Pastor’s Letter October 2017
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Grace to you and peace from our Lord, Jesus Christ! And peace we have with God through Christ!
This October 31st marks 500 years since the start of the Reformation with Lutherans nailing the 95 Theses to a church door in tiny Wittenberg, Germany. They were simply to debate what Luther, a professor and Pastor of Theology, to reform the church in the beginning. Luther never wanted to leave the church, he simply wanted to reform it - especially the sale of indulgences (spiritual coupons for payment of sins). This was to raise funds to build a new church in Rome - St. Peter’s. There, of course, were other abuses Luther wanted to reform, especially in northern Europe, and they still do today. We have come along way. I would suggest viewing the PBS documentary on Martin Luther and the Idea that Changed the World, channel 13 or 21. It’s 2 hours, but, well worth the view and review.
Luther’s challenge had a huge affect on society, especially about freedom of thought, the development of public education and the education of young ladies for teaching of the catechism (Basic faith - Lord’s prayer, ten commandments, creed and sacraments - Baptism & Holy Communion).
Today, things are much, much better between Lutherans and Roman Catholics. There has been much dialogue over the past 30 years and agreements on the foundation of the Reformation - “Justification by faith”. We pray together, celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and participate in weddings and funerals to assist our people in sharing faith. We look forward to the day when there will be full communion at our Lord’s table.
So, we commemorate the 500 years and look to the future. I will be participating in our Synod’s Communion Service at St. John the Divine in NYC on November 1st, All Saints’ day, at 5:30 pm.
God bless us all as we commemorate the 500 years and the faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ and the blessed memory of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther.
The Rev. Ronald M. Klose, Pastor