On 500 years and Confirmation

Martin Luther 500 Anniversary

How should we observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation? It was 500 years ago, October 31, 1517, that Martin Luther posted the Ninety-Five Theses in the city of Wittenberg, Germany. We remember that event this year with education and dialogue opportunities, worship services, and at St. Peter’s by the Sea, with the celebration of Confirmation with four young people of our congregation. Last summer a group of 32 traveled to Germany to walk in Luther’s footsteps including a visit to Wartburg Castle where Luther translated the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek to German making the Word of God accessible to everyone.

For the past 2 ½ years Ben Fadden, Jacob Zimmermann and Evan Smart have studied the Bible (in English, not German) and Luther’s Small Catechism as they participated in the monthly Confirmation Classes here at St. Peter’s. Earlier this fall we invited Maddie Phelps to become a Confirmation candidate and affirm her baptism on this Reformation Day in 2017. Sept 12th marked the first of six discussions on “One Hope: Re-Membering the Body of Christ.” 18 people (½ from Roman Catholic churches and ½ from St. Peter’s) met in our fellowship hall to share about our common roots and faith practices. This book, written by Lutheran and Roman Catholic theologians, attempts to help us bridge some of the gaps and foster unity in our Christian faith.

On another page in this newsletter you can read about the worship service on Oct. 29th that will commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. You won’t want to miss this once-inyour-lifetime opportunity to pray and sing with Roman Catholics, Episcopalian and Lutheran bishops, pastors and lay community. A great mixed choir will present some special music and the bishops will lead the service. A number of years ago our bishop asked me to serve on the planning committee for this and other ecumenical 500th Reformation events this year. Hope to see you there! Following is the prayer from the Rite of Affirmation of Baptism that we will pray for our four Confirmation candidates on Sunday, October 29th: Merciful God, we thank you for these brothers and sister, whom you have made your own by water and the Word in baptism. You have called them to yourself, enlighten them with the gifts of your Spirit and nourished them in the community of faith. Uphold your servants in the gifts and promises of baptism, and unite the hearts of all whom you have brought to new birth. Amen.

Living in God’s Amazing Grace, Pastor Karen Marohn