Reformation: 500th Anniversary year

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk teaching at the University of Wittenberg, posted 95 Theses for debate on the door of the village church. Luther called for the reform of abuses and corruption he had witnessed. No one expected the breadth of change in Christian teaching and practice that followed.

We will be taking time in 2017 to reflect on the impact and importance of Luther’s action. Occasional Wrestlers Sunday School classes, a 15-week Reformation church history class taught by R.V. Seep in the fall, plus special events and a conference this November in partnership with The Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington, will all focus on the Reformation. 
 

Upcoming Events

 
After All These Years: Reformed and Roman Catholic Perspectives on the Reformations of the 16th Century
November 17–18, NPC Sanctuary

Join us as we hear and interact with two important church historians on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Dr. Bruce Gordon (Yale Divinity School) and Dr. Brad Gregory (University of Notre Dame) will lead us in a critical exploration and reflection on the impact of the Reformation and all that has ensued. We hope you will make plans to attend this “once every five centuries” event, organized by The Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington. Cost: $99; includes several meals. Registration.
 
Reformation Concert
November 17, 7:30 p.m., NPC Sanctuary
All are invited to this free concert featuring works inspired by the Reformation.
 
The History of the Church in the Reformation Era
Ongoing course: Sundays, September 10December 10
9:30–10:30 a.m., Agencies Building Room 105
Teacher: R.V. Seep
For a millennium, the Christian Church sought with minimal success to reform its practices and correct its doctrine. Then, ignited by the excommunication of a German monk and university professor, a religious revolt swept across Europe that changed the face of Christianity, as a new and convulsive era began. Four streams of reform arose that set the stage for the modern Church: the so-called Magisterial Reformation, the Radical Reformation, the “middle way” of the English, and the response of Roman Catholicism. Join us for an overview of this most impactful time. Class videos.
 
500th Reformation Anniversary Celebrations at American University
American University is hosting a nine-week long, interdisciplinary series of events reflecting on the Reformation and its impact on the world we live in. The event includes panel discussions, table talks, a film screening, a networking fair, a poetry workshop, a mock trial, chapel services, and a concert of Bach music. 
  • October 31 (Noon): 500 years to the day when, according to tradition, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the castle church door at Wittenberg. This noontime service will feature reflection from AU's interfaith community and meditations on the road ahead given by AU's Catholic Chaplain, Fr. Carlos Quijano and their Lutheran Chaplain, Rev. Tom Omholt. The AU Chamber Singers will provide some of the music, singing J.S. Bach's "Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf."
  • November 4 (7:30 p.m.) and November 5 (3:00 p.m.): An all-Bach program examining the impact of Reformation theology on music. Featuring the music of J. S. Bach, the greatest musical practitioner of the Lutheran movement, the concert will present three distinct liturgical forms as well as listening-lecture segments discussing the music and its relationship to theology throughout the program. ($10 admission fee).

Full 9-week program

 

Past Events

Adult Plenary: Why Should Anyone Care about the Reformation?: Martin Luther and the 500th Anniversary of Protestantism
Sunday, July 9
R. Ward Holder is Associate Professor of Theology at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH. He is the author of "John Calvin and the Grounding of Biblical Interpretation: Calvin’s First Commentaries."

 
Adult Plenary: The Reformation and the Origins of the “Reformed” Movement
July 16
Bruce Douglass is Associate Professor and Political Theory Field Chair in the Department of Government of Georgetown University, and the director of the Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington. 

 
Adult Plenary: The Protestant Reformation on North American Soil
August 6
Steve Crocco is the Director of the Yale Divinity School Library and former head librarian at Princeton Theological Seminary. Steve holds a Ph.D. in religious ethics from Princeton University.
 
Foundation: Bach and the Reformation
September 17, 3 p.m., NPC Sanctuary
NPC’s 2017-2018 concert series opens with Washington Bach Consort presenting Foundation: Bach and the Reformation.
 
Continuing the Reformation: Faithfully Embracing Change
October 28, 10–11:30 a.m., NPC Sanctuary
When Martin Luther posted 95 theses for debate on the door of the church of Wittenberg, Germany in 1517, it created changes that continue to reverberate around the world. On this 500th anniversary Reformation Sunday weekend, we will consider the challenges facing the church in the years ahead. Leading us will be Dr. Tod Bolsinger, a PC(USA) professor and pastor who has written an award-winning book on how the church can embrace the unknown future through adaptive change. No tickets required.