Author Topic: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.  (Read 4445 times)

Matt Staneck

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Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
« Reply #30 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
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St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Queens, NY

Dave Benke

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Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
« Reply #31 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. 

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Matt Hummel

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“The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks.”

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peter_speckhard

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Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
« Reply #33 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)

Jeremy Loesch

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Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2017, 01:24:41 PM »
Nicely done Peter!

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A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

Matt Hummel

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Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2017, 03:06:15 PM »
So say we all!
Matt Hummel


“The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Charles Austin

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Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
« Reply #36 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.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

Charles Austin

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Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
« Reply #37 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?
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
« Reply #38 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.


peter_speckhard

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Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
« Reply #39 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.

readselerttoo

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Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
« Reply #40 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!   :)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 04:24:10 PM by George Rahn »

Dave Benke

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Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
« Reply #41 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


Weedon

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Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
« Reply #42 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.

Coach-Rev

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Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
« Reply #43 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
"The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

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photography:  https://jeffcottingham.smugmug.com/

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Reformation 2017 - Observances and celebrations.
« Reply #44 on: October 27, 2017, 07:53:49 PM »
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.
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