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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: racin_jason on October 16, 2017, 11:55:45 AM

Title: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: racin_jason on October 16, 2017, 11:55:45 AM
This is a thread for people to share how the Reformation is being observed on this, the 500th anniversary of the posting of the 95 Theses, events happening in congregations, districts and synods, as well as any presence and/or participation from those in the Roman Catholic Church etc.

My hope is this thread will help us gain a snapshot of what is happening across the country. 
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: racin_jason on October 16, 2017, 12:26:49 PM
In Savannah, Georgia on Oct. 22nd, their will be a joint Roman Catholic / (ELCA) Lutheran prayer service held in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Roman Catholic Bishop Gregory Hartmeyer will participate, as will the Bishop of the ELCA Southeastern Synod the Rev. Julian Gordy. The order of worship will be similar (if not identical) to the one used when Pope Francis worshiped with Lutherans in Lund, Sweden in October of 2016. Preaching will be The Rev. Fleming Rutledge, an Episcopal priest and author.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: aletheist on October 16, 2017, 01:15:51 PM
Yesterday the Missouri and Kansas Districts of the LCMS jointly hosted a Reformation Hymn Festival at Kansas City's Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.  The free tickets to both sessions (4pm and 7pm) "sold out" within an hour or two of being made available several weeks ago.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on October 16, 2017, 03:07:07 PM
Yesterday the Missouri and Kansas Districts of the LCMS jointly hosted a Reformation Hymn Festival at Kansas City's Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.  The free tickets to both sessions (4pm and 7pm) "sold out" within an hour or two of being made available several weeks ago.

The Kauffman Center event was really well done.  Local organist, Dr. Elisa Bickers, was really good as was Concordia Seward musical prof, Dr. Jeffrey Blersch.  Musicians from the KC Symphony performed along with a 300+ voice choir made up of churches from metropolitan KC.  Over 25 churches and the two Lutheran high schools (KC and Concordia MO) supported the event with their financial support.  (Minimum suggested contribution for each congregation was $500.  Trinity, Mission KS has a foundation that contributed thousands of dollars for the event.)

It was called Sing the Faith and there was some Scripture readings, a reading from the Large Catechism, and from a Luther sermon.  Christmas and Easter hymns were part of it.  It was really good, which I believe I've already said.  I was very happy that my congregation was a sponsor of the event and it took absolutely no effort to get them to participate.  The congregation I serve (Holy Trinity, Grandview) had 15 singers in the choir and about 30 who attended. 

Westboro Baptist attended the event in order to protest along Broadway and 17th St.  They brought their signs.  Their permit was from 4-7.  I got a photo of one of the protesters because a friend in MI was dumbfounded that WBC would be at our event.  (Michigan had an event at the Breslin Center, but I will let a Michigander tell us about that.)  They were quiet, stayed on the sidewalk.  They sent letters to the churches announcing their need for attention and that they would protest.  I told my folks to ignore them, pray for them, and enjoy the event.  I think my people did just that.  Some didn't even see the protesters. 

It was a great event.  Aletheist, if I'd have known you'd have been there, I'd have suggested meeting at a certain point and giving each other the secret ALPB handshake.  For all I know you were sitting behind me enjoying the rich music.  And perhaps we could have gotten Jim Butler to return to KC from Boston.  Maybe next year when we celebrate the 501st anniversary.  Lol.

Jeremy
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 16, 2017, 06:16:30 PM
Glad you asked!

First, Let the Books Tell the Story.

Concordia University Chicago has several events. Currently and through November 5, we have a unique collection of printed works on display. These have never been seen together in one place and some (like the Bach Bible) will never travel again:

From https://www.cuchicago.edu/experience/faith/500th-anniversary-reformation/let-the-books-tell-the-story-j.s.-bachs-bible-and-reformation-treasures/

This unprecedented opportunity to view Johann Sebastian Bach’s personal Bible (1733) along with many authentic 16th century documents will chart the Reformation’s impact through a remarkable presentation of rare books, including:

                        An original leaf from the Gutenberg Bible (c.1454)
                        Erasmus' Greek New Testament (1516)
                        The first Lutheran hymnal - Achtliederbuch (1524)
                        Luther's seminal works of the 1520's
                        The Papal Bull - Exsurge Domine (1520)
                        The Augsburg Confession and Apology (1531)
                        The Luther Bible (1534)
                        The historic English Bibles of the 1530's
                        The first printed Spanish Bible - Biblia del Oso (1569)
                        1580 editions of the Book of Concord
                        The Geneva Bible (1599)


Second, a truly historic "Reformation Conversation."

On October 30 at 7:30 CT. The participants are Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison (President, LCMS), Cardinal Blase Cupich (Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago) and Dr. Phil Ryken (Reformed theologian and President of Wheaton College). The moderator is Manya Brachear Pashman (Chicago Tribune).

The event is filled (600 people) but overflow rooms with closed circuit TV are available. It is also available by live-stream at https://www.cuchicago.edu/news-events/streaming-video/

https://www.cuchicago.edu/experience/faith/500th-anniversary-reformation/the-reformation-at-500-an-interdenominational-conversation/
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: J. Eriksson on October 16, 2017, 08:30:22 PM
Yesterday the Missouri and Kansas Districts of the LCMS jointly hosted a Reformation Hymn Festival at Kansas City's Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.  The free tickets to both sessions (4pm and 7pm) "sold out" within an hour or two of being made available several weeks ago.

This IMO is "in-reach"  how could /can it be outreach/witness if the tickets are sold out?  Church folks have only a finite amount of time, money and energy.   Hiding the  light under a basket.

May I suggest a different approach:
a. follow the same format, hymns and scripture readings for vocal breaks.
b. have 3 or so churches get together at one church so attendance is 70-80% capacity
c. announce it to the neighborhood and put it up on the church sign with a welcome
d. do it 2 days in a row, 2 weeks in a row  do it again in November at a different location.  So all 3-4 churches share
e. above all open the windows so the Joy in the faith can be heard in the neighborhood!

Let people sneak in and join,   sing the same hymns in Sunday worship for a few weeks.
"Hymn sing St. John's Gaspump Sunday 2:00 PM.   "pssst" wanna sneak in and join us?

Jeremy ' how about trying the above approach at your church/ or circuit next year?

