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Commemorations for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation Planned


Synod 2016, the general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church, encouraged its various ministries to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation is traditionally dated 1517, when Martin Luther published a protest against the church as it then existed.

The CRC traces its own lineage to the Reformation. Synod placed special emphasis on what are called the “five solas,” five central Reformation affirmations, each prefaced by the Latin, sola, which translate to “by Christ alone,” “by grace alone,” “by faith alone,” “by Scripture alone,” and “for God’s glory alone.” In the discussion on the initiative, Robert Arbogast, Classis Lake Erie, asked about the many divisions in the church that were introduced by the Protestant Reformation, wondering whether the plans being put in place would be “merely celebrative  or also have a note of lament for the further fracturing of the church 500 years ago.”

The reporter for the committee presenting the recommendation, Christopher Schoon, Classis Hamilton, pointed out that the committee had carefully chosen the word “commemorate” to include both celebration and lament.


Synod 2016 is meeting at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., from June 10-17. For continuous Banner coverage, please follow The Banner Magazine on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted at several times daily. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.

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