Dear Friends in Christ,

All year long we've been hearing on a regular basis that this October 31st marks the 500th anniversary of the historically-recognized start of the Protestant Reformation--when Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses” (points of argument) on the door of the Wittenberg church.  We've already done some pretty significant things in honor of this world-changing event and its aftermath--we held an adult “Confirmation refresher course”and followed it up almost immediately with a DVD lecture series on Luther and the effect he has had on the church and the world for the past 500 years.  Both were very worthwhile occasions for everyone involved.

Now we have the annual Reformation Sunday to look forward to.  October 29th is a fifth Sunday, so our two congregations will be worshiping together at our customary 10:00, this time in Nauvoo. Though nothing is set in stone yet for that worship service, you can bet that we're going to pull out all the stops to make it memorable for our churches, and most importantly, something that is worth God's attention!

I almost never use this monthly article for a personal bulletin board; that said, this one is an exception to that rule.  I'm going to be singing with Burlington's Bel Canto Chorale in their fall concert (First Methodist, 3 PM, also Oct. 29th), and let's just say that our director, Jacob Yochum, is also well-aware of the Reformation's big anniversary.  The program he's put together is as varied as any I've ever been part of, and a big portion of it is, I daresay, pretty “Lutheran”.  We'll be singing a festive choral version of our “Fight Song” (otherwise known as “A Mighty Fortress”), and “Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden” (“Praise the Lord, All Ye Nations”), by J.S. Bach--the most famous of Lutheran composers.  Felix Mendelssohn (among other things, a great admirer of Bach) makes his contribution with a work called “Aus Tiefer Not”(Psalm 130, “Out of the depths...”), the tune of which was written by none other than Martin Luther!

First Methodist in Burlington is a lovely place, and a terrific place to put on a concert.  Come and join us--I think you'll enjoy the American folk songs and the other things we're doing as well!

In Christ,

Pastor Pete