Wednesday May 23, 2018
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Dear Friends:
Many of you know that so many here in Yakima have roots in Southwest Germany.  Czarina Catherine the Great of Russia was actually a German princess from Schleswig-Holstein and married into the Russian royal family, learning the Russian language even as she retained her native German.  She sent immigration agents to Southwest Germany in order to gain wheat farmers for the newly conquered area that is today the Ukraine in the 18th and 19th centuries.  My own family records go back to this Church of St. Luzen in Hechingen.  While I have no relatives there today, I've visited the church several times.  Here's a photo of their life-size nativity display that they put up every year in the church.  As we say in German: Fröliche Weihnachten.  It's a bit more of a religious saying than our English "Merry Christmas."  It might be best rendered as "Joyous Night of Birth!"  
+Bishop Joseph Tyson