Remembering the Reformation

Congregations and communities of believers from all over the Christian Reformed church commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in various ways, in many cases welcoming brothers and sisters in Christ from other traditions. These are some that came to our attention:

Two churches and a Christian school received visits from Martin Luther. “Luther” preached at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church in Leduc, Alta., perhaps looking somewhat like pastor Jason Dalhman. He also led the November 1 chapel service at West Side Christian School in Grand Rapids, Mich., this time resembling Rev. Roger Groenboom, pastor of Faith Community CRC in Wyoming, Mich.

Classis Grand Rapids South published a 30-day devotional on its website called “Always Reforming: Celebrating 500 years of being made new” with a focus on prayer and reflection. The regional group of churches closed the month with a joint worship service at Cutlerville East CRC. Rev. Stan Mast,  a pastor who retired from LaGrave Avenue CRC in 2012, preached.

Many regional groupings of Christian Reformed churches came together in joint services on Reformation Sunday, October 29. Classes Heartland and Iakota gathered at Western Christian High School in Hull, Iowa, with Rev. John Lee of Bethel CRC in Sioux Center, Iowa, delivering the message “The Priesthood of All Believers.”

Classis Zeeland invited Classis Georgetown and nearby regional groupings of Reformed Church in America and United Reformed congregations to join its service at Unity Christian High school. Music included organ, choirs, strings, and brass, and Rev. David Feddes, formerly of the Back to God Hour (now Back to God Ministries International), preached.

“The Church’s One Foundation” was a prominent hymn for a Reformation commemoration in Holland, Mich., a community-wide worship service held at Christ Memorial Church. John Witvliet, director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, preached to the assembly of Roman Catholic, Reformed, Baptist, Episcopal, Christian Reformed, Congregational, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Methodist Christians.

Three Christian Reformed churches in St. Catharines, Ont., gathered for worship at Covenant CRC  along with participants from that city’s Knox Presbyterian and St. Giles Presbyterian churches.

Christian Reformed churches in four other Ontario communities joined together at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ont., hearing reflections on the five solas—central affirmations of the Reformation: Scripture alone, faith alone, Christ alone, grace alone, and glory to God alone—by the pastors of the participating churches.

Redeemer’s own recognition of the Reformation was a series of of short talks and panels focused on the Kuyperian tradition; Abraham Kuyper Today: A Celebration of the Reformation was held at the end of September.

About the Author

Alissa Vernon is a news editor at The Banner.

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