Re­nais­sance of the Ref­or­ma­tion

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS - By David Rak

IT’S a cel­e­bra­tion that has been 500 — at times bloody and bru­tal — years in the mak­ing.

And Echuca-Moama is in­vited to the party next month as Echuca’s Trin­ity Lutheran church celebrates the launch of the Ref­or­ma­tion.

Which it will be kick­ing off with beer, bratwurst and Bach on Sun­day at its an­nual Ref­or­ma­tion ser­vice.

Five hun­dred years ago Martin Luther, dis­en­chanted with many of the teach­ings of the Ro­man Catholic church al­legedly nailed his now fa­mous Ninety-five Th­e­ses to the door of the Wit­ten­berg church in Sax­ony (now part of Germany).

In his writ­ings Luther at­tacked sev­eral prac­tices of the church, in­clud­ing some of its ma­jor rev­enue-rais­ing en­ter­prises, such as in­dul­gences, which al­lowed peo­ple to buy their way out of sin.

Luther be­lieved sal­va­tion was only pos­si­ble through de­vo­tion to Christ — a purist com­mit­ment not en­thu­si­as­ti­cally sup­ported by the Vat­i­can.

His de­ter­mi­na­tion to stand by his Th­e­ses and his be­liefs earned him the al­most im­me­di­ate re­ward of ex­com­mu­ni­ca­tion by Pope Leo X, who was joined shortly af­ter by the Holy Ro­man Em­peror Charles V, who branded the the­olo­gian and priest an out­law.

Luther’s stand in­g­nited a schism in the church and sparked a re­li­gious revo­lu­tion that spread across Europe and the known world.

His at­tack on the church would be com­pounded barely a decade later when Henry VIII in Eng­land also broke away from Rome, al­though more out of pol­i­tics than piety, spark­ing bloody reprisals against the Catholic church there.

Echuca’s Trin­ity Lutheran Church will be hold­ing a much more peace­ful Ref­or­ma­tion Ser­vice on Novem­ber 5 to com­mem­o­rate the event.

And on Novem­ber 10 it will be host­ing an evening at the Moama Angli­can Gram­mar Hall, com­plete with a Ger­man-themed pub meal.

There will also be a screen­ing of the doc­u­men­tary film Bach and the Lutheran Legacy.

Church pas­tor Matt Anker said the cel­e­bra­tion was open to ev­ery­one and he hoped peo­ple would come to learn more about the church.

“I hope it will be an en­joy­able com­mu­nity event where peo­ple can learn about our church’s his­tory and west­ern his­tory,” he said.

“Luther was quite in­flu­en­tial but most peo­ple don’t know much about him or what he did.

“We would love peo­ple to come along and feel wel­come within the church.”

Cost for the din­ner is $10 per per­son and $5 for chil­dren and it is BYO drinks.

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COME ONE, COME ALL: Echuca Trin­ity Lutheran Church pas­tor Matt Anker en­cour­aged the com­mu­nity to learn about the church at the up­com­ing Ref­or­ma­tion cel­e­bra­tions.

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