PUBLISHED: 5:55 PM on Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Churches come together for reformation history
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Resurrection Lutheran Church and Faith Lutheran Church invite the community to celebrate a significant period in history at a Reformation Sunday Worship Service, 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 28, at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.

The worship service includes scripture readings and hymns, historical accounts of early church reformers, as well as a brief discourse about changes in the church since the Reformation. "Martin Luther" will make an appearance and present his defense from the Diet of Worms.

A free-will offering for the Glory Hole will be taken. A dessert buffet immediately follows the service. For more information, call Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church at 789-4093. Shepherd of the Valley is located at 4212 Mendenhall Loop Road.

"We wanted to take an ecumenical approach to celebrating Reformation Sunday," said Roger Birk, Shepherd of the Valley's council president. "So we asked our fellow Lutherans to help us plan a community worship service."

According to Birk, members of several churches, including both Resurrection and Faith, stepped forward and offered help to Shepherd of the Valley after its February 2006 fire.

"The level of support we received illustrated to us that despite our worshipping at different locations, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ," he said. "We are bonded by a common history."

On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther changed history when he posted his 95 Theses on the Power of Indulgences on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, accusing the Roman Catholic Church of serious errors.

Many consider this act to be the starting point of the Protestant Reformation.

The first reformers, which include, among others, John Hus, John Wycliff, Martin Luther and John Calvin, did not intend to start a new church. They were trying to correct abuses within the church of their day. The Protestant Reformation is celebrated on the Sunday closest to Reformation Day, which is Oct. 31.