• Rev. Monte Marshall, assistant pastor at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church, gave the message at the joint Lutheran service. — Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke
  • Leading the service were, front, from left, Jordan Hohmann, Emily Beyer, Grace Sagebiel, Natalie Huff, Kiesha Priem, Ernestine Grunau, the Rev. Monte Marshall; back, Daniel Hofmann, and the Reverends Travis Meier, Clint Pluenneke, Casey Zesch, Ron Windecker and Bobby Vitek. Not pictured is Rev. David Priem. – Photo by Monica Jinright
  • Rev. Travis Meier of Bethany Lutheran welcomed worshippers from four local Lutheran churches to mark the Reformation anniversary. “As Martin Luther would have said, please silence your cell phones,” he joked.
  • Glen Treibs of Holy Ghost Lutheran Church, right, Leslie Kneese of Zion Lutheran Church, and Jonathan Baethge of Bethany Lutheran Church offered a history presentation of early Lutherans in Gillespie County at the 500th anniversary celebration of Martin Luther’s Reformation in 1517. – Submitted photo

500 years of reform

Lutherans join for five centuries of ‘Reformation’

Pastors and parishioners of Bethany, Holy Ghost and Zion Lutheran Churches held a joint service on Sunday at the Fredericksburg High School Auditorium to mark the 500th anniversary of the start of Martin Luther’s Reformation.

Members of St. Paul Lutheran of Cave Creek and others also attended.

The Reformation marked its beginnings on Oct. 31, 1517, when Martin Luther posted 95 “theses” or propositions for debate on the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

While not intending to create a new denomination, he sought to reform traditions so the church followed the gospel as opposed to the ways of man.

The movement did, however, lead to the formation of “Protestant” churches and eventually a reform movement within the Roman Catholic Church. 

Holy Ghost Lutheran Youth Minister Daniel Hofmann led a children’s sermon and explained how the Reformation related to a changing of the rules.

The more than 800 worshippers attending heard the New Braunfels Village Brass Band and the Lutheran Community Choir, with Deanne Moellering directing, as well as a hand bell choir led by Laurie Jenschke. Song leader was Keith Whited.

Ernestine Grunau led lectern readings in the traditional German language.

Acolytes, cross bearer and Bible bearer were Jordan Hohmann, Natalie Huff, Emily Beyer and Grace Sagebiel.

The Lutheran pastors invited Rev. Monte Marshall of Fredericksburg United Methodist Church to give the sermon.

“Why a Methodist preach at a Lutheran service?” Marshall asked. “We all realize it’s not just a Lutheran celebration. It’s something we, as all Christians share, including Catholics.”

Marshall spoke of an “ongoing Reformation.”

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Fredericksburg Standard

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