Best to all, but unfortunately grouchy because I think this was a wasted opportunity.
james
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: aletheist on October 17, 2017, 01:02:05 PM
This IMO is "in-reach" how could/can it be outreach/witness if the tickets are sold out?  Church folks have only a finite amount of time, money and energy.  Hiding the light under a basket.
Who said anything about outreach/witness?  The thread title refers to "observances and celebrations."  This particular event was primarily geared toward worship and praise.
Best to all, but unfortunately grouchy because I think this was a wasted opportunity.
Your attitude is indeed unfortunate.  Why not focus on your own vocations, rather than complaining about how others have chosen to carry out theirs?
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 17, 2017, 02:20:03 PM
Yesterday the Missouri and Kansas Districts of the LCMS jointly hosted a Reformation Hymn Festival at Kansas City's Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.  The free tickets to both sessions (4pm and 7pm) "sold out" within an hour or two of being made available several weeks ago.

This IMO is "in-reach"  how could /can it be outreach/witness if the tickets are sold out?  Church folks have only a finite amount of time, money and energy.   Hiding the  light under a basket.

May I suggest a different approach:
a. follow the same format, hymns and scripture readings for vocal breaks.
b. have 3 or so churches get together at one church so attendance is 70-80% capacity
c. announce it to the neighborhood and put it up on the church sign with a welcome
d. do it 2 days in a row, 2 weeks in a row  do it again in November at a different location.  So all 3-4 churches share
e. above all open the windows so the Joy in the faith can be heard in the neighborhood!

Let people sneak in and join,   sing the same hymns in Sunday worship for a few weeks.
"Hymn sing St. John's Gaspump Sunday 2:00 PM.   "pssst" wanna sneak in and join us?

Jeremy ' how about trying the above approach at your church/ or circuit next year?

Best to all, but unfortunately grouchy because I think this was a wasted opportunity.
james
I don't think I'm quite understanding your objection to the event, which sounds like it was great. Is every gathering of Christians best understood as a wasted opportunity to mingle with unbelievers?
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: John Theiss on October 17, 2017, 03:32:04 PM
At least one of my sons in Shawnee and his family (maybe both) attended this event and enjoyed (if that is the appropriate word) it tremendously.  My grandchildren (ages 13, 10, 8 and 6) loved it as well.  It was clearly seen by them as a celebration of thanksgiving to God for the blessings that have come out of the Reformation. 
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on October 18, 2017, 07:33:29 AM
We've had a number of Reformation themed events for the communitirs around us. (We're on the south side of KC metro, fyi.) Grace alone- a day of grace for people around us, primarily low income. It was a back to school event with free school supplies (we checked the published school supply lists and had them pre-packaged by grade), free gently used clothing, free hair cuts, hygiene kits, free lunch, free Bibles, free catechisms, free prayer. 200 people attended. Faith alone- an artistic afternoon of visual and performing arts that emphasize faith in the triune God (rather than faith in faith, a personal bugaboo of mine). Word alone- what we do on a daily basis with our preschool, daily vocations, Sunday worship. We've highlighted the accessibile resources for our members to use that can help them live out the God-given faith of their baptism.

The Sunday hymn sing was primarily for "us." And I'm okay with that. Several choir members told me they'd do it again in a heartbeat. I saw two ushers singing. And Westboro Baptist showed up but I don't think they took the opportunity to come in. And I also think that the response was somewhat surprising for the planning committee. The Kauffman Center noticed how quickly the free tickets were snatched up and the length of the waiting list and asked us to do a matinee.

I am a both-and guy rather than either-or. We can have a celebratory event for us and live that faith in all portions of the metro area. We can celebrate our faith, our musical heritage, the enduring gifts of the Reformation and we can put that into practice. We may not always be the best at that, but that's okay. We do our best.

Jeremy
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 18, 2017, 12:46:27 PM
Sunday I will be preaching and presiding at an Episcopal Church some distance from us. The rector is doing a whole month focusing on the Reformation, and he wanted a Lutheran guest for one of the Sundays (he really would have preferred to have me for Reformation Day, but I'll be in Hawaii). He's using the LBW liturgy for his 10:00 service, and the SBH liturgy for 8:00 (that's normally his Rite 1 service). It will be an interesting experience. He's sent me his "sermons" for the first couple of weeks, and they are really more like introductory presentations about different branches of the Reformation than sermons. I'm struggling how to give some historical info about Luther and the Lutheran Reformation but still preach on the lections for the day.

But it will be nice to sing some good Lutheran hymns!
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Charles Austin on October 19, 2017, 10:52:13 AM
The Reformation week-end at Luther seminary in St. Paul looks like fun. I will be there.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: RPG on October 19, 2017, 02:48:18 PM
While you're at Luther Seminary, be sure to check out the artwork displayed in the narthex outside the Chapel of the Incarnation. My wife is a calligrapher and the sem invited her to show some of her work that's based on the Small Catechism. You can also find it at engagingfaith.com. (http://www.engagingfaith.com)

/shameless plug  ;) :)

RPG+
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Charles Austin on October 19, 2017, 03:22:07 PM
The ELCA event in Washington, D. C.
https://elca500.org/events/looking-back-called-forward-elca-500-washington-d-c/
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Mbecker on October 21, 2017, 07:12:41 PM
Here is the itinerary that I put together for my merry band of 107 pilgrims. (A few travelers had to drop out for health reasons.)

