Reformation 500 Commemorations at St. John's
The year 2017 has marked 500 years since Martin Luther published his Ninety-Five Theses and sparked the Reformation. As 2017 draws to a close, an abundance of projects, commemorations and celebrations have taken place across the world to mark this anniversary.
At St. John’s, Edmonton, Reformation commemorations included a Reformation Challenge activity that focused on people, and a month of celebration in October 2017.
During his lifetime, Martin Luther emphasized the education of children. As a result, the members of St. John’s focused their Reformation Challenge on supporting needy children through Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR). Let each of you look not only to your own interest, but also the interest of others (Philippians 2:4) was chosen to guide members in this project.
The goal to help 500 children/families was quickly surpassed. In April, St. John’s members sent “We Care” bags, quilts and money for “Quick Kits” to CLWR to aid 603 children and families.
Each Sunday in October, a portion of the murals to be painted on the front of the church and on the back of the church hall commemorating the Reformation were revealed. Each Sunday a special celebration accompanied the unveilings, including a concert with the Liederkranz Men’s Choir, showing a Luther movie, a special Reformation-centred thanksgiving celebration and weekly displays with information about Martin Luther and the Reformation.
To culminate the celebration, St. John’s held a Reformation parade with three other churches in the neighbourhood. The parade began at New Life Chinese, proceeded to Angsar Danish, then to Sacred Heart Catholic Church and ended at St. John’s. In each church along the parade route, a short talk was held and Luther’s hymn A Mighty Fortress was sung in Chinese, Danish, German and English. All this wrapped up with a potluck Reformation lunch at St. John’s.
—Irene Gendemann, Vivian Hardie, Gertrud Reichel, Rev. Sigmar Reichel