At an unusual Colonial service Sunday, the Rev. Darrell Layman cautioned the members of St. Luke's Lutheran (Winter's) Church to stay awake.
"During the service, you will see the beadle coming around with the long stick," the pastor said. "His job is to make sure that all of you pay attention during the service. If you start to doze and you feel tickling at your nose, you know that the beadle is standing over you, so please wake up."
Carrying a 3-foot-long stick with a green feather on one end, the beadle, whose job it was to maintain order during the service, roamed the pews, policing the congregation for inattentive or sleeping parishioners. Rod raised, he was ready to instantly tickle the unwary.
Although the service was conducted in 1993, it was a 1783 stage on which the church celebrated its 210th anniversary.
To create the mood, Mr. Layman invited the parishioners to "switch gears a little bit and think back 200 years. Picture yourselves in a completely different time in a different setting to worship God as may have been done at the foundation of this congregation."
Many worshipers already had immersed themselves in the 18th-century atmosphere by wearing period costumes. The men dressed in knickers and wore simple white blouse-like shirts with ribbons for ties. The women donned bonnets and long calico dresses.
The beadle seemed to have difficulty in the candlelit church seeing the women's faces hidden behind their bonnets. The men, who were segregated from the women, were easier to view, and he did not have to bend over to see if they were dozing.
The Colonial service was the climax to a year-long celebration honoring the church's establishment and German heritage.
Betty Munshaur, the church's historian, has traced the church's roots to its founder, George Francis Winter. He was one of the early settlers in what is now New Windsor, who purchased land in 1766 from German colonists in Pennsylvania with the intention of farming and building a Lutheran church. In her research, Mrs. Munshaur has obtained historical documents, antique Bibles and hymnals, and other relics from bygone days that have been on display in the foyer of St. Luke's.
The materials for the Colonial service were chosen, in part, from the "Marburg Hymnal" and from a preserved handwritten liturgy prepared in 1748. The 18th-century music was provided by harpsichord and dulcimer musicians.
As the fifth-oldest surviving Lutheran church in what is now Carroll County, the congregation's members practice their faith under what they call "our own vine and fig tree." The phrase comes from 1st Kings 4:25 of the King James version of the Bible.
Mrs. Munshaur interprets the phrase to "represent peace, unity and safety." It was first used by a parishioner in 1865 to describe their "gathering place of worship."
Mr. Layman said that, in his opinion, the Colonial service provided an opportunity for the congregationers at St. Luke's to learn from and cherish their heritage, and to continue the church's traditions as a teaching tool for future generations.
Come and eat with the Lions this weekend.
The Taneytown Lions will hold a pancake breakfast from 5 a.m. to noon at the carnival grounds on Memorial Drive in Taneytown.
Pancakes, sausage, pudding, hominy, eggs cooked to order, sausage gravy, juice, coffee and tea will be served at an all-you-can-eat price of $4 for adults and $2 for children 6-12. Children under 6 can eat free.
Proceeds will be used for the Lions Midwest Flood Relief project.
& Information: 756-6781.
After breakfast, shop with the early birds at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in New Windsor.
Their "Early Bird Craft Fair" will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the church's Fellowship Hall.
For sale will be lamps, dolls, crocheted items, dried flower arrangements, wreaths, angels, house plants, door stops, bibs and an endless array of other handmade crafts.
Enjoy a light lunch of chicken salad, hot dogs, or barbecue sandwiches; chicken corn, vegetable, or bean soups; and mincemeat pie for dessert, all reasonably priced.
The event is sponsored by the United Methodist Women of St. Paul's Church.
The church is at 200 Main St.