Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church on Oct. 31, 1517
The resulting debate about Christian teaching and practice led to changes that have shaped the course of Western Christianity for almost 500 years. At the heart of these wide-reaching changes was a deep conviction that God’s mercy or grace in Jesus is given freely to all. When Luther and others learned to trust God’s mercy with “a living, daring confidence,” they discovered in that faith the freedom to give themselves generously, lovingly in all of life’s undertakings with everyone they met. Read more at ELCA500.org/about
October 29 – Reformation Hymnfest & Dinner
All of the churches of the ELCA Cedar River Conference are came together on Sunday, October 29, 2017 for a Reformation Hymnfest at First Lutheran. The service attended by 500 Lutherans consisted of readings, hymns and prayers with a 100 person mass choir composed of singers from many different Lutheran congregations in the area. The congregations also commissioned an arrangement of a Luther Reformation hymn which was premiered at the service. Afterwards 270 people headed downstairs for an Octoberfest Meal of brats with caramelized onions and hotdogs for the kids, baked beans, German-style potato salad and German Chocolate cake.
October 22 – Catholic+Lutheran Worship Service
Following a world-wide initiative, about 150 Catholics and Lutherans in the Cedar Rapids/Marion area gathered for a landmark common worship at 4 p.m. Sunday, October 22. The service started at Immaculate Conception Catholic church, then halfway through, participants “crossed over the divisions” literally by crossing the intersection of Third Avenue and Tenth Street, and finishing the worship service at First Lutheran Church. Many stayed after up to an hour enjoying homemade apple cider and other refreshments.