Oct 24-26 - Berlin (city tour; special exhibit on Luther at the German Historical Museum; Bach's B-Minor Mass at the Philharmonic, directed by Ton Koopman[my son and I have great seats]; lunch with a friend from my home congregation [St. John, Salem, Ore.] who now works in the German Interior Ministry; drinks with VU alumni who now live in Berlin);

Oct 27 - Eisleben (Luther's birth and death place) and Erfurt (university and Aug. monastery; we'll be worshiping at the monastery on the 29th);

Oct 28 - Eisenach (one of the places where Luther studied as a child; Bach's birthplace; Wartburg; spending time in the Bachhaus Museum; St. George Lutheran Church, where Bach was baptized);

Oct 29 - Rothenburg o. d. Tauber (not my choice; tour company needed to include it in order to keep the tour costs down in the hopes that pilgrims will buy from K. Wohlfahrt; looking forward to the Kriminalmuseum there, where there's an exhibit on Luther and witchcraft);

Oct 30 - Coburg (where Luther resided during the Diet of Augsburg);

Oct 31 - Leipzig and Wittenberg (9:30am divine service at St. Thomas w/Valpo chorale and Thomanerchor, Lord's Supper in chancel where Bach is buried; hymnfest in Castle Church, Wittenberg w/Valpo Chorale in afternoon; in the am service Thomanerchor is singing BWV 79); hoping to catch a glimpse of the spokesperson for the free world, Kanzlerin Angela Merkel, who will be worshiping in Wittenberg that day;

Nov 1 - Spending the day in Wittenberg; dinner at Zill's Tunnel in Leipzig; VU president's reception for 200 people at the St. Thomas School;

Nov 2 - Excursion to Dresden, Frauenkirche, and Zwinger;

Nov 3 - Excursion to Weimar (Bach, Goethe, Schiller) and Buchenwald (an opportunity to discuss "Luther and the Jews," the Shoah, as well as Bonhoeffer and Paul Schneider); 6pm motet service at St. Thomas, Leipzig, with VU chorale and Thomanerchor (BWV 80; a new piece by Jake Runestad, commissioned by VU to observe the 500th: "Into The Light," which weaves together ideas from M. Luther, MLK Jr., Mahatma Ghandi, Helen Keller, F. Douglass, Mechthild v. M., and a few others);

Nov 4 - Spending the day in Leipzig (e.g. Nicolaikirche, setting for the prayers for peace on Mon's at 5pm [starting in 1982] that were a catalyst for the downfall of East-German Communism; lunch at Auerbach's Keller, where Goethe set a scene in his Faust; 3pm motet service at St. Thomas w/VU chorale and Thomanerchor [BWV 79]);

Nov 5 - Divine Service at S. T's (VU chorale/Thomanerchor for Allerheiligen), and then the rest of the day at the Bach museum, the art museum, Stasi Museum, and then back to Berlin;

Every morning after our devotion, which various members in the group have agreed to lead, I will provide a mini-lecture on the day's focus/foci. Additional color commentary will be provided on the three buses during the journey.

We end the tour on Sun night, Nov 5, at the Hofbrauhaus in Berlin, and return to the states on Nov 6.

I/we would welcome your prayers for safe travel.

Matt Becker
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: wmattsfield on October 21, 2017, 07:56:12 PM
Our small congregation in the middle of the Ozarks will have an Oktoberfest to celebrate. But even though we try to work hard to bring the community in, we have little success. So, to celebrate the Reformation, I have arranged for our local community theater to produce Luther the Rock Opera starting Thursday. While we won't have thousands celebrating, we might have a few hundred.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Charles Austin on October 22, 2017, 12:29:12 AM
Blessings to you, Dr. Becker. I wish, as I had initially planned, that I would’ve been able to travel with you.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Mbecker on October 22, 2017, 04:12:04 AM
Blessings to you, Dr. Becker. I wish, as I had initially planned, that I would’ve been able to travel with you.

Thank you, Charles! I, too, wish that you had been able to join us. Blessings on your observance of this important anniversary!

Matt
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Matt Hummel on October 22, 2017, 05:49:45 PM
On Sunday 29 October, at St. John the Baptist Church of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, we will be celebrating the 20th Sunday after Trinity. I will be be the Chalice Bearer.  All are welcome!

On Tuesday 31 October, Roman Catholic HS will be participating in its annual dress down day. Pay $1 and you can wear jeans. Theme is Purple & Gold (our school colors). All y'all are invited!  ;)
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on October 22, 2017, 06:37:33 PM
On Sunday 29 October, at St. John the Baptist Church of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, we will be celebrating the 20th Sunday after Trinity. I will be be the Chalice Bearer.  All are welcome!

On Tuesday 31 October, Roman Catholic HS will be participating in its annual dress down day. Pay $1 and you can wear jeans. Theme is Purple & Gold (our school colors). All y'all are invited!  ;)

I appreciate that you will serve as chalice bearer. That's good stuff.

But allowing the kids to pay money for a special privilege? Did their course on medieval history just study the life and times of Albrecht, Archbishop of Mainz? That's a good object lesson. ;-)

Continued blessings on your journey to ordination. Jeremy
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: MEKoch on October 23, 2017, 09:23:47 AM
Trinity Lutheran and St. Edward Roman Catholic in Ashland, OH gathered for common prayer on Monday, October 16 at the Ashland University Chapel.  Liturgy commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  The new Roman Catholic Bishop of Cleveland, The Most Reverend Nelson Perez, was the preacher.  350 persons prayed together, confessed our sins and hurts of 500 years of separation, offered each other the gift of peace, and sang mostly good Lutheran hymns with vigor. 

A blessed event!    Michael Koch
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 23, 2017, 12:40:57 PM
I mentioned earlier my dilemma in preaching at a nearby (well, 100 miles away) Episcopal congregation's Reformation celebration. If you're interested, here's how it went:


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ! It’s a pleasure to be with you this morning as part of your commemoration of the Reformation. This is, of course, a really big deal in the Lutheran world, but it’s nice to see an Episcopal congregation taking special note of this 500th anniversary. It’s been a great joy since my retirement as a Lutheran pastor to be actively involved in an Episcopal congregation; but each year at the end of October, I must admit that I miss the annual Lutheran festival of “Reformation Day.”

“Grace to you . . .”  The words with which I greeted you a moment ago are also St. Paul’s words of greeting in our Epistle lesson this morning. “GRACE”—it’s an important word—a word that many congregations besides yours have taken as their name. It is not uncommon among Lutherans to say that “grace” is really at the heart of Martin Luther’s theology, and at the heart of the event we call the Reformation. Lutherans talk about the solas –that’s a Latin word meaning alone. Maybe you’ve heard, for instance, of sola scriptura, “Scripture alone”—a Reformation slogan that meant that Christian faith is based solely on Scripture, not on other uninspired writings, however profound they might be. For Luther there were two or three other solas—and one was sola gratia, “grace alone.” We are saved by “grace alone,” not by any works of the law.

So on one level, to say that grace is at the heart of the Reformation is certainly true. When Luther was a young Augustinian friar, his anguished question was “How can I find a gracious God?” He lived in a time when many people viewed God as demanding and punitive, and Luther himself had a strong consciousness of his own sins. He feared that he could never be good enough, and that God would condemn him.

