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Messiah Lutheran to celebrate 500th anniversary of Reformation

MADISON – On Oct. 29, Messiah Lutheran Church in Madison will join more than 70 million Lutherans worldwide in observing the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther posting his 95 Theses.

The historic text, published on Oct. 31, 1517 in Wittenberg, Germany, triggered one of the most tumultuous periods of Christianity, the Protestant Reformation, Messiah Communications Director Meredith Kilby said.

This year, millions have travelled to Germany to mark the anniversary and visit sites where the controversial Bible professor and Augustinian monk lived, studied, taught, preached, wrote and translated the Bible into German from Hebrew and Greek. Luther’s Bible translation standardized the German language, paralleling the King James translation’s impact on the English language.

In June 2016, Pastor Scott Peterson led 15 senior high youth and three adult chaperones on a tour of Luther sites in Germany as part of a yearlong study.

This fall in connection with the 500th anniversary, Peterson will lead classes on two influential treatises of Luther: “The Freedom of a Christian” and “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church.” Content taught on Sundays at 9:45 a.m. will repeat on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend.

In addition, adults can attend a six-week short course on Luther’s “Small Catechism” that Dick Azzam will lead in the Conversation Cafe class on Sundays at 9:45 a.m. “Luther wrote the ‘Small Catechism’ for parents to teach their children foundational Christian beliefs, such as Ten Commandments, Apostle’s Creed, Sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper,” Kilby said.

Messiah will celebrate “500th Reformation Anniversary Weekend” on Oct. 28-29. On Oct. 28, the community is invited to enjoy a fun gathering perfect for families, “Back to the Reformation” chili cook-off and costume party at 4:30 p.m. “All are encouraged to dress as a 16th-century character — be it a peasant, monk, knight or the 16th-century version of their current profession,” Kilby said.

On Reformation Sunday, Oct. 29, Messiah Lutheran will celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s posting the 95 Theses. Luther’s familiar hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”, will be sung. Messiah Director of Music Lois Graff will accompany on pipe organ. Following the 11 a.m. service, members will present a dinner featuring traditional German fare.

“You are invited to join in this celebration,” Kilby said.

Messiah Lutheran Church at 7740 U.S. 72 W. in Madison was organized in 1990. Sunday worship times are 8:30 and 11 a.m., with Sunday school for all ages at 9:45 a.m. All are welcome.

For information, call 256-721-0041 or visit mlutheran.org.

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