Reformation Day marks Protestants’ beginnings
By LEILA PITCHFORD-ENGLISH
Advocate news graphics
June 07, 2013
The end of October is known for Halloween and All Saints’ Day. However, another religious day happens in this season: Reformation Day.
The website Interfaith Calendar.org says it is the “Protestant Christian anniversary of their tradition and its emphasis on the place of the Bible and religious freedom” and that the “public observation is the Sunday before October 31.”
For 2011, that is Oct. 30.
As priest and professor, Martin Luther began to question and reinterpret things he had been taught, especially about righteousness.
His observations caused him to question practices of the church.
On Oct. 31, 1517, All Saints’ Eve, Luther used a practice calling for debate on church issues. He wanted to challenge the sale of indulgences, which were a way to buy protection from punishment of sins in the afterlife. (Some church officials were using these as a way to raise money for the church.) So Luther posted a document now known as the 95 Theses at the church in Wittenberg, Germany.
Luther’s questions came when the printing press was making publishing easy. Within two weeks his essay spread across the country, and within two months across Europe.
While not his intention, this simple call for debate started a line of events that led churches to separate from the Roman Catholic Church. These are known as Protestant churches.
If you’d like to observe Reformation Day, a good web search engine will generate ideas.
Several have humourous pages dedicated to the day.
• The blog Christ and Pop Culture offers “How to Celebrate Reformation Day Without Being Weird.” (http://www.christandpopculture.com/). One suggestion is to avoid playing “Pin the Theses on the Door.”
• Old Lutheran (http://www.oldlutheran.com/) offers ideas under its Lutheran Fun link, including Reformation Day parties, caroling, games and even a Martin Luther song set to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
A day for good
Today is the third “Maggie Lee (Henson) for Good Day,” named in memory of a 12-year-old from First Baptist Church, Shreveport, who died in a bus wreck en route to youth camp in 2009.
Associated Baptist Press reported that Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover this week in a proclamation urged people to do a good deed to honor Maggie.
Bob Allen, of ABP, reported that in 2009 the goal was 1,300 participants on what would have been Maggie’s 13th birthday. Almost 18,000 people used the day to perform a good deed. In 2010, he said, people helped build a home for a family in Haiti among other projects.
For more, visit http://www.maggieleeforgood.org/ .