The Reformation and Education

During October (as part of the #Write31Days online challenge), we’re unpacking what the Reformation means for our faith community here on our blog. Click here to catch up on the rest of the series.

As the seminary ministry apprentice that I (Christa) am, I often groan about my full-time workload, the 4,000 pages of reading I have to do in 11 weeks (not a joke or an exaggeration when I take four classes in a term!), and the writing, don’t even get me started about all the writing! It’s a lot and it’s easy to take my privileged academic position for granted. Without the work of the Reformers, my education wouldn’t be possible.

Prior to the Protestant Reformation, theological education had become solely the work of the church. Theological education was conducted in Latin, a language that excluded lay people, and the church was run by men. When women had access to Christian education, it typically existed only within the confines of convent walls.

The Reformers, with their five solas (sola Scriptura, sola fide, solus Christus, sola gratie, soli deo Gloria), set out to change all of that. They wanted to bring theology and Christian education to the people.

Desiderius Erasmus emphasized a “disciplined, biblically based Christianity” (from Diarmond MacCulloch’s book The Reformation: A History, page 102) and in 1511 compared Greek and Latin versions of the Bible. His work paved the way for Martin Luther’s translation of the New Testament into the German vernacular in 1522.  Anne Locke actively translated devotional materials into English so that Protestants in England could use them for personal study. Also in England, William Tyndale worked to translate the Bible from its original languages into English so that the common people in that country could also read the Word of God in a language they’d understand.

From these humble beginnings during the Reformation, Christian education options have grown and flourished. Resources for personal and communal study abound, as do options for ministry-focused higher education. Whether we pick a book from our Amazon list or register for a seminary class, we do so because of the work of the folks who’ve come before us and paved the way for our studies.

If you’re ready to deepen your study of the Bible, here are some great resources:

By Heart: Conversations with Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

Lutheran Study Bible

Bread for the Day: Daily Bible Readings and Prayers

Save the date: October 29! We’ll celebrate the Reformation and the confirmation of 7 young people in our community with one service at 10:00 a.m. Our synod bishop will preach, and we’ll follow the service with an Oktoberfest celebration. Come for the service, stay for the German food, beer and wine (for a donation), a hymn sing and lots of fun!

Christa Cordova serves the Beautiful Savior community as ministry apprentice and occasional blogger (June 2017-March 2018). She anticipates completing her master of divinity degree at Fuller Seminary in 2018.

#MeToo and the Reformation

Trigger warning: this post contains a discussion of harassment, abuse, and power dynamics. Please proceed according to personal level of comfort with these topics. 

During October (as part of the #Write31Days online challenge), we’re unpacking what the Reformation means for our faith community here on our blog. Click here to catch up on the rest of the series.

Yesterday, the media world was flooded by the hashtag #MeToo. Women around the world shared their stories of harassment and abuse with their friends and platform audiences, in an effort to share the pervasiveness of these problems women face.

Although credited to Alyssa Milano this week, the hashtag-movement started 10 years ago when activist Tarana Burke coined the phrase. As I (Christa) study the Reformation this month and observe the viral event this week, I can’t help but wonder if the Mothers of the Reformation would stand in solidarity with all of us today? After mulling it over for a bit (24 hours… seriously just “a bit”), I feel that they would.

Harassment in all forms is about more than sexuality, at the heart of the desire to harass is a desire to control. To assert one’s power over another. Throughout much of church history, women have been subjected to (and subjugated by) men in power. The time period of the Reformation is no historical exception.

Margaretha Pruss was a woman of the Reformation who desired to see the ideals of the time spread in print. As the daughter of a printer, however, she was ineligible to join the local printer’s guild. As such, she entered into marriages with other printers (three to be exact, although not simultaneously!) so she could continue her work. Elisabeth Cruciger arose as the first Protestant hymn writer. Although she was a close friend of Martin Luther and his family, her works were considered subversive and were subsequently banned. Even Katherina Luther, who seems to me to be the focus of new academic focus, was overshadowed by her husband Martin’s long historical shadow. The powers that have been prominent in the last 500 years have continued to assert their power over the narrative of history, excluding women from their rightful places in our books.

For more on this topic, I recommend the excellent book Mrs. Luther and Her Sisters: Women in the Reformation by Derek Wilson.

