Dear Grace Community,
2017 marks 500 years since the Protestant Reformation. You’re invited to explore this anniversary and why it matters to our church during Sunday School in August. The Christian Discipleship team leads this class for all ages for four Sundays in the Great Room.
In some ways the Protestant Reformation was a perfect storm of events. No one person set out to change the course of history for the Western world. Martin Luther was a Catholic priest who only wanted to see changes within the church. Others felt the same way. The growing distrust of the church, particularly around the selling of indulgences, was like dry kindling, and Martin Luther was the person with the match. The Reformation was not one event but a series of events and movements over years. It impacted religion, politics, economics, education, and more.
Theologian Phyllis Tickle used to say that every 500 years the church has a rummage sale and cleans out. She pointed to the dark ages as the first rummage sale, the split between Eastern and Western Christianity as the second, and the Reformation as the third.
She went on to posit that we are in the midst of another such rummage sale right now, a cleaning out and reforming of the church. She began making these claims about ten years ago, and I wonder if she was right. Church landscape is changing faster than anyone can remember. The decline in church attendance and belief in God in the United States means that we churches are asking ourselves a lot of questions.
As we ask these questions I invite you to stay connected here at Grace. This fall there is an emphasis on getting back to the basics. Sunday school for adults will focus on ‘Bible 101’ and the ways our faith plays out at home. If you’re looking for more than Bible 101, I’m teaching an in-depth Bible Study that meets on Tuesday mornings or Wednesday nights.
We’re also looking to do some reforming here. Soon you’ll hear about something called “Messy Church.” Messy Church is a worship experience targeting young children and their families.
August marks my seventh anniversary of serving at Grace. I continue to be grateful for the way God called me here and continues to call me here.