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Peabody church to celebrate Reformation, anniversary in German

Unique Sunday service at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church open to public

German roots of religious dissent that grew into Christianity’s Protestant Reformation will be acknowledged in a special German/English worship service at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 212 E. Division St., in Peabody.

Theologian Martin Luther made public his objections to certain Roman Catholic doctrines in October 1517, starting the Reformation movement that is celebrating its 500th anniversary this year.

The church also will be celebrating its 140th anniversary.

The bulletin will be printed in German on one side and English on the other, so all can follow along whether German or English is spoken.

“I’m going to be the leader, and I hope they don’t judge me on my prowess with German,” pastor Tom Hallstrom said. “Actually, though, I’m pretty good with German.”

The liturgy will be taken from a recent Book of Worship that uses a basic format passed down through the ages.

The congregation will sing several hymns that were popular in the time of the Reformation, including the familiar, “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” written by Luther and based on Psalm 46.

The sermon will incorporate some of Luther’s favorite Bible passages, including parts of the Epistle to the Romans, which was important to his understanding, and the Gospel of John’s, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

“This celebration of the Reformation is to remember that we have a rock solid basis of justification by faith,” Hallstrom said.

Hallstrom went to Germany to study Lutheran churches in the post-Cold War era of the early 1990s. He engaged in intensive German language study in 1997 at Gottengin University with the intent of reading Luther’s German Bible translation.

Resfreshments will be served following the worship service. More information is available by calling Becki Yoder at (620) 983-2937.

Last modified Oct. 26, 2017

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