."

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February issue


Embracing diversity