But as he wrestled with the Scriptures and particularly with St. Paul, he came to see that God is in fact gracious—that everything that we have is by God’s grace. It was a discovery that changed the world. And yet I suspect that, when the church talks about grace today, we often mean something rather different from what Luther meant. I was in college in the 1960s and 70s. I used to marvel at the popularity among people in my age group of the hymn “Amazing Grace.” It was sung, for heavens’ sake, by Joan Baez and Judy Collins—hardly paragons of Christian faith! Eventually I realized that the reason this quintessential Christian hymn was so easily embraced by thoroughly secular people is that there is really very little Christian content to it. It never mentions Jesus, never even refers in a generic way to God. It’s all about grace—but grace as a concept completely untethered from the Lord Jesus Christ. It is as if there is this cosmic spiritual reality called grace that’s got the whole world in its hands!

That is not grace as Luther proclaimed it, nor as any of the other Reformers understood it. The great 20th century theologian Karl Barth once spoke of the gospel as “grace, nothing but grace, and the whole of grace.” It’s the “whole of grace” that often seems to be lacking today. For the Reformers, the concept of grace without God would be astonishing—and meaningless. He doesn’t do this in our Epistle today, but in nearly all of his other letters St. Paul begins by saying “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Grace is a gift, but there is a Giver—and it’s not the universe that is the Giver—it is God. That’s “the whole of grace.”

Furthermore, “grace” has a very specific meaning for Christians—and that meaning has several facets. In the first place, “grace” means that everything we are and everything we have comes from God. When Jesus tells the Pharisees to “give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, but to God the things that are God’s,” he’s not suggesting that there is anything we have that does not belong to God. For Luther, that was the overwhelming reality of what it means to believe in God. His classic Small Catechism—a document that I think every Christian should know, not just Lutherans!—he explains the first article of the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth” by saying this: “I believe that God created me—and all that exists. He has given me and still preserves my body and soul with all their powers. He provides me with food and clothing, home and family, daily work, and all I need from day to day. God also protects me in time of danger and guards me from every evil. All this he does out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it. Therefore I surely ought to thank and praise, serve and obey him. This is most certainly true.” For Luther, you see, the fundamental reality of our existence is that everything comes from God—not just our life, but everything in it: relationships, vocation, material goods, health, all from God. And all “out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it”—which is to say, all by grace, nothing but grace.

But for Luther there’s another facet of grace, one deeper and more profound. It is that God, in his grace, forgives us our sins. We heard the Psalmist say it this morning in wonder: “You were a God who forgave them!” And for Luther, that’s the center of grace—that God could give us sinful human beings the opportunity to repent of our sins, and then forgive us and set us back on the right path.
This year of the 500th anniversary you’ve perhaps heard a bit about the “95 Theses” that Luther allegedly nailed to the door of the church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, thus sparking what came to be known as the Reformation. But not many people have actually read the “95 Theses.” They think the document was sort of a general call for reform. Actually, the “95 Theses” centered quite specifically on this whole question of sin and repentance and forgiveness.

In the medieval church, it was taught that one’s salvation depended on regular use of the sacrament of penance—that is, on confessing to your parish priest and then fulfilling the penance he assigned you. The church taught that Jesus’ words, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand,” meant the sacrament of penance. One fulfilled the “satisfaction” (either through some pious act or—sad to say—through buying forgiveness through the purchase of indulgences.

But Luther insisted that this absolutely turned God’s grace on its head. God forgives us freely, without any payment of any kind. The first of the “95 Theses” laid the foundation: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said ‘Repent,’ he intended that the entire life of the believer should be one of repentance.” In other words, the Christian’s life is one that is always aware of sin, always sorry for sin, always striving against sin—and always humbly grateful that God “does not deal with us according to our sins, nor requite us according to our iniquities.” It is grace, nothing but grace—no matter how far we’ve fallen short, how much we’ve done or left undone, God, in his grace, forgives all those who turn to him.

But the deepest mystery of all for Luther, the almost unfathomable center of God’s grace, is Jesus Christ. This forgiveness that God offers so freely does not come cheap; but it is God who pays the price. Let me go back to Luther’s Small Catechism. When he explains the second article of the creed, the paragraph about Jesus, he says this: “At great cost he has saved and redeemed me, a lost and condemned person. He has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil—not with silver or gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. All this he has done that I may be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as he is risen from the dead and lives and rules eternally. This is most certainly true.”

So there you have it. For Luther, and for the other Reformers, the deepest mystery of all is that that this grace of which they speak, this grace which brings us forgiveness, is all because of Christ—the one whom, Paul says in our Epistle lesson, God “raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.” That’s the whole of grace—that God loved the world so much that he sent his Son, to live as one of us, and to suffer and die for us, so that we might be his own. That’s the heart of the Reformation’s proclamation. It’s grace, nothing but grace, and the whole of grace.

Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Charles Austin on October 23, 2017, 04:51:44 PM
WTG! Esteemed moderator Richard!
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 23, 2017, 09:23:11 PM
Well done. As the less esteemed of the moderators, I second Charles's emotion.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 23, 2017, 11:35:08 PM
 ;)
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Charles Austin on October 24, 2017, 12:37:27 AM
 😏😏
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 24, 2017, 09:11:25 AM
Well done, Pastor Johnson.

I have been researching my own family history which is largely in Scotland and England. My Scottish ancestors were a mix of RC and Reformed, heavy on the Reformed side. My English ancestors were largely RC with a few "Anglicans" mixed in. In the 15th-17th centuries, they all hated each other. My 14th great-grandmother, Margaret Pole, was executed in 1541 with most of her family by Henry VIII. She was beatified as a RC martyr in 1883. Her son, Cardinal Reginald Pole, later led the charge against protestants under Bloody Mary and was responsible for many being burned alive.

I appreciate the fact that you, a Lutheran, were able to speak to an Anglican audience. Centuries ago, the one thing the English reformers, Scottish reformers and Roman Catholics could all agree on was that Lutherans are heretics and must be eradicated.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 24, 2017, 01:37:20 PM

I appreciate the fact that you, a Lutheran, were able to speak to an Anglican audience. Centuries ago, the one thing the English reformers, Scottish reformers and Roman Catholics could all agree on was that Lutherans are heretics and must be eradicated.

