District Reformation 500 Activities
Jesus is Risen! May your Seasonal celebrations thereof be going wonderfully. And, in connection with our Reformation-500 Year, we have certainly had some worthwhile events so far, including two great Concordia Choir Tours. There are also a number of new exciting activities occurring among us as well, over the next several months. As many as you are able to participate in, please do. And, regarding the rest, please pray:
Summer: Immanuel, Colorado Springs hosts a showing of “Martin Luther: The Idea That Changed The World” – For more information on the film and how to make use of that great resource, please see: newluthermovie.com/lcms
June 16-21: “Cross and Crescent: The Reformers and Islam” Seminar Tour, featuring Dr. Joshua Hollmann – (click attachment)
July 19-23: “The Masks of God: Luther on Our Worldly Callings” Seminar Tour, featuring Dr. Martin Conkling – (click attachment)
(It is interesting to note, that only Colorado congregations answered the several calls, through District-Circuit-Direct channels, for seminar hosts…)
August 28: Circuit Continuing Education Seminar on Christian Initiation and Catechetics (featuring Dr. Art Just) at Trinity, Riverton UT
September 9-10: Mission Festival (featuring Cantor Philip Magnus) at Calvary, Wray CO
October 22: All-Lutheran Hymn Fest, followed by a traditional Oktoberfest, at Immanuel, Colorado Springs
November 5: Utah Circuit Reformation Rally (featuring Pastor Randall Golter) at St. Paul, Ogden UT
Late Summer / Fall: Pastor George Hesse is available for a few half-hour Portrayals of “common-folk” Reformation characters (e.g. Luther’s Baker, a Boatman who ferries buyers of indulgences, an Augustinian Monk who knew Luther, etc.), for sermons, LWML gatherings, anniversary celebrations-and-the-like. Help with Travel Expenses is requested, along with a possible $115 Speaking Fee or, at least, a Freewill Offering. You may reach him at email@example.com or 970-234-9029.
Besides all those, hopefully plenty of other local, circuit and regional activities are being planned, including Reformation Rallies, Mission Festivals, Luther Film Showings (please remember to fulfill these legally, though, via the information provided in this and earlier e-mails), Seminar Presentations, Parade Floats, Fair Booths, VBS, Reformation Carnivals (with information about those having also been shared earlier), and so much more. And, wherever possible, please do consider plentiful and quality use of posters, flyers, mailings, newspapers, radio, television and face-to-face invitations. Also, for all local events, please do make sure to publicize among your Circuit congregations as well. The more – the merrier!
Let’s please all participate as much as possible, and pray. Our Risen and Reforming Lord Jesus is Someone worth celebrating, and sharing!
Yours in Him,
Pastor Rick Miller
District Reformation-500 Outreach Coordinator
Denver Area Reformation Worship Celebration
The Denver Southwest Circuit is hosting at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran, Centennial, the Rocky Mountain District Front Range Area Reformation Service on Sunday, October 22, 2017, 4pm at Shepherd of the Hills. Individual congregations and schools of our circuit will be participating in music and service for that day, as well as having highlighted community, reformation, and church events throughout that week leading up to the Observed day of Reformation, October 29, where congregations will be celebrating individually at their own places.
The guest preacher is Ref. Prof. Todd Jones from the St. Louis Seminary. Shepherd of the Hills is sponsoring a Fall Reformation Festival at their congregation for families, youth and the community on Friday, October 27, from 5-8pm. Hosanna Lutheran, Littleton is sponsoring a matinee viewing of the New Luther Movie ($6 with popcorn) at the Elvis Movie Theater at 10am on Thursday, October 26, Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28. Other local congregations will be adding events to this celebration calendar as time progresses.
The theme for the celebration at Shepherd of the Hills is “Here We Stand! Word, Grace, Faith” and will be in conjunction with the Synod’s yearly theme of “It is Still All About Jesus”. Below is a summary of the scheduled celebration:
2017 Circuit Reformation Celebration
1. 500th Reformation Theme: Here We Stand! Word, Faith, Grace
2. Guest Preacher: Rev. Todd Jones, Professor St. Louis Sem.
3. Schedule So Far:
Sat. Oct. 21 – Open (possibly fun run with LHS)
Sun. Oct. 22 – 4-6pm Front Range Celebration Service Shepherd (possible meal there or at Our Father)
Mon. Oct. 23 – Open
Tues. Oct. 24 – Open
Wed. Oct. 25 – Open
Thur. Oct. 26 – 10 am, Showing of Luther Movie at Elvis, Hosanna, $6 with drink/popcorn
Fri. Oct. 27 – 10 am, Showing of Luther Movie at Elvis, Hosanna, $6 with drink/popcorn, 5-8pm Community Fall Festival Shepherd
Sat. Oct. 28 – 10 am, Showing of Luther Movie at Elvis, Hosanna, $6 with drink/popcorn (possible community servant project, Redeemer)
Sun. Oct. 29 – Individual Congregation Reformation Celebrations
2017 Reformation Celebration – Historical Reflections
This year, 2017, is a year precious to all Lutherans…the 500th birthday of the beginning of Luther’s blessed discovery of the Gospel and his rebellion related to the beliefs and celebrations of the Roman Catholic Church. A monthly series of articles will be provided covering topics and historical events leading up to October 31, 1517, the date of the posting of the 95 Theses on the Castle Church doors in Wittenberg, Germany.
MARRIAGE AND THE GOSPEL
Martin Luther was not preparing for, nor anticipating, marriage, but in 1525 he was engaged to Katharina von Bora and on June 13 married.
Luther’s household eventually included Katharina and six children, plus several of Katharina’s relatives, and after 1529, six of Luther’s sister’s children.
What Luther Says
Luther: Suddenly, and while I was occupied with far different thought, the Lord has plunged me into marriage.”
Later as Luther experienced marriage, he wrote a great deal about it. Luther:
- Marriage is the God-appointed and legitimate union of man and woman…living to the glory of God…to obey God.
- Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.
- There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.
- The Christian is supposed to love his neighbor and since his wife is his nearest neighbor she should be his deepest love.
- The union of flesh does nothing. There must also be a union of the manners and mind.
Martin quickly learned that marriage meant sacrifice, looking out not only for his own needs but also those of his wife and family. “There is a lot to get used to in the first year of marriage,” he wrote. “One wakes up in the morning and finds a pair of pigtails on the pillow which were not there before.”
Luther advocated several important changes including: (1) that divorce is valid only if it meets biblical principles; (2) the denouncing of celibacy, blaming it for encouraging lust, thus encouraging priests to marry; (3) the restoration of marriage and family life to that of spirituality and respectability in society.
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod’s Doctrinal Position
Our Lord Jesus Christ affirmed the divine institution of marriage during his earthly ministry. (Matt. 19:5) Out of faithful belief in the scriptures, Lutherans teach that God instituted marriage and sanctioned that “a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” The great blessing of marriage from God is designed for husbands and wives to love, honor and serve each other to “bring forth children and to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Concerning divorce. The LC-Ms believes divorce is contrary to God’s original design and intention for marriage. Divorce is justified scripturally in situations of adultery or desertion. It is always preferable for couples to forgive and work toward healing and strengthening their marriage. The LC-MS affirms that same sex marriage is sinful behavior “on the basis of Scripture, marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman.” Today’s cultural trends convey messages that are totally contrary to our Lord’s Word and His will for Christian marriage.
As former Synodical President Dr. Barry has said: “May God bless our families richly with His loving mercy, strengthening them as they seek to love one another and serve their Lord and Savior.”
For June: Sacrament of Holy Communion