So what’s a follower of Christ in 2017 to do with all this information?

First, speak up. When you experience harassment, either directly or as an observer, say something. Esquire offers great workplace tips and Southern Poverty Law Center offers a comprehensive guide to speaking up against any kind of hatred on its website.

Second, speak out. Tell your elected officials, local journalists, community leaders and others in positions of authority that harassment in any form is not acceptable. Write letters or emails, tweet or post Facebook comments. It doesn’t matter much what you do, as long as you’re taking action. Pinot Mom offers advice on how to take action in 5 minutes a day, and yes, that really is all the time it takes to make a difference in the world.

Third, speak in. Be kind to folks who’ve experienced harassment. The #MeToo movement teaches us that most women have experienced deep hurt in their lives. If you’re a woman reading this, that means you likely have too. I have and there can be great comfort in a community as those of us with common experiences lean on one another for encouragement. In doing so, we “spur one another on to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). Taking this a step further, try speaking life into your own experience as well. Experiences of power dominance, like harassment and abuse, can lead to feelings of helplessness and shame that threaten senses of self and identity. It’s often difficult to unwind these feelings without help and gifted counselors are true blessings on this journey. If you need one, here’s a resource to get you started.

If you’re a man reading this, you’ve got women in your life who’ve experienced harassment or abuse of some kind. They need you to speak into their lives – words of encouragement, safety, and comfort. Sadly, resources for you all are few. While researching this post, I dug through four pages of Google search results to get to just one article that I can reasonably recommend. Here it is, from Men’s Health. If you’d like to join the conversation and post additional resources in the comments section below, I’ll add them back to this post.

Editing to add additional helpful resources from readers:
21 Things Not To Say To Sexual Abuse Victims

I leave you with a hymn from the Reformation that sings to us of God our protector. My prayer is that this song reminds you (and me too) where our help comes from in any time of trouble. When those in power harass or abuse, may we continue to stubbornly cling to the truth that God is a mighty fortress:

And finally, here’s a second piece that I tend to post when writing on matters related to any kind of hurt that needs healing. It reminds me that those of who are broken and seek wholeness (and the folks that love and support us) can’t rush our healing:

Save the date: October 29! We’ll celebrate the Reformation and the confirmation of 7 young people in our community with one service at 10:00 a.m. Our synod bishop will preach, and we’ll follow the service with an Oktoberfest celebration. Come for the service, stay for the German food, beer and wine (for a donation), a hymn sing and lots of fun!

Christa Cordova serves the Beautiful Savior community as ministry apprentice and occasional blogger (June 2017-March 2018). She anticipates completing her master of divinity degree at Fuller Seminary in 2018.

Sola Scriptura: Reformation Inspiration

During October (as part of the #Write31Days online challenge), we’re unpacking what the Reformation means for our faith community here on our blog. Click here to catch up on the rest of the series.

What sparked the Reformation? That’s a question that gets asked a lot in academic circles! Some folks say that Martin Luther’s decision to nail his theses to the door was the spark that lit the Reformation flame, others say that the Reformation actually started much earlier, with the now-called “pre-reformers” speaking out against what they saw to be problems within the Roman Catholic church.

As far as history is concerned, it doesn’t much matter how the Reformation started. It’s impact continues to be felt around the world, even after 500 years.

Whether or not the Reformation was officially started by Martin Luther or his predecessor John Huss, all who participated in shaping this important historical event were first thoroughly shaped by Scripture. While all were informed by passages from the entire Bible, there are a few we can point to as particularly important.

Romans 1:16-17For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous will live by faith.”

This passage inspired Martin Luther in a big way. Pastor R.C. Sproul says that when Martin Luther read 1:17, it sparked a “moment of awakening.” Martin Luther realized that humans are saved through the faith that God alone has the power to give us, not by any works necessary to achieve it.

Luke 22:19 Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Ulrich Zwingli was influenced by this verse and his interpretation of the passage opposed Martin Luther’s. Zwingli interprets the verse to indicate that Holy Communion is an act that remembers Christ’s body and blood, which were shed during the crucifixion. Martin Luther maintained a position similar to the Roman Catholic position on transubstantiation (which states that the elements of communion become the body and blood of Christ). In Luther’s own words he states that Christ’s body and blood are “truly and substantially present in, with and under the forms.” When Zwingli and Luther couldn’t work out their difference in opinion, the young Protestant church split further. The churches that followed Zwingli’s theology became what is now known as the “Reformed” traditions.