Thanks, Dr. Gard--but don't forget that some of the earliest English Reformers, notably Robert Barnes, were actually Lutherans! I believe Miles Coverdale, the Biblical translator, was actually a Lutheran pastor for a time while in exile in Germany.

But a direct descendant of a martyr! Cool!
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 24, 2017, 02:31:06 PM

I appreciate the fact that you, a Lutheran, were able to speak to an Anglican audience. Centuries ago, the one thing the English reformers, Scottish reformers and Roman Catholics could all agree on was that Lutherans are heretics and must be eradicated.

Thanks, Dr. Gard--but don't forget that some of the earliest English Reformers, notably Robert Barnes, were actually Lutherans! I believe Miles Coverdale, the Biblical translator, was actually a Lutheran pastor for a time while in exile in Germany.

But a direct descendant of a martyr! Cool!

I believe that Coverdale died a natural death. Robert Barnes was burned in England as were other Lutherans like John Rogers. Up in Scotland they also got in on the act and burned others like Patrick Hamilton.

Being a Lutheran meant you got to have a hot time in the old town.

Seriously, their martyrdom should inspire us to pay whatever cost there might be for truth.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Norman Teigen on October 24, 2017, 03:21:31 PM
Thank you, Pastor Johnson.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Matt Staneck on October 25, 2017, 09:09:04 AM
Commencing the commemorations this Sunday at St. John's with Reformation Day observed, followed by part 1 of a 3 part bible study on the reformation. The following weekend on November 4th we will also be the host site for one of the regional celebrations of the Atlantic District. I'm working on this Sunday's sermon as we speak and I look forward to Bishop Lecakes, our district president, preaching at St. John's on the 4th. Blessings to all!

M. Staneck
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Dave Benke on October 25, 2017, 10:44:56 AM
Commencing the commemorations this Sunday at St. John's with Reformation Day observed, followed by part 1 of a 3 part bible study on the reformation. The following weekend on November 4th we will also be the host site for one of the regional celebrations of the Atlantic District. I'm working on this Sunday's sermon as we speak and I look forward to Bishop Lecakes, our district president, preaching at St. John's on the 4th. Blessings to all!

M. Staneck

Overflow parking lot at the Forest Park bandshell, for those coming to the November 4 event from across the region and country. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Matt Hummel on October 25, 2017, 12:08:53 PM
Here is an interesting article to read on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation:
https://aleteia.org/2017/10/25/40-english-martyrs-you-may-not-know/?utm_campaign=english_page&utm_medium=aleteia_en&utm_source=Facebook#link_time=1508907535
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 25, 2017, 01:03:07 PM
I've worked it out with the senior pastor/priest of St. Thomas More RC parish up the street, with the bishop's approval, to have the same letter signed by both of us included in both congregations' worship bulletins this Sunday. The actual letter is formatted to include two color photos of our (remarkably similar) steeple crosses with the quotes from Luther and More, and the suggestions for the parishioners in blue.

The full text is as follows:

“My conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help me. Amen." Martin Luther, facing the prospect of the death sentence before the Holy Roman Emperor in 1521.

“I die the king’s good servant. But God’s first.” St. Thomas More, just prior to his execution at the command of the King of England Henry VIII of England in 1535, who found More guilty of treason for refusing to choose political expediency over divine truth.

Martin Luther and Thomas More were contemporaries who studied, prayed, wrote, and spoke on opposite sides of the massive transformation of the Church and world we call the Reformation. Though bitter enemies, both were incredibly gifted men who sought to serve the Lord with the whole of who they were, no matter the cost. Their influence on the church and the world remains strong today, as is apparent when we consider that five hundred years later and halfway across the globe, separate Christian congregations are named after both men in the same neighborhood here in Munster.

Five hundred years is a long time even by Biblical reckoning. Global church leaders work tirelessly toward reconciliation. While important differences remain, the spirit of enmity and mutual suspicion that in centuries past marked the relationship between the two church bodies has given way more and more to a spirit of appreciation and desire to work toward greater unity. As the whole world marks the 500th anniversary of the symbolic beginning of the Reformation, how shall the Catholics and Lutherans of this neighborhood memorialize the events of so long ago?

When a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran meets a member of St. Thomas More Catholic, both of them are better served if their meeting is between an informed, faithful Lutheran and an informed, faithful Catholic. Odd as it sounds, the truth is that anyone who is honestly interested in reconciliation of the two churches must begin by rededicating themselves to the teachings and practices of their own church.

The best Catholics and Lutherans, be they saints like Mother Teresa of Calcutta, martyrs like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, or artistic geniuses like J.R.R. Tolkien and J.S. Bach, follow the Lord in such a way that both Lutherans and Catholics see Christ at work through them. The Christians of our neighborhood might never be considered great or famous like them, but we are all witnesses to each other of the love, grace, and mercy God showed in sending His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to be our Savior and take away the sin of the world.

So while the whole world marks the historic 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the shepherds of God’s flock at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and St. Thomas More Catholic Church join together in urging each of our members to—

   Pray for the Truth of God’s Word and the unity of God’s people to prevail more and more in our lives and throughout the church;

   Be civil and respectful regarding areas of continuing disagreement, and work together wherever possible on areas of agreement;

   Rededicate ourselves to regular worship and the teachings and practices of our congregations, so that when we encounter each other, we encounter the best of each other;

   Seek to embody living faith in Christ and faithful life in His body, the church, such that all Christians five hundred years from now may be unified in recognizing us as their own. 

(signatures of pastors)
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on October 25, 2017, 01:24:41 PM
Nicely done Peter!

Jeremy
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Matt Hummel on October 25, 2017, 03:06:15 PM
So say we all!
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Charles Austin on October 25, 2017, 03:40:29 PM
Very nice letter, Peter, for your situation. It is a good thing that you have done that.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Charles Austin on October 25, 2017, 03:50:17 PM
I look forward to hearing Bishop Eaton preach in Minneapolis on Saturday afternoon.  Anybody  know a Lutheran Church in Minneapolis or the western suburbs that will have a swingin’ reformation service on Sunday morning?
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 25, 2017, 03:57:11 PM

When a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran meets a member of St. Thomas More Catholic, both of them are better served if their meeting is between an informed, faithful Lutheran and an informed, faithful Catholic. Odd as it sounds, the truth is that anyone who is honestly interested in reconciliation of the two churches must begin by rededicating themselves to the teachings and practices of their own church.


