Singing, praying, learning, fellowship, and service – these are all things that bring us together each week within our community at Lord of Life. There shouldn’t be any surprise that the same things could bring together people from other communities, too. Our first REFORM event with Roman Catholics and Lutherans from West Chester and Mason exceeded our expectations of how powerful the experience would be.
We began with a worship moment led by musicians from St. Max, Christ the King, and Lord of Life (the next event will include leadership from St. John’s as well). Through common words and common songs, we infused the evening with a joyful prayer that continued into our conversations. We heard from Lutheran and Catholic clergy from St. Susannah Catholic (Mason), Prince of Peace Lutheran (Loveland), and Zion Lutheran (Middletown) who presented different views, but we heard even more common views. We listened to a biblical message that defined us all as part of the same vine. The same body. One faith, one hope, and one baptism.
I found myself at a table made up of Catholics from various parishes. We asked questions and discussed among ourselves how we each came to the body of Christ and what that means to us. About half the table had been born into the Catholic church. But one young woman shared how she found the church through an ecumenical sports team. An older gentleman started going to Methodist Sunday school after his mother died when he was nine, and then converted to Catholicism after years of seeing the positive impact the church had on his wife. We all had stories about how we saw people’s faith overflow in their actions.
The thread that kept weaving its way to the top was: “We need to do more of this.” We need to find ways to maintain the natural bond we have through Christ and the Spirit. We need to worship together and talk together and serve together. Our connection to each other is too powerful to let ourselves be kept apart.
As the clock forced the evening to a close, we put notes on a door describing how we wanted to move forward in our relationships. More combined worship. More dialogues. More learning. More outreach opportunities together. Singing, praying, learning, fellowship, and service.
Even though the next two REFORM events are self-contained – they are three separate events rather than one continued event, I suspect we’ll see some of the same faces coming again and again because we are so inspired to move forward as one body. Come be a part of the conversation on October 19 at 7 pm at Christ the King or October 21 at 10 am at St. Max.
The 2017-2018 Ministry Magazine is available in print at Lord of Life or by downloading the file below!
Sunday, October 22, 4 pm
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
5475 Brand Road, Dublin
October 31, 2017, marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his Ninety-Five Theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany – an act that sparked the Lutheran Reformation. For many years, Roman Catholics and Lutherans have been striving to find common ground and heal divisions in the Church.
Last October 31, for the first time, Pope Francis, Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan, President of the Lutheran World Federation, and other Roman Catholic and Lutheran leaders led the Joint Ecumenical Commemoration in Lund, Sweden. This historic event was a visible sign of unity, as Lutherans and Catholics from around the globe joined together for worship.
This Fall, we continue to commemorate this anniversary, locally, in a variety of ways, including these exciting events that bring together various voices for worship and learning. These events will focus on three themes: Rediscover Common Ground, Renew Relationships, and Respond to Local Needs. Centering ourselves in Ephesians 3:16-21, “Now to God, who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine,” we’ll explore the many ways that the Holy Spirit continues to work in our lives, congregations, and communities.
Our time together will include a prayer service for unity, panel presentation, small group discussions, and reflections on how we can continue to love and serve the people of God as we respond to local need. The following dynamic voices will invite us into engaging God’s promises and one another as we look to the future.
Thursday, October 19, 7 – 9 pm, Christ the King Lutheran Church, West Chester
Worship leaders for the evening include Father Norm Langenbrunner and Pastor Lowell Michelson
Saturday, October 21 from 10 am to noon, St. Maximillian Kolbe Church, Liberty Twp.
Worship leaders for the evening include Father Geoff Drew and Pastor Matt Byrd
We are offering the same program in various locations in the hope that more people can participate.
A freewill offering will be taken for Matthew 25: Ministries for Hurricane Relief.
Visit the facebook page: www.facebook.com/cathluth2017/
Sign up online today: http://conta.cc/2f1mu5i
West Chester Catholics and Lutherans to Celebrate Reformation 500 Together
Look out! The Catholics and Lutherans in West Chester are planning some big things for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Keep your eyes and ears open for an announcement, soon. Our initial meeting included representatives from St. John the Evangelist Church, St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Lord of Life.
My office is covered with fluorescent sticky notes. On the desk, stuck in the pages of books, and up and down the wall, there are countless 3” x 3” colorful squares holding lists, names, numbers, words, tasks, ideas, prayers, and other random scribbles and scrabbles of life. Everywhere I look, these little, bright visual cues remind me of someone to call, a plan to explore, or ways to be grateful.