During our worship on October 29 we will observe the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The date of October 31, 1517 marks the occasion when Martin Luther offered for public discussion in Wittenberg The Ninety-Five Theses, formally titled Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences. The contents of this document were soon widely spread and a lively debate took place over the next several years among Christian scholars and church leaders.
For centuries Protestant churches have “celebrated” the Reformation as the beginning of most Protestant denominations. In recent years, with the ecumenical spirit of cooperation and dialogue among Protestant churches and the Roman Catholic Church, most Christian churches have emphasized the “observance” or “commemoration” of these historical even
ts and the desire for “reconciliation” and unity among all Christians.
Our observances here in Storrs will parallel some of the sabbatical activities of Pastor Matt while he is travelling in Europe and engaged with the “voices of heritage”. He will explore sites of historic significance to our Protestant, Reformed and Congregationalist heritages. He will visit Edinburgh, Scotland, related to his own Presbyterian upbringing. Edinburgh is strongly associated with the reformer John Knox and Scottish Presbyterianism. Early in October Pastor Matt will be in the East Anglia region of England where the English Puritan tradition began, the shared source of our Congregationalist tradition and the English version of Presbyterianism.
On October 23, Pastor Matt will travel from the United Kingdom to Germany, during the time of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s beginning of the Protestant Reformation. From his base in Leipzig, he will explore the various Luther-related historical sites in that area. On October 31, he will be in Wittenberg for the actual commemorations. Then in early November he will travel to Geneva, Switzerland, the home base of another leader among Protestant reformers. John Calvin represents the Reformed tradition, which includes Congregationalism, Presbyterianism and the various Reformed denominations.
Also on October 29, we will celebrate Heritage Sunday, when we will honor our 40+ year members and the life of our church.
Pastor Bob Loesch