Saturday, October 26, 2002

Churches celebrate what Luther started

Faith Matters

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

Almost 500 years ago, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church in Germany and changed the world.

This weekend, hundreds of the area's Protestant churches will celebrate Reformation Sunday and honor the spirit of reform that their founders brought with them.

"It's a celebration of our faith heritage," said Rev. Steve Willis of Seventh Presbyterian Church in East Walnut Hills. "We are a reformed church and always are continuing to reform, always trying to reinterpret and make faith more accessible to everyone."

The church, at 1721 Madison Road, will have a "Kirking of the Tartans" service at 11 a.m., which will include the Cincinnati Scots Pipes and Drums, families in tartan plaid and kilts, and a reception in honor of the Presbyterian Church's Scottish roots with dancing by the Ohio Valley Scottish Society.

King of Kings Lutheran Church, 3621 Socialville-Foster Road in Mason, will have a service at 3 p.m. with the Rev. Dr. Oswald Hoffman, who once preached the Lutheran Hour and is the author of several books.

At Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 7701 Kenwood Road, Kenwood, all of the day's services will bring messages of reform and remembrance.

"It's a reminder that the Reformation is not something that happened in the early 16th century, it began there, and it continues today," said Pastor Larry Donner. "We're looking forward to a day when the church is reunited."

And while Protestants are celebrating the Reformation, Catholics will be talking about the largest changes in their church since the Counter Reformation at a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Vatican II at Xavier University.

The event, hosted by the theology department at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Cintas Center's Banquet Room, is expected to draw about 400 people to listen to a panel.

And while most people know Vatican II as the reform that brought English language Masses, there are more significant changes that bring Catholics and Protestants closer, said William Madges, chairman of the theology department at Xavier.

"One of the great positive benefits of Vatican II has been a deeper endorsement and emphasis on what Catholics and Protestants have in common," he said.

The council, which opened in October 1962, acknowledged that the church was partly responsible for past splits and made a commitment to greater Christian unity.

"There was also an affirmation that there is truth and goodness in other churches and religions, which you just didn't have in the Catholic Church before Vatican II," Dr. Madges said.

Choir concert Sunday

The Allegro Choir of Mount Zion Baptist Church, 10190 Woodlawn Blvd., will host a concert, "I am what I am by the grace of God" at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Dinner tonight

Trinity United Church of Christ, 3850 E. Galbraith Road in Dillonvale, will host a German sauerkraut and roast beef dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. today. Cost is $7.50 at the door for adults and $3 for children under 10.

For more religion listings, check out, keyword: events. Send religion news to, or fax to 755-4150.

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