Here’s a video that outlines more of the differences between these two fathers of the Reformation:

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

This passage influenced John Calvin’s theology of predestination, the idea that God has decided in advance (“predetermined”) which humans will be saved and which will not. The idea remains controversial to this day and provides lots of material for academic study! It’s a complicated subject, but here’s a great short video that explains the concept well:

Ready to learn more? Click here for a great book on how the Bible influenced the Reformation.

Save the date: October 29! We’ll celebrate the Reformation and the confirmation of 7 young people in our community with one service at 10:00 a.m. Our synod bishop will preach, and we’ll follow the service with an Oktoberfest celebration. Come for the service, stay for the German food, beer and wine (for a donation), a hymn sing and lots of fun!

Christa Cordova serves the Beautiful Savior community as ministry apprentice and occasional blogger (June 2017-March 2018). She anticipates completing her master of divinity degree at Fuller Seminary in 2018.

Reformation perspectives

During October (as part of the #Write31Days online challenge), we’re unpacking what the Reformation means for our faith community here on our blog. Click here to catch up on the rest of the series.

I (Christa) have developed a serious academic crush on church history and I’m having a ton of fun sharing everything I’m learning about the Reformation with you!

While researching any new post, paper or blog series, I love the process of digging into a variety of perspectives on any given topic. God has gifted so many individuals with histories and experiences that lead them to the most amazing conclusions on any given topic. It’s a delight to read what they come up with and bounce their ideas off those I feel God has given me.

In this post, I hope to share a bit of this experience with and am including links to my several perspectives on the Reformation below. Not all authors’ opinions align with either my own or with those of many in our congregation, but reading all can give us a sense of how BIG the Reformation continues to be. The events we’re celebrating this month continue to influence theologians and thought-leaders 500 years later. My hope and prayer is that the discussions sparked by collective interest in this topic draw us closer to Christ and one another as we grow in grace and knowledge.

The Church We Need Now: Why the Anabaptist Vision Matters by Peter Mommsen (Anabaptist perspective)
The Reformation Rescued the Gospel by R.C. Sproul (Reformed perspective)
Re-Forming the Church by George Weigel (Catholic perspective)
Things You Might Not Know about the Reformation by Rod Boriack (Lutheran perspective)
The Reformation at 500 by Russell Moore (Evangelical perspective)
Luther, Prayer and the Reformation by William R. Russell (Lutheran perspective)

If anything jumps out and catches your attention in any of these articles, please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear what you think!

As you leave today’s short study of the Reformation, we send you on with one of Martin Luther’s prayers about knowledge:

Dear Lord God,
Grant me your grace so that I may rightly understand your Word, and more importantly, also do it.
Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, if my quest after knowledge does not glorify you alone, let me not know a single letter.
Give me only so much as I, a poor sinner, need to know to proclaim and glorify you.
Amen.

Save the date: October 29! We’ll celebrate the Reformation and the confirmation of 7 young people in our community with one service at 10:00 a.m. Our synod bishop will preach, and we’ll follow the service with an Oktoberfest celebration. Come for the service, stay for the German food, beer and wine (for a donation), a hymn sing and lots of fun!

Christa Cordova serves the Beautiful Savior community as ministry apprentice and occasional blogger (June 2017-March 2018). She anticipates completing her master of divinity degree at Fuller Seminary in 2018.

Lessons from Luther’s life & legacy

During October (as part of the #Write31Days online challenge), we’re unpacking what the Reformation means for our faith community here on our blog. Click here to catch up on the rest of the series

We continue our look at the Reformation today with a deeper study of Martin Luther, one of the key figures of the period.

Here’s a fun video look at his life, as told through Playmobil animation:

Here’s a longer (documentary) look for those among us with more time and interest:

We can learn a lot from Martin Luther’s life and legacy. Academics and researchers have been fascinated by Luther for oh, about 500 years… literally! At the end of this post, we’ll share some of our favorite resources with you, in case you’d like to study further

In the meantime, these lessons stand out:

Martin Luther was a renegade monk … who teaches us to rightly rebel.

