500 years later, Reformation inspires unification through hymn sing (Fond du Lac, WI)

Divided 500 years ago by the Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, members of a variety of faiths will unify through song in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Beginning in Europe, the Reformation was a response to the corruption being seen in the Catholic Church at the time. While the church was telling its members that their sins would be forgiven in an exchange for a monetary offering called an “indulgence,” according to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Martin Luther, a young monk, believed that only faith could redeem people.

Strong in his beliefs, when the church preached indulgences in Wittenberg, Germany, in October of 1517, Luther famously nailed his “95 Theses” to the church door and sent them to leadership, setting off the Protestant Reformation and sparking new religions, including Lutheranism, that would spread around the globe.

Five hundred years later, the divisions and high emotions born out of the Reformation have seen healing — although not complete. According to The Guardian, the Pope and other religious leaders in Europe are marking the anniversary with calls for “healing of memories” in regards to the event.

At home, local musicians and congregation members are marking it with an Ecumenical Hymn Festival designed to bring together those from over 10 different congregations in the Fond du Lac area.

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