Wonderful letter! I appreciate that both of you recognize the opportunity we have to communicate and understand each other other without the rancor and polemics that too often occur. Yet the sentence above recognizes that this can best be done by first understanding and articulating one's own confession. Thank you both!

I have to admit that I always find the canonization of "Saint" Thomas More to be problematic. Historians debate his role in the persecution of English reformers but there is substantial evidence that he encouraged, if not actively participated in, the torture and burning at the stake of several people.  16th century England was a bit messy and when the tide turned, More himself paid with his life.

Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 25, 2017, 04:02:09 PM
16th century England was a bit messy...
Their chosen torture methods added to the general lack of tidiness. Reading about More in order to write the letter (which, like everything I write, was originally waaaaayyyyy too long) was like binge watching The Walking Dead in terms of the general smear of blood and gore everywhere.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: readselerttoo on October 25, 2017, 04:19:33 PM
My wife subscribes to The New Yorker.  The Oct. 30th edition has an article on Luther and the Reformation.  I have not read it yet.  Just passing this nugget along!   :)
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Dave Benke on October 25, 2017, 06:00:16 PM
16th century England was a bit messy...
Their chosen torture methods added to the general lack of tidiness. Reading about More in order to write the letter (which, like everything I write, was originally waaaaayyyyy too long) was like binge watching The Walking Dead in terms of the general smear of blood and gore everywhere.

Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, which are simply great, will reinforce the "lack of tidiness" in that era in indelible verbal imagery.

Dave Benke

Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Weedon on October 25, 2017, 06:01:08 PM
Peter, what a beautiful and consoling missive for both parishes to read. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Coach-Rev on October 26, 2017, 11:39:48 AM
Most of you know that I am a bit more "pro-tech" when it comes to the church's worship, despite that I also rely heavily on the great tradition of the church.

While we are not so much celebrating the 500th anniversary as we are calling for continued reformation, here is the final video for Sunday's service.  It is also a summary of sorts of the past 8 weeks' sermon series on the writings, hymns, artistry, and recorded sayings of Martin Luther.

You can access the video here:  https://youtu.be/UYbfnXATVWs
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on October 27, 2017, 07:53:49 PM
http://www.antiochian.org/reformation-conference-st-nicholas-grand-rapids (http://www.antiochian.org/reformation-conference-st-nicholas-grand-rapids)

Quote
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Grand Rapids, MI ​is ​set to host a conference reflecting on ​this occasion, on Monday, October 30 and Tuesday, October 31, 2017. The gathering is entitled, "That They May be One: A Time of Remembrance & Reflection on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation​.​​"​ While we Orthodox were not involved in the​ Reformation, it has influenced the world we live in to a great extent,​ and we have definite views on the issues that both led to and came out of the Reformation. We are inviting the Christian community in our area to hear our perspectives and to hear theirs. Following opening remarks by host pastor Fr. Michael Nasser, and the mayor of Kentwood (where St. Nicholas is located) Stephen Kepley, His Grace Bishop​ ​ANTHONY will be offering the ​k​eynote ​a​ddress at 7 PM at October 30​. ​We have employed a variety of means to invite the Christian community ​of our area, including a direct mailing to almost 1,000 churches in a three county area.​ The goal of this conference will be to engage in dialogue within our Christian community with a view toward greater interaction and development of respectful relationships.​ ​

Each of the three main addresses will be followed by short presentations by representatives of different Christian traditions, followed by dialog and questions from the audience. There is no charge for the event, but registration is required to attend the lunch on Tuesday. Information and registration can be found at the St. Nicholas website. All presentations are being recorded for download from the Ancient Faith Radio website.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Jeff-MN on October 28, 2017, 09:21:04 AM
I look forward to hearing Bishop Eaton preach in Minneapolis on Saturday afternoon.  Anybody  know a Lutheran Church in Minneapolis or the western suburbs that will have a swingin’ reformation service on Sunday morning?

Sunday afternoon (4pm)  there is a huge service planned at Concordia University in St Paul with LCMS President Matthew Harrison preaching.  It might be interesting to compare/contrast these two services.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on October 28, 2017, 10:21:08 AM
I look forward to hearing Bishop Eaton preach in Minneapolis on Saturday afternoon.  Anybody  know a Lutheran Church in Minneapolis or the western suburbs that will have a swingin’ reformation service on Sunday morning?

Sunday afternoon (4pm)  there is a huge service planned at Concordia University in St Paul with LCMS President Matthew Harrison preaching.  It might be interesting to compare/contrast these two services.

It would be interesting to hear the similarities and contrasts. I heard Bp. Eaton on Issues, Etc and was impressed, given that she knew it was an LCMS pastor doing the interview with a predominantly LCMS listening audience. Todd did a fine job letting her talk and answer the questions. She's certainly a better communicator than Bp. Hanson. But I was disappointed with her answer when trying to talk about Christ Alone. So I would like to hear from folks who attend either or both of these events.

Jeremy
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Jeff-MN on October 28, 2017, 11:32:54 AM
I look forward to hearing Bishop Eaton preach in Minneapolis on Saturday afternoon.  Anybody  know a Lutheran Church in Minneapolis or the western suburbs that will have a swingin’ reformation service on Sunday morning?

Sunday afternoon (4pm)  there is a huge service planned at Concordia University in St Paul with LCMS President Matthew Harrison preaching.  It might be interesting to compare/contrast these two services.

It would be interesting to hear the similarities and contrasts. I heard Bp. Eaton on Issues, Etc and was impressed, given that she knew it was an LCMS pastor doing the interview with a predominantly LCMS listening audience. Todd did a fine job letting her talk and answer the questions. She's certainly a better communicator than Bp. Hanson. But I was disappointed with her answer when trying to talk about Christ Alone. So I would like to hear from folks who attend either or both of these events.

Jeremy

I see that the ELCA service with Ms. Eaton will be broadcast live -- http://centralmpls.sermon.net/main/main/20594165

It doesn't look like the LCMS service will be livestreamed :(

Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Eileen Smith on October 29, 2017, 07:55:15 AM
I look forward to hearing Bishop Eaton preach in Minneapolis on Saturday afternoon.  Anybody  know a Lutheran Church in Minneapolis or the western suburbs that will have a swingin’ reformation service on Sunday morning?

