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Home  >  News  >  Reformation Day Marked in Germany and Scotland


Reformation Day Marked in Germany and Scotland

Tuesday October 31 2017

Martin Luther, painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will join Christian leaders from across Europe in Wittenberg, Germany, today to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Today, October 31, marks five centuries since the event regarded as the start of the Protestant Reformation, when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses attacking the practices and doctrines of the late Medieval Catholic church in Wittenberg, a University town in Eastern Germany.

The Moderator, the Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning, said it would be ‘a privilege’ to be present at the anniversary events.

He said: “It will be a privilege to be present later today at the 500th anniversary of the events in Wittenberg in 1517 that led to the Reformation movements across Europe and the wider world.

“There were many Reformations in Europe. But Luther was the first to provide a coherent, evolving challenge, which formed the basis of the Protestant movement…

“Through words and music, ordinary people were enabled to engage directly and personally with God, with the Church challenged to make faith more accessible, and commitment more personal. Its aim was to remove the distance between God and humanity, and help people to encounter their God, through Jesus, directly. 
For this, we give thanks.”

In Scotland, former Moderator the Very Rev Albert Bogle will preach at an ecumenical service marking the anniversary at the Kirk of Calder in West Lothian at 7pm.

The service, which will include representatives from other churches including the Catholic Church and the Methodist Church will be live-streamed on the Sanctuary First online ministry website.

Mr Bogle said: “We could not have had an event like this 20 years ago, but today churches are trying very hard to be united in Christ.

“The intention of the Reformation was to reform so that we might become more Christlike and I think all churches today recognise the need for continual reform.

“I think it is very exciting that on this occasion we are joining together and continuing to find ways to be together as Christians.”

And in St Andrews, which played a prominent role in the Scottish Reformation from 1560, a month of events marking the anniversary culminates today with an ecumenical service at Holy Trinity Parish Church at 5.30pm. Former Archbishop of Canterbury the Rt Rev Dr Rowan Williams will preach, and the service will include participation from local churches and the University.

Edinburgh Church Hosts Scottish-German Reformation Celebration

Edinburgh Church Hosts Scottish-German Reformation Celebration

Moderator of the General Assembly attends events in Wittenberg, while former Moderator and...

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Rev Dr John Cameron - Saturday, November 25th, 2017

“In most protestant kirks on Reformation Sunday thanks were given for Martin Luther's ‘95 Thesis’ pinned to the door of Wittenberg Castle Church which kicked off the Reformation 500 years ago. Sermons extolled a religious revolution which gave Europe a renewed understanding of the Christian Gospel and a political revolution which laid the foundations of modern liberal democracy.

But Reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin who proclaimed Christian liberty wouldn't have hesitated to exterminate by fire, sword, or water most of their 21st century "back-sliding" followers. The Catholic Church responded with a Counter-Reformation leaving North Europe (except Ireland) Protestant and South Europe Catholic after more than a century of unspeakable atrocities.

The fact is the modern western political order was not the inevitable result of the reformation but a pragmatic response to religious violence which rendered Europe all but ungovernable. It has become a political truism that Islam “needs a reformation.” but historical parallels suggest a "reformation" is precisely what is occurring and we need to understand what that entails. ”

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