I guess you have caught the buzz around the church. There are several exciting events coming up in regard to the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. As the saying goes; it will only come once in a lifetime.
Sept. 23rd worship in Charlotte with the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA.
Oct. 8th worship and meal that our church is hosting for the Coastal Conference and full communion partners.
Oct. 29th worship on Reformation Sunday.
I wonder if Martin Luther realized that his 95 Theses would have such a far-reaching effect? They promoted ideas, proposals, arguments, songs, and actions within the church. All of which turned the Roman Catholic Church on its ear and transformed Luther’s life.
Luther gave clergy a voice to argue and debate important issues. He helped clergy to see the vital role they had in teaching and preaching. He gave permission to both clergy and laity to be actively involved. Luther’s theology was as down to earth as he was; he invited people to live out faith assuring them of God’s perpetual mercy and love. Obviously this a very broad-brush stroke of his work.
The activities over the next month and a half aren’t intended to be a Lutheran rally. We are beyond that. I think Luther would be astonished to know that his writings established a tradition instead of improving the church that he passionately loved. We have come far since 1517. We are full communion partners with Presbyterians, Moravians, Episcopalians, United Church of Christ, and the Reformed Church in America. Women serve as pastors and doors are open to all for worship and to find acceptance. The worship services listed above are to celebrate where we have been, but to remind us as Dr. Luther said “we are always reforming”.
It is a good time to be church, but it is challenging too. The church needs to have honest conversations about sexism and racism, to name a few important topics. The church needs to strive for authenticity and to bring healing to wounded people around the world. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is a part this. As we celebrate with the wider and local church may we find strength to go forward to live out our faith passionately as we have been taught by Christ Our Lord.
PS If you haven’t turned in your reservations for Oct. 8—the deadline is this Friday, Sept. 15.