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Lutheran churches celebrate anniversary

October 29, 2017 GMT

Area Lutheran churches continue to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation this weekend with music and traditions.

On Sunday, First Evangelical Lutheran Church in North Platte (305 W. Fifth St.), will host a livestream from Creighton University, with a service to follow. The livestream will involve the bishops of the Nebraska and Western Iowa synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as well as other ecumenical representatives.

The event begins at 2 p.m. Organizers invite people from other Lutheran churches, as well as those of other denominations.

“We were very careful to call this a commemoration, not a celebration,” said the Rev. Steven Berke, event organizer and transitional pastor at First Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Berke said faith leaders participate in a number of community multifaith events.

In 2015, representatives from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America came together to form “32 statements of agreement,” a list that Berke said shows how much the faiths have in common.

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The statements of agreement differ from Martin Luther’s 95 theses, originally sent by Martin Luther to an archbishop in 1517 on Oct. 31, 1517, now considered the start of the Reformation.

The theses addressed what Luther believed to be abuses by the Catholic church and its clergy — one of the most popular being priests who sold indulgences for forgiveness of sins or forgiveness of deceased loved ones who were believed to be in purgatory.

After the livestream Sunday, which will feature Lutheran bishops from Nebraska and Iowa, Berke will perform a Communion liturgy with the Rev. Jeffrey Nelson, pastor at Episcopal Church of Our Savior in North Platte.

A dessert and coffee reception will follow the service.

Berke said Protestants have had open dialogue with the Catholic faith since the early 1960s, when the Catholic Church conducted the Second Vatican Council. The council, commonly called Vatican II, discussed the Catholic Church’s relationship with the rest of the world.

Sunday’s event follows a musical event Oct. 22 at American Lutheran Church in Gothenburg, where many people, mostly of the Lutheran faith, shared music, ranging from traditional hymns to modern song, Berke said. The event involved 11 ELCA churches from Sutherland to Broken Bow, including First Evangelical Lutheran and Messiah Lutheran churches in North Platte, according to information provided before the event. The event also included a meal featuring foods from many parts of the world, Berke said.

Area Lutheran churches continue to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation this weekend with music, tradition and cultures.

ADVERTISEMENT

On Sunday, First Evangelical Lutheran Church in North Platte (305 W. Fifth St.), will host a livestream from Creighton University, with a service to follow. The livestream will involve the bishops of the Nebraska and Western Iowa synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as well as Catholic and other ecumenical representatives.

The event begins at 2 p.m. Organizers invite people from other Lutheran churches, Catholics and other faiths.

“We were very careful to call this a commemoration, not a celebration,” said the Rev. Steven Berke, event organizer and transitional pastor at First Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Berke said faith leaders participate in a number of community multifaith events.

In 2015, representatives from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America came together to form “32 statements of agreement,” a list that Berke said shows how much the faiths have in common.

The statements of agreement differ from Martin Luther’s 95 theses, originally sent by Martin Luther to an archbishop in 1517 on Oct. 31, 1517, now considered the start of the Reformation.

The theses addressed what Luther believed to be abuses by the Catholic church and its clergy — one of the most popular being priests who sold indulgences for forgiveness of sins or forgiveness of deceased loved ones who were believed to be in purgatory.

After the livestream Sunday, which will feature Lutheran bishops from Nebraska and Iowa, Berke will perform a Communion liturgy with the Rev. Jeffrey Nelson, pastor at Episcopal Church of Our Savior in North Platte.

A dessert and coffee reception will follow the service.

Berke said Protestants have had open dialogue with the Catholic faith since the early 1960s, when the Catholic Church conducted the Second Vatican Council. The council, commonly called Vatican II, discussed the Catholic Church’s relationship with the rest of the world.

Sunday’s event follows a musical event Oct. 22 at American Lutheran Church in Gothenburg, where many people, mostly of the Lutheran faith, shared music of the faith, ranging from traditional hymns to modern song, Berke said. The event involved 11 ELCA churches from Sutherland to Broken Bow, including First Evangelical Lutheran and Messiah Lutheran Church in North Platte, according to information provided before the event. The event also included a meal featuring foods from many parts of the world, Berke said.