Old-Time Christmas programs at Historic St. John’s Lutheran Church

Time travel has finally arrived in Isanti County.

On Sunday, Jan. 6, you’ll be able to step through the doors of Historic St. John’s Lutheran Church of Bradford, and be immediately transported back in time to the year 1882 (130 years ago)—when recently arrived German immigrant settlers celebrated their first Christmas at the ‘new’ Church building in rural Bradford Township of Isanti County.

Historic St. John’s Lutheran Church of Bradford will offer old-time Christmas programs on Jan. 6.
Historic St. John’s Lutheran Church of Bradford will offer old-time Christmas programs on Jan. 6.

At 2 p.m.: Lesungen und Weinachtslieder—a German language Christmas ending program—based on the familiar ‘Lessons and Carols’ tradition—includes readings and several long-time favorite German Christmas carols. Observe the lighting of real candles on a real Christmas tree —all the while basking in the glow of kerosene wall lamps and gas chandeliers suspended from the ceiling. You’ll almost be in shirt-sleeves from the heat billowing from the wood stove/furnace at the back of the Historic Church. Brush up on your German language skills—or just immerse yourself in the unique sights & sounds.

At 5 p.m.: Candlelight Lessons & Carols—A program which will also feature the participatory ‘Lessons & Carols’ format— this time in English—with the all time favorite Christmas Carols you’ve learned to know and love. Be mesmerized as the setting sun surrenders to the glowing lamp/chandelier light essences, transforming the interior into an almost magical/ethereal splendor. The real candle–lit Christmas tree will be all aglow as you sing ‘Silent Night.’ This Candlelight program offers a wonderful opportunity to share your own memories with children, grand-children and great-grandchildren.

At the conclusion of each program, guests will be able to take home their very own old-time ‘after the Christmas program goodie bag,’ and knosh on some real authentic German Christstollen (Christmas cake) and assorted Lebkuchen (cookies), followed with hot spiced apple cider and/or coffee. A suggested minimum donation of $5 per adult will help offset costs.

Historic St. John’s Lutheran Church of Bradford is located at 900 Co. Rd. 5 NW, just 2 1/2 miles west of Isanti on Co. Rd. 5 NW.

Historic St. John’s is a National Historic Register Site. Programming of these events is arranged by the Friends of Historic St. John’s. Follow ‘Historic St. John’s’ on Facebook.