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Crossroads Lutherans worship through polka (Video)

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Aug. 19, 2012 at 3:19 a.m.
Updated Aug. 20, 2012 at 3:20 a.m.

Ronnie Bruns and Sharon Jaks, members of the Polka Spirit Band, perform a special polka Lutheran service at First English Lutheran Church on Sunday.

On his lips were Lutheran liturgy. But streaming from his accordion-playing hands were lively sounds of traditional polka.

Ronnie Bruns, a member of the four-piece Polka Spirit Band from Shiner, led a special Lutheran worship service for Rally Day on Sunday, hoping to energize the congregation during morning worship.

"It makes it more meaningful, I think," Bruns said. "When I look around and hear people singing along, that's big goose bump time for me."

Rally Day kicks off the back-to-school spirit for the congregation, said Worship Board Chairwoman Doris Wuensche, who helped organize the worship.

"It's such a great experience and it's really upbeat," she said. "It's just a neat way to worship."

Some of the Lutheran liturgy and hymns performed to polka included "Blessed Assurance," the Great Thanksgiving and the Eucharistic prayer.

Wuensche said the congregation is made up of members with Czech, German, Norwegian and other nationalities who grew up on polka music.

"I just felt like dancin'," said Ruth Heller, a member of the church. "We used to dance all the time in the polka and waltz clubs before we got too old."

It's the second year the Polka Spirit Band has performed at First English, but Wuensche hopes it can be an annual worship service.

"God doesn't want us to be solemn. He wants us to sing songs and praises and hymns," she said. "It's the same words; the same meaning, but a different tune."

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