By Pastor Andy
“Those who do not learn history are condemned to repeat it,” George Santayana.
Phyllis Tickle, the late-American author and editor, wrote a lot about the future of the church in the final third of her life. In her book The Great Emergence (2012) she writes about how every 500 years the church has a rummage sale. What she means is that every 500 years the Church – the whole Christian Church around the world -- decides what practices and traditions it will keep and what it will get rid of. We are currently in one of these transition periods.
We don’t know what will become of the Church or what shape it will take. We know there willalways be a Church, that the Holy Spirit will continue to inspire believers into community- making. But, it will look different than it does today.
The last time the Church went through one of these changes was the period of the Reformation in Europe. Too often when Lutherans learn about the Reformation we focus on Martin Luther, who in 1517, nailed up the 95 Theses and poof! There became Lutherans.
Of course it didn’t happen that simply or easily. Luther wasn’t the only Reformer at the time.There were multiple Reformations going on in Europe in those years because of changes in culture, technology, and geography. Luther had conversation partners not only in the Roman Catholic Church, but also in people like John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, and more.
Want to know more? Come out on Wednesday evenings in May from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM in the fireside room. I will present a lecture-style class that will consider the multiple Reformations occurring in Europe from the early 1400s to the late 1600s.
The class will be based on Carter Lindberg’s excellent book, The European Reformations. You can buy a copy and read it on your own if you would like to, but the class will be accessible without reading the book. Handouts will be provided.
A sign-up sheet is up in the lobby starting today so I know how many handouts to prepare –sign up by April 28. First class is Wednesday, May 1.
We offer several opportunities throughout the year for small group study - so check back often.
We get the most joy and make the biggest difference when we use our God-given gifts and talents. Whether it's ushering and serving coffee, evangelizing in the community, babysitting or teaching Sunday School, there are plenty of ways to share your gifts at CLC.