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Highlights, February 2017 Issue
This February, I am really looking forward to learning more about the Reformation at the Farstrup-Mortensen lecture series in Solvang, CA — What does the Reformation mean today? Last year, I was mystified. Martin Luther, a theological hero, had his faults, but nearly everyone agrees (including the Pope) that Justification by Faith and the vernacular translations of the Bible are two of his major contributions. Today, we no longer are invited to pay indulgences to get family members out of purgatory.
The Lutheran church is going through massive social changes; we are in the throes of some kind of re-formation again, but I have been too puzzled, too focused on survival, to know whether to celebrate accomplishments or nail new theses on the door! That has all changed, in part because of a book, The Forgotten Luther, edited by Paul Wee and Carter Lindberg. We need to reclaim what has been forgotten!
Actually, let’s celebrate! Get out the parchment and pen! We have two articles relating to the Reformation in this month’s Church and Life. Dr. Paul Wee writes about the necessity of “Recovering the social dimension of the Reformation.” Among other things, Dr. Wee served as assistant general secretary for International Affairs and Human Rights of the Lutheran World Federation, and as International Theological Director of the Luther Center in Wittenberg, Germany.
We also have Hanna Broadbridge’s article on awesome plans for celebrating the Lutheran Reformation in Denmark. Hanna shares a hymn by N.F.S. Grundtvig sung when a Lutheran pastor is ordained in Denmark.
From the present, we have Ginger Ketelsen, a “One in a Million,” person, who brings us with her on the historic “Women’s March” which took place the day following the presidential inauguration.
Once a month there is an Episcopal service held in people’s homes here in the Ontonagon area of Michigan. This month we hosted a service led by Bishop Rayford Ray of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan. Included is a letter which he sent to friends about responding to what is happening in our country.
Dick Juhl treats us with his latest reflection in the “Rear View Mirror,” a sobering reminder, “We are not promised a tomorrow.”
Finally, this issue marks the last part of the final interview from my 2013 interviews with 32 Danish Grundtvigians. (I had committed to doing 12; I did 20 more.) Author and scholar Uffe Jonas has a distinctive view of Grundtvig’s teachings. As a Danish-American Grundtvigian, I wanted to learn what Grundtvig means to “Denmark-Danes” in a secular culture in the 21st Century. What I learned is that the Danes are a very religious people –– or if you prefer, a spiritual people. I am very grateful to all the people I interviewed and to all who made it possible! And to you, the readers of Church and Life for coming along on the journey! ji
February 19, Danish Church and Cultural Center, Yorba Linda, CA. Danish Service at 3:00 pm followed by dinner and program: The Museum of Danish America with retiring John Mark Nielsen and new director Rasmus Thøgersen. Sponsored by Danish brotherhood; email@example.com or phone Lilian Lykke at 714-758-1186.
February 24-26, The Farstrup-Mortensen Lecture Series, Bethania Lutheran Church, Solvang, CA: The Lutheran Reformation, its impact, on Christianity, and on society at large. Distinguished speakers will be Bishop Dr. Guy Erwin and Professor Kirsi Stjerna. For more information: www.FMLectures.org or call 805-688-4367.
English translation: “Luther was Here.”
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