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From Pastor Ryon...

Lately I’ve been reading a biography about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian and clergyman who was executed by the Nazis for his close support of a group of relatives and friends who tried to assassinate Hitler in 1943 in an attempt to bring about the end of World War II.

Bonhoeffer had many influences, including his parents, his older siblings, the famous theologians Karl Barth and Reinhold Niebuhr, and a formative experience living and studying in New York City in the 1920s and often attending the famous Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.

But among those influences was his grandmother, Julia Bonhoeffer, who in 1933 when she was 90 years defied a Hitler-imposed boycott of Jewish shops.  Put off by the Nazi Storm Troopers blocking the entrance to the local Jewish-owned store, Julia pushed the Brown Shirts aside and demanded that she be able to shop where and with whom she pleased.

Talk about gutsy — and at 90-years-old too!

We talk at Broadway about the five people in our lives who have a role shaping us and our faith. Bonhoeffer had his. And one of them was his grandma, Julia.

Who are yours?  Is your grandmother one of them?



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