Sunday afternoon (4pm)  there is a huge service planned at Concordia University in St Paul with LCMS President Matthew Harrison preaching.  It might be interesting to compare/contrast these two services.

It would be interesting to hear the similarities and contrasts. I heard Bp. Eaton on Issues, Etc and was impressed, given that she knew it was an LCMS pastor doing the interview with a predominantly LCMS listening audience. Todd did a fine job letting her talk and answer the questions. She's certainly a better communicator than Bp. Hanson. But I was disappointed with her answer when trying to talk about Christ Alone. So I would like to hear from folks who attend either or both of these events.

Jeremy

I see that the ELCA service with Ms. Eaton will be broadcast live -- http://centralmpls.sermon.net/main/main/20594165

It doesn't look like the LCMS service will be livestreamed :(

This is not meant, in any way, to sound disrespectful of your comment, but may I point out that Ms. Eaton is actually Bishop or Presiding Bishop Eaton.  I realize that publications such as The New York Times would use Mr. or Ms. for clergy, but as this is a board of faithful Lutherans, Orthodox, Roman Catholics (and perhaps others), perhaps we could grant that respect.  There have been many efforts - such good efforts - not to hold this special day as one of Lutheran triumphalism, but to look at where we've come in 500 years in terms of our fellowship with our Roman Catholic sisters and brothers.  May we also share that respect and fellowship with fellow Lutherans. 

I do hope you have a wonderful commemoration today - as I am looking forward to our day as well.  Members of our congregation will receive a special gift after the service - one of Pastor Fred Schumacher's Luther medals.  They're beautiful and this year as well as medals from past years are available on alpb.org.    ;) 

Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Eileen Smith on October 29, 2017, 04:30:31 PM
Sharing just a small piece of today's beautiful liturgy.  https://www.facebook.com/caroline.parody/videos/1569427279770021/ (https://www.facebook.com/caroline.parody/videos/1569427279770021/).  Our musicians are home grown - we're blessed! 

Our entrance hymn was:  "Though All Our Life is Like a Scroll."  Many thanks, Pastor Weedon!
Title: Reformation Conversation Tonight
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 30, 2017, 09:00:22 AM
As promised, I am re-posting the information on this evening's Reformation Conversation at 7:30 central time.

Live-streaming at: https://www.cuchicago.edu/news-events/streaming-video/

Information at:

https://www.cuchicago.edu/experience/faith/500th-anniversary-reformation/the-reformation-at-500-an-interdenominational-conversation/
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 30, 2017, 09:17:34 AM
Thanks, Dr. Gard. Looking forward to it.

CSL will lie-stream their Reformation service Oct 31st at 7:00 pm.

https://www.csl.edu/live/

"Please join us for a celebration in song of the Reformation and the promise of God’s Word.
The musical celebration will highlight the three “solas,” teachings central to the Reformation:

Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)
Sola Fide (Faith Alone)
Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)"
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Pr. Luke Zimmerman on October 30, 2017, 11:33:07 AM
Besides the local parish observance on Sunday morning, parishioners from my LCMS congregation in Mechanicsburg and from the neighboring LCMS congregation in Lititz met together in Myerstown for Festival Evening Prayer. This is where an LCMS mission congregation is being planted; last year's Reformation observance there was a sort of formal "kickoff" of that effort.

Meeting in a seminary chapel that is rented as worship space for the mission congregation, there were 125+ worshipers gathered, including some who were not attached to our parishes. Prior to the beginning of the service proper, singers young and old from both congregations and the mission plant sang settings classic and modern of seven different Luther hymns.

My colleague, Adam Koontz, gave a dynamic homily about the eternal gospel that comes down from heaven, which remains our focus even as the world that we see around us may scoff at or mock it. We can look up to this message with hope instead of looking down and around at our generation and despair. It was an excellent treatment of the Reformation pericopes (Revelation 14:6-7; Roman 3:19-28; and Matthew 11:12-19). Taking that to heart might inspire people to both hold onto and make known that gospel, even in the midst of opposition.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Norman Teigen on October 31, 2017, 07:37:40 AM
Forum readers with access to The New York Times will want to do today's crossword puzzle.  Today's puzzle has many clues related to Reformation Day scenes and events.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Coach-Rev on October 31, 2017, 10:27:44 AM
A surprisingly good article coming from such a secular source:  http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/10/29/reformation-led-by-luther-failed-heres-how-could-finally-reunite-christian-church.html
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Dave Likeness on October 31, 2017, 11:50:11 AM
Last night was the panel discussion at Concordia University, Chicago with President of  Wheaton College,
the  RC Cardinal from Chicago and LCMS President Matthew Harrison.

Did those who watched it, have any comments?
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Michael Slusser on October 31, 2017, 01:32:14 PM
Joint Statement by the Lutheran World Federation and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity on the conclusion of the year of the common commemoration of the Reformation, 31st October 2017, 31.10.2017
http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2017/10/31/171031a.html (http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2017/10/31/171031a.html)

Excerpt:
Quote
Pope Francis and President Younan stated together: “Many members of our communities yearn to receive the Eucharist at one table, as the concrete expression of full unity. We experience the pain of those who share their whole lives, but cannot share God’s redeeming presence at the Eucharistic table. We acknowledge our joint pastoral responsibility to respond to the spiritual thirst and hunger of our people to be one in Christ. We long for this wound in the Body of Christ to be healed. This is the goal of our ecumenical endeavours, which we wish to advance, also by renewing our commitment to theological dialogue”.

Among the blessings of this year of Commemoration is the fact that for the first time Lutherans and Catholics have seen the Reformation from an ecumenical perspective. This has allowed new insight into the events of the sixteenth century which led to our separation. We recognize that while the past cannot be changed, its influence upon us today can be transformed to become a stimulus for growing communion, and a sign of hope for the world to overcome division and fragmentation. Again, it has become clear that what we have in common is far more than that which still divides us.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Dave Benke on October 31, 2017, 02:40:03 PM
Joint Statement by the Lutheran World Federation and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity on the conclusion of the year of the common commemoration of the Reformation, 31st October 2017, 31.10.2017
http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2017/10/31/171031a.html (http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2017/10/31/171031a.html)

Excerpt:
Quote
Pope Francis and President Younan stated together: “Many members of our communities yearn to receive the Eucharist at one table, as the concrete expression of full unity. We experience the pain of those who share their whole lives, but cannot share God’s redeeming presence at the Eucharistic table. We acknowledge our joint pastoral responsibility to respond to the spiritual thirst and hunger of our people to be one in Christ. We long for this wound in the Body of Christ to be healed. This is the goal of our ecumenical endeavours, which we wish to advance, also by renewing our commitment to theological dialogue”.