Martin Luther was a scholar and academic. He dedicated his life to study of Scripture and became a Roman Catholic monk. When he nailed the 95 theses to the door and kicked off the Reformation, he rebelled against the institutions of higher learning that helped “raise” him as a scholar. There might be times in our own lives when the Word of God shows we’re meant to take a cue from Luther and rebel. That’s as hard for us in 2017 as it was for Luther in 1517. We can draw courage from Luther’s life and legacy.

Martin Luther was a dedicated scholar … who teaches us to rightly read.

Martin Luther studied the Word of God … religiously. Pun intended! Before he wrote his theses, he spent years studying exactly what the Word of God said. He didn’t rely on others to read and interpret the text for him – he dedicated much time and attention to studying the Bible himself. We do well to follow his example.

Martin Luther was a depressed individual … who teaches us to rightly remember.

While hailed as a champion of the faith in 2017, in 1517, Martin Luther was often filled with doubt and struggled throughout his life with depression. He didn’t have his life together before he answered God’s call to the work set before him. He also didn’t pretend otherwise. His friends, colleagues and family members write about his surliness and bouts with dark depression. Their accounts point to the fact that Luther lived honestly and authentically with his mental health issues. We can learn from Luther to do the same, as we strive to rightly remember that our modern churches aren’t museums for perfect saintly people. They’re hospitals for the sinliest sickest among us. Our communities of faith transform our sin and our sickness into vocational calls that glorify God and bring a bit of his kingdom to a hurting world. If we’ll allow that process to take place in our lives.

Martin Luther was a passionate musician … who teaches us to raise praise.

One of Martin Luther’s most widely circulated quotes has to do with music: “Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” Luther believed music has a unique capability to lift souls, turn thoughts to God and soften hearts. He was so passionate about music that he transformed congregational singing in the church and wrote hymns. From him, we remember (or perhaps learn for the first time) that raising praise to God our creator is an essential part of living a faith-filled life.

Perhaps his most famous hymn is “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” and we offer it here to get you into the praising mood!

Martin Luther was a hospitable practitioner … who teaches us to warmly welcome.

Luther and his wife Katherina (a runaway nun!) lived for most of their lives on the edge of poverty. Martin’s work resulted in excommunication from the church, a big spiritual deal, but also economic as well. When he started the Reformation, Martin virtually cut himself off from his source of financial livelihood (the church). When he traveled and spoke, he was sometimes only paid in beer. Some of us would argue that’s not a bad way to make a living, but it made family life financially insecure in 1517! The Luthers didn’t let that stop them from opening their home. Traveling students and scholars, would-be preachers, even plague-ridden neighbors … all were welcome in the Luther home. Katherina taught herself to garden and Martin taught himself how to extend hospitality to all, no matter how much or how little he had to share with his guests. From the Luthers’ example in this area, we can learn how to extend Christian hospitality. There is no need for perfect Pinterest-worthy spaces. All we need to entertain the folks God sends our way is a spirit of warmth, generosity and a willingness to share whatever we have at the moment.

If you’d like to take a further look at Martin Luther’s life and legacy, we recommend these resources:
Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland H Bainton
Luther by Gerhard Ebeling
Heroes of the Faith: Martin Luther by Edwin P. Booth
Protestants by Alec Ryrie
Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and Selected Sermons

Save the date: October 29! We’ll celebrate the Reformation and the confirmation of 7 young people in our community with one service at 10:00 a.m. Our synod bishop will preach, and we’ll follow the service with an Oktoberfest celebration. Come for the service, stay for the German food, beer and wine (for a donation), a hymn sing and lots of fun!

Christa Cordova serves the Beautiful Savior community as ministry apprentice and occasional blogger (June 2017-March 2018). She anticipates completing her master of divinity degree at Fuller Seminary in 2018.

What was the Reformation?

During October (as part of the #Write31Days online challenge), we’re unpacking what the Reformation means for our faith community here on our blog. Click here to catch up on earlier posts in the series.

As we continue on our Reformation exploration journey, it’s helpful to take a minute to ponder the answer to the question “what exactly was the Reformation?”

The History Channel says “The Protestant Reformation was the 16th-century religious, political, intellectual and cultural upheaval that splintered Catholic Europe, setting in place the structures and beliefs that would define the continent in the modern era.”

