I am writing this article before my bag is even packed, but you will be reading it when my bag is in Germany! (Hopefully with the right things inside! J) This trip has been in the making for many years and now it is 2017 and we are on our way. 18 pilgrims from St. Peter’s by the Sea will be joined by 6 more friends of the church and 8 members from Mike & Elaine Kraemer’s church in Arizona. (We are sorry that Mike’s resurgence of cancer will not allow them to make this trip.) And why are the 32 of us going now? To commemorate the 500th year of the start of the Reformation. We will visit the Castle Church where tradition has it that Luther tacked up his 95 Theses as an invitation to debate and set the wheels of Reformation in motion.
We will be in Wittenberg for the Luther Marriage Festival on June 9-11 and participate in one of the largest Festivals in Germany. We will visit Luther sites for 10 days as we remember the life and times of Martin Luther and his work in the church. The most prominent Luther sites are Eisleben, where Luther was born and where he died; Wittenberg, Luther’s home for more than 35 years; and Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, where Luther translated the New Testament into German. We will also visit Bach and Bonhoeffer sites along our way.
Later in 2017 St. Peter’s will host a Luther fest of our own and the pilgrims on this trip will be able to share their stories and memories from Germany.
In the fall St. Peter’s will be hosting a Lutheran/Roman Catholic book study looking at the faith we have in common and the things we share. The book, One Hope: Re-Membering the Body of Christ, will guide us in this discussion. The book jacket says that this discussion will “foster the church’s unity on a grassroots level and [participants will] grow in their awareness of the ways that unity already exists.” I do hope that many of you will be able to participate in this dialogue with our Roman Catholic neighbors and friends.
In God’s most Amazing Grace, Pastor Karen Marohn