On October 31, the world will recognize the achievements of Martin Luther, who 500 years ago started the Age of Reformation in Europe when he nailed 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. His 95 Theses were posted as points of debate about the practices and direction of the Church, at which time there was only one church—denominations which characterize the Christian church today (there are Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, and many, many more denominations of Christian churches) have their origins in this 500 year-old movement, started by this one-time monk and his disagreements inspired by his pastoral studies of the Bible.
On October 27, Trinity students celebrated this 500th Anniversary with a Reformation Walk about our campus. Visiting ten stations in the church sanctuary, the courtyard, gym, and classrooms, students learned about the history, art, culture, and theology of Medieval Germany, using their Reformation passports to travel back in time with Luther to Wittenberg, Wartburg Castle, and the Castle Church.
In a Middle School poll following the Reformation Walk, the most fascinating aspect of our campus festival was the morning-long debate between Martin Luther and John Tetzel over indulgences and the church practice of forgiving sins and earning heaven through monetary gifts. Pastor Doug Kallesen and Pastor Larry Schaefer played these roles, with Pastor Schaefer arguing that Christians had to purchase a letter of indulgences to attain eternal life. Pastor Doug countered with verses from the Bible that clearly showed, then and now, that faith in Jesus Christ, and belief in His suffering, death, and resurrection is the only way to gain the righteousness God demands of all human beings. A cornerstone of the Reformation is from Ephesians 2. 8-9:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Other highlights included an enactment of life in Wittenberg, a skit directed by Mrs. Stroschein and her Language Arts class, and a mini-concert of renaissance music played on the organ by Mr. Howard. Mrs. Tesch organized this year’s successful commemoration of the Reformation at Trinity Lutheran School.