R.C. Sproul describes the Reformation as ” a movement that revolved around two pivotal issues. The so-called “material” cause was the debate over sola fide (“justification by faith alone”). The “formal” cause was the issue of sola Scriptura, that the Bible and the Bible alone has the authority to bind the conscience of the believer.”

The above results are just two in a sea of many. It’s hard to define with absolute certainty what the Reformation meant 500 years ago, and what it means in 2017. Academic folks have been writing on the topic for five centuries now and will likely continue!

As I (Christa) have worked through the process of defining what the Reformation means to me, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Reformation can be embraced as a set of ideas:

The Reformation is a biblical idea.

While by most accounts Martin Luther kicked off the Protestant Reformation with his nailing of the 95 theses on the door (or wall) of a church in Wittenburg, Germany, the spirit of reformation pre-dates Martin Luther. Throughout Scripture, we see God’s spirit moving to continually reform the people of God. From the flood (when humanity was re-formed through Noah, see Genesis 6-9) to the re-formation of the nation of Israel from an exiled enslaved culture (Exodus 1-10) to a geographically established community (Joshua 1-5). And of course, the uniquely reformative life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (read more in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). Even to the end of the age, we see in Scripture that God will always be working in the spirit of reformation (Revelation 21). Five centuries ago, God carried the work we see started in Scripture on through the ministry and work of Martin Luther and his fellow Reformers.

The Reformation is a historical idea.

While we can read of the spirit of “reformation” in Scripture, it’s also true that “The Protestant Reformation” was a historical event (meaning it happened in a distinct time and place, with documented evidence). It impacted the course of both church history in particular and human history in general. Click here to learn more about the historical significance of the Reformation.

The Reformation is an ongoing idea.

We can point to passages in Scripture and historical facts to identify important influences of the Reformation, but that doesn’t mean it’s over and done. The church, when functioning well and following the Holy Spirit is always reforming. There’s always movement necessary, always directions to change, always a God to follow who wants (and needs) to do new things through those who strive to follow God’s will to bring more of the kingdom of heaven to the present. A willingness to re-form is necessary for all who desire to participate in the mission of God on Earth.

How about you? What does the Reformation mean to you? How would you define its significance? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Save the date: October 29! We’ll celebrate the Reformation and the confirmation of 7 young people in our community with one service at 10:00 a.m. Our synod bishop will preach, and we’ll follow the service with an Oktoberfest celebration. Come for the service, stay for the German food, beer and wine (for a donation), a hymn sing and lots of fun!

Christa Cordova currently serves the Beautiful Savior community as ministry apprentice and occasional blogger. She anticipates completing her master of divinity degree at Fuller Seminary in 2018.

Lessons from Luther on Pain & Suffering

Our hearts and prayers go out today to the families and friends of the mass shooting in Las Vegas that happened last evening.

It’s difficult to process news on days like today. Where can we even collectively begin to express our sympathy and grief? As the reports continue to pour in from eye-witnesses, law enforcement, and the news media, intense feelings can easily overwhelm even the strongest among us.

In all honesty, church history isn’t the first place those of us who follow Christ typically turn during times of hardship. Or if it is, the folks who choose that route aren’t in my inner circle! However, as I’m deep into study of the Reformation this month, I see so many lessons from Martin Luther (one of the key figures from this time period in history) about how to process pain and suffering.

Luther wasn’t a stranger to pain and suffering. He experienced isolation from his community and family (he was ex-communicated from the church and estranged from his family), he was impacted deeply when his young children died, he experienced a variety of mental and physical health challenges and he was financially insecure for most of his working life. All while he worked to reform the Christian church from top to bottom.

There are many things one can learn from a study of Mr. Luther’s life and legacy and the lessons I draw today by no means make up a complete list. I see that the three lessons I mention below offer practical advice that allows those of us who are suffering in the present.

Lesson 1: suffering invites expression

Luther didn’t hesitate to express his feelings of disappointment, disillusionment, depression or any other emotion that felt hard. He saw suffering not as a topic to be avoided, but a chance to express the Gospel. The word “lament” means to “show or express grief” and for Luther, Christian expression of grief allows the sufferer to identify with and point to Christ.

