Catholics and Lutherans prayed side by side in a series of recent gatherings five centuries after a German monk sparked the Protestant Reformation.
On Wednesday, Oct. 25, at St. Andrew Church, Roswell, close to 150 members of the parish and members of Cross of Life Lutheran Church, Roswell, came together for prayer and song.
Those gathered recognized the events that led to the split, with fervent hopes expressed for tighter bonds between the Christian churches.
The two communities view the Reformation through different lenses. The Lutheran Church marks the moment as the birth of the denomination. The Catholic Church commemorates the growing dialogue and mutual respect between the churches.
At the St. Andrew service, the focus was a jointly written prayer, “From Conflict to Communion,” in which Lutherans and Catholics tell together the history of the Reformation. In it the two faith traditions express regret over the pain of the division, but also give thanks for the theological insights shared.
The prayer service grew out a desire to show unity as the two churches commemorated the historical significance of the Reformation. At the start of the anniversary year, Pope Francis prayed at the Lutheran Lund cathedral. He joined the service with Rev. Martin Junge, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, and Lutheran Bishop Munib Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation.
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