Word Up Wednesday Worship returns to St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Marlborough for three sessions at 7 pm on October 9, 16, and 23. Worshipers will reflect on the Reformation, which marks its 502nd anniversary in October.
The Reformation is known as the period of history begun with Martin Luther nailing his “95 Theses” to the door of Wittenberg Castle Church in Germany on October 31, 1517. At the time, the Catholic Church was selling “indulgences,” or certificates forgiving sin, to raise money to build St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Luther opposed this, and his 95 Theses ignited a movement claiming God’s forgiveness was given freely. Some say the Reformation changed not only Christianity and culture, but ushered in the modern age in countless ways.
More than 500 years later, Reformation has become much more than simply a period in history; it is a core value of the Lutheran community. Much of the Lutheran movement gathers around the conviction that the church is “always reforming." In October, those who attend Word Up will examine three “Modern Reformations.”
On October 9 at 7 pm, the topic will be the Second Vatican Council and how this season of change for the Roman Catholic Church changed Lutherans, too. The October 16 session will celebrate the role of women in ministry. On October 23, those gathered will look at changes in the understanding of gender and sexuality, particularly unfolding welcome to the LGBTQ community.
Worship will be led by Pastor Joseph Graumann. “While some religions pride themselves on exclusivity, Lutherans affirm that Jesus welcomes everyone,” he said. “Our church commits itself to change for the sake of greater inclusion.”