“Christian suffering is nobler and precious above all other human sufferings because, since Christ himself suffered, he also hallowed the suffering of all his Christians.” ― Martin Luther

The temptation in many Christian circles is to put on what I call “masks of fine.” We feel pressure to keep our deep emotions and feelings of grief contained and show everyone around us how well we’re doing. Luther teaches us that there’s no need to spend all the mental energy it takes to keep that mask on. In Christ, we who suffer have freedom to express our “not fine-ness” in lament.

Lesson 2: suffering invites study 

A second lesson we might learn from Luther is that we can allow tragedies and difficult circumstances to lead us back to the Word of God. Not because we’re looking for short and quick single-verse answers to difficult problems, but because the text provides the vocabulary we require to lament. A full 1/3 of the book of Psalms consists of what scholars call “the psalms of lament.”

“… the Psalter is the book of all saints; and everyone, in whatever situation he may be, finds in that situation psalms and words that fit his case, that suit him as if they were put there just for his sake, so that he could not put it better himself, or find or wish for anything better.” ― Martin Luther

When suffering is intense and there are no words, the Word of God provides the language we need to take our every concern back to God. We can literally pray God’s Word back to God.

Click here for an online list of Psalms of lament.

Lesson 3: suffering invites song

Songs of lament have been used throughout history to cope with difficult life circumstances and Martin Luther was a big believer in the power of music to lift souls.

“My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.” ― Martin Luther

Music often goes where no other collection of words can, and it’s a wonderful gift given to us God’s people. When times are hard and grief threatens to overwhelm, the sufferer can turn to songs for comfort.

We invite you to consider this playlist for lament when you feel the need:

We welcome suggestions for the playlist. If you have a song or two you’d like us to add, please comment below with a link.

Finally, we leave you today with a prayer for all who suffer and grieve following gun violence:

“Thus says Yahweh: a voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and bitter weeping. Rachel, weeping for her children, refuses to be comforted, for her children are no more.”

Jeremiah 31:15

God, comforter of the broken and disheartened, We come to you plagued with an agonized grief after yet one more outbreak of senseless gun violence.

We come to you, from the East to the West, from the North to the South, people of all ages, ethnicities, and walks of life.

We represent one voice, the voice of bitter weeping echoing throughout our cities and resounding in communities throughout the world.

As violence abounds, we sit in the darkness, sitting alongside the suffering on the mourner’s bench.

We are Rachel, mourning with wordless sobs, the lives of those sacrificed on the altar of violence.

We are Rachel, weeping for the wounded, for those whose minds and bodies are etched with painful memories of men’s unjustifiable rage.

We are Rachel, lamenting with the families who have lost loved ones whose cries of despair join with those from tragedies of gun violence.

We are Rachel, perplexed with troubled souls, and searching for answers, seeking to understand what would cause humans to inflict pain on their fellow sisters and brothers.

We are Rachel, exasperated, grasping—crying out, “How long, O God?” How long will this wave of violence consume your people?

http://socialjusticeresourcecenter.org/prayers/gun-violence/

Over the next 31 days (as part of the #Write31Days online challenge), we’ll be unpacking what the Reformation means for our faith community here on our blog. We hope you’ll join us as we take a walk through history, apply what we’re learning to our lives today and ponder what it all means as we move together into our future.

Save the date: October 29! We’ll celebrate the Reformation and the confirmation of 7 young people in our community with one service at 10:00 a.m. Our synod bishop will preach and we’ll follow the service with an Oktoberfest celebration. Come for the service, stay for the German food, beer and wine (for a donation), a hymn sing and lots of fun!

 

Reformation: 500 Years and Counting

It’s finally here! The month we’ve been waiting for … October! Also known this year as “Reformation Month” or #Reformation500, this is the time the Lutheran church has set aside to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s decision to nail his 95 theses to a church wall, kicking off what would come to be known as the Protestant Reformation.

If you don’t know much about the Reformation, here’s a quick video primer:

Over the next 31 days (as part of the #Write31Days online challenge), we’ll be unpacking what the Reformation means for our faith community here on our blog. We hope you’ll join us as we take a walk through history, apply what we’re learning to our lives today and ponder what it all means as we move together into our future.

We hope you’ll plan to join us on October 29 for our one service at 10:00 am where we’ll celebrate the Reformation and the confirmation of 7 young people in our community. Our synod bishop will preach and we’ll follow the service with an Oktoberfest celebration. Come for the service, stay for the German food, beer and wine (for a donation), a hymn sing and lots of fun!