Celebrating 500 Years

Do you recognize the date October 31, 1517?

It’s the day that Martin Luther published his 95 Theses, “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” a list of questions and propositions for debate. Luther hung the document on the door of the Wittenberg Castle church to announce the ensuing discussions he was organizing.

The ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) has an entire website devoted to 500 years of the Protestant Reformation at

To prepare for the anniversary, we highly recommend listening to episode 5 (a two-parter) of the podcast All Things Rite and Musical. It’s titled “The Pod-estant Reformation” which hosts David Sinden and the Rev. Ian Lasch describe as “two Anglicans try to figure out exactly who this Martin Luther guy is,” while taking us on a journey through music in the 1982 Hymanl.  Part One, Part Two.

There aren’t dioceses in the ELCA, but there are synods, and the Central States Synod covers Missouri and Kansas. You can navigate to their webpage which lists anniversary events by region in Missouri at On that St. Louis area list, you’ll find information about an ecumenical service hosted by the Archdiocese on October 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica. More on the archdiocesan event here.

And you might consider planting a tree. The Central States Synod will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation by planting and dedicating 500 new trees throughout Kansas and Missouri. “It is our prayer that these trees will serve as witnesses to our hope in Christ in the spirit of the quotation attributed to Martin Luther: “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

(Photo public domain, painting by Julius Huebner (1806-1882), The Posting of the 95 Theses of Martin Luther.)

***** Reprinted from iSeek, Diocese of Missouri weekly email, October 4, 2017 *****