Reformation Sunday, October 28.
Martin Luther, by posting this scholarly but explosively controversial document for public discussion (and by mailing it to several important scholars and powerful leaders!) was, in effect, making a lone stand against the corrupted and all-powerful structures of his day because of what Scripture said. Through the Bible, Luther came to understand that God’s grace and forgiveness were free, that the church, by imposing a non-Biblical punishment known as Purgatory (where one went for sometimes millions of years to have the guilt of sin purged away) was requiring people to purchase what Christ had already freely given through his sacrifice on the cross. The selling of these pardons, or indulgences as they were called, was undermining the very gospel itself.
That rediscovery of salvation through the study of scripture is what we celebrate when we commemorate Reformation Sunday. The celebration reasserts the authority of Scripture in the life of the individual believer and of the church as the only true source of understanding about God and salvation through Christ. Tradition, church practices and doctrines which cannot be reconciled with scripture, are superstitious, damaging and lead to the destruction of God’s people. And THAT’S why we will always celebrate Reformation Day!
Special Congregational Meeting, Sunday, October 28th, 1 pmIt’s fitting that we have scheduled a Congregational Meeting for Sunday, October 28th, for the purpose of beginning the process to call an associate pastor. We have been going through a time of strategic planning and ministry evaluation, and are looking at “reforming” our ministry here at Trinity. It has been a few years since we had an associate pastor, and we are now at a point where we need to revitalize some aspects of ministry that I have not been able to give adequate attention to as the only pastor here.
While we are struggling financially a bit (ok, quite a lot!) because of a downturn in the student population in our Day School, we also realize that we are on the cusp of an important moment at Trinity: our loan is payoff happening in November ‘08, parts of our facilities are in somewhat of a state of disrepair or in desperate need of upgrading and modernizing, and our worship attendance is in a gradual decline. Opportunity and crisis coming together... We are looking to completely rework ministry here at Trinity in a way that meets the needs of our congregation and community. To do this, much work needs to be done and additional staff is needed.
As we envision calling a new associate pastor, we have been thinking of calling a seminary graduate from one of our Lutheran seminaries. These graduations take place in the early summer, but the bishops’ “player draft,” where the bishops try to match up candidates with the needs of churches looking for pastors, is in early April. While it seems a long way off, there is quite a bit of work still to be done before this all happens.
Blessings and Peace,