Among the blessings of this year of Commemoration is the fact that for the first time Lutherans and Catholics have seen the Reformation from an ecumenical perspective. This has allowed new insight into the events of the sixteenth century which led to our separation. We recognize that while the past cannot be changed, its influence upon us today can be transformed to become a stimulus for growing communion, and a sign of hope for the world to overcome division and fragmentation. Again, it has become clear that what we have in common is far more than that which still divides us.

Peace,
Michael

There was a good article in the recent Christian Century "On Luther and His Lies", having to do with his virulent anti-Jewish writings, which ends with the same hopeful note expressed by Bp. Younans and Pope Francis.  There is transformative power in facing the past squarely in the cross of Christ.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 31, 2017, 03:04:29 PM
Here is the recording of President Harrison (LCMS), President Ryken (Wheaton) and Cardinal Cupish last night.

https://livestream.com/accounts/1463756/events/4448793/videos/165196661
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: NGB on October 31, 2017, 05:45:19 PM
President Harrison will be preaching at CTS' Reformation service tonight at 7:30. Live streaming information can be found here: http://www.ctsfw.edu/resources/reformation-500/500th-anniversary-of-the-reformation-service/

(I didn't see anyone mention this upstream, but if someone did and I missed it, I apologize for the duplication.)
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Charles Austin on October 31, 2017, 05:56:35 PM
The pastors and the people of the meadowlands cluster Lutheran churches in New Jersey will gather this evening for a festival reformation Eucharist.  Last Sunday there was a choral vespers  in Teaneck involving Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches as the reformation observance.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: John_Hannah on November 01, 2017, 09:44:53 AM
Last night I was at a Reformation Commemoration Dinner sponsored by Cardinal Dolan and the bishop of the Metro NY Synod, Robert Rimbo.  It was a small group of 50 clergy (mostly).  Many Catholic, Orthodox and protestant bishops.  William Rusch, former ecumenical officer of the ELCA, introduced the keynote speaker, Archbishop Donald Bolen of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Bolen spoke from a depth of experience at the Vatican and profound commitment to Christian unity.  I talked to him at length during the reception beforehand.  He is remarkably unassuming, soft spoken, and gentle but very knowledgeable and competent.  All in all, a very good event.  Cardinal Dolan was absent because he was attending to victims of yesterday's tragedy in NYC.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: randallb on November 01, 2017, 03:49:30 PM
Hi John.
Archbishop Bolen is the former bishop here in Saskatoon, now  serving down  Highway 11 in  Regina. He spoke at our joint commemoration on Sunday afternoon at the local Cathedral. He is a gift to ecumenism and a genuine and gentle  pastor.  Deeply respected and admired in this province.  I was privileged to be the crucifer for our event.  Busy man! I"m not surprised!  Small world!
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Dave Benke on November 01, 2017, 10:09:38 PM
Bill Rusch - great choice there, a true churchly representative.  Thanks for being there, John!

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Dave Benke on November 01, 2017, 10:18:43 PM
So we had an interesting Halloween meal and worship last night in Queens, with about ten congregations present and participating in what was billed as an authentic meal such as Martin Luther would have enjoyed.  No potatoes, since they hadn't yet been invented by Europeans at Luther's time.  Beer, though, from Deutschland.  And stuffed cornish hen, sauerbraten, roast pork, red cabbage, sauerkraut, beets, carrots, peas, spaetzele - all served family style as around Luther's table.   The "hard" part was that the Divine Service followed this feast, at 8 in the evening.  Tremendous multi-cultural Lutheran group of worshipers from about fifteen countries of origin, all singing hymns written by Martin Luther himself and enjoying the Feast of Victory.  Well done in all regards, with the celebrant former President of the Lutheran Church of Guyana and now LCMS Pastor James Gajadhar.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Norman Teigen on November 02, 2017, 02:57:01 PM
I was only able to attend Reformation Day observance at my nearby church. Missed out on some great gatherings here in the Twin Cities.  But, through Youtube, I am able to see some of what I missed.  Here is an observance from Wittenberg that I found particularly interesting  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPN7JC0HT5Y&t=1367s
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Charles Austin on November 02, 2017, 04:07:46 PM
Another thoughtful view, free of the usual romanticizing that powers some thoughts.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/01/opinion/protestant-reformation.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fross-douthat&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Dave Likeness on November 13, 2017, 07:27:48 PM
In the November 2017 Forum Letter, the Editor Pastor Richard Johnson shares his presentation
as a panelist at the September commemoration of the Reformation at Concordia University, Bronxville.

According to Pastor Johnson, "In 1945 the ALPB published the tract "The Split between Roman Catholicism
and Christ."  "It was reprinted numerous times before the ALPB stopped publishing it."

During my college freshman year in 1959-60 at Concordia Jr. College, Milwaukee,  I had a class on Christian
Doctrine with Professor Ewald Plass. He encouraged us to buy the above mentioned tract at a Wisconsin Synod
Book Store in Milwaukee.  On the back of the 24 page pamphlet was printed, "Lutheran Press, 2112 Broadway,
New York, NY  16th Printing.  It included the 1950 Assumption of the Virgin Mary

Bottom Line:  Professor Ewald Plass was a noted Luther Scholar at that time.  In 1948 , his Luther biography
"This Is Luther" was released .  His most important publication was the 3 volume anthology "What Luther Says" in 1959.
He was  a great theologian who had a passion for preparing future pastors.  He taught his students with a heart devoted
to Christ.
Title: Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
Post by: Mbecker on November 13, 2017, 09:52:35 PM
For a very brief summary of my Refo 500 tour in Germany, go to:

http://matthewlbecker.blogspot.com/2017/11/all-luther-ed-out.html

Matt Becker