October 2017 Newsletter
October 1, 2017, 12:00 AM

This is a special October as it is the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. It amazes me that it has been 500 years since Martin Luther lifted up what he thought could and should be changed and re-formed in the church that he loved. Luther brought up a needed conversation. He saw where the church was straying from the gospel and took action to shine the light on it.

When he did that a lot of people didn’t like it. They even sought to kill him. He wasn’t being a good ‘church person.’ Sticking his nose where it didn’t belong, biting off more than he could chew. Putting himself, his vocation, his family in harm’s way. Using his public platform in a way that others thought to be disrespectful.

He still persisted. He stood his ground. He knew he was doing God’s work in shining the Gospel truth for the world to see.

As much as I love the history and story around Luther and the other Reformers, I still find this time rather difficult as a pastor. We give a lot of attention to Luther and his life. Patting ourselves on the back about what ‘good Christians’ we are, wearing red, and having fun. None of that is bad, but when it is coupled with not living into the sort of reforms that Luther advocated within the church it doesn’t help our cause.

The best way to show our love of the Reformation and the work that Luther famously began is to live our lives as followers of Christ knowing that we are constantly being re-formed in God’s love. Where that continual re-formation leads us to love and serve not only God, but every person we meet. Where we remember of this great free gift that we have been given by God; the knowledge that there is nothing we can do to earn God’s love.

Our response to that gift? To live our lives for God and for others in love, thankfulness, and service.

So, yes – we’ve got a lot of stuff planned in our community to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. I’m excited about all of it. There will be so much opportunity for fellowship, fun, music, and worship.

In fact – here is all that is being done.

Thursday, October 26 @ 6pm – Half-Full Coffee and Wine Bar – Beer & Hymns

Friday and Saturday, October 27 and 28 @ 2pm and 7pm – Newberry Opera House – Showing of the new movie “Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World.”

Saturday, October 28 @ 4:30pm – Newberry Opera House – Lecture on Luther Woodcuts and the Art of the Reformation.

Sunday, October 29 @ 10:30am – Wiles Chapel at Newberry College – Community Reformation Service

Sunday, October 29 @ 2:00pm – Newberry College – Organ and Choir Recital, “Music of the Reformation and More.”


This is all GOOD stuff. However, as we celebrate this time, let us focus more on where we need to be continually re-formed to live into the Kingdom of God that Jesus proclaims. Where we need to be re-formed to invite others into this gifted life of faith. Where we need to be re-formed as a church to be the church for the world. Amen!

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