Tradition holds that on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to the door of Wittenberg Church, inadvertently setting in motion the events that led to the Reformation, the re-forming of the church.
The early 16th century was a time of transition and upheaval. Worship practices changed. The understanding of authority in the church changed. The understanding of ministry changed. Many of these changes were painful. Nations, communities, and families found themselves at odds. At the same time, this re-formation of the church was also, for many people an opportunity to deepen and renew their faith commitments.
Here at Holy Cross we are also in a time of transition and upheaval. The most obvious sign of these transitions is that we are working towards calling a new pastor. Yet there are other signs of transition. We too live during a time of social and cultural change. At our History and Heritage event on Rally Day participants listed a number of the changes the Holy Cross experienced in the recent past. Here are some of them:
- Explosive growth in the Herndon area and beyond
- Immigration a big deal – establishment of and fight against day-labor center
- Changing demographics, more suburban, less rural
- LGBT – ordination, gay marriage
- People are very busy – don’t have time, in the past no one played soccer on Sunday mornings
- Our context is increasingly multi-cultural
- Lack of affordable housing
- Church – selective—people look for one that fits them as opposed to denominational loyalty
This is the context in which Holy Cross is called to make disciples and to share the good news of God in Christ Jesus.
We need to be clear. In order to effectively proclaim the gospel in our current context, we need to be open to the ways God is calling us to re-shape and re-form Holy Cross. How do we need to change in order to meet the needs of those who are not yet a part of our fellowship? What are the skills needed, not just by our new pastor, but by those of us who call ourselves disciples of Jesus?
Fortunately for us, our tradition is one of re-formation. While this doesn’t make change any easier, it does provide us the assurance that God walks with us as we re-form the church, just as God walked with those early re-formers.
In 2017 we will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. During the next year, once a month, we will include in the bulletin information regarding different aspects of the Reformation and the Lutheran Church. We trust you will enjoy learning more about the Lutheran movement in the world. We also hope that you will draw inspiration from tradition and history as we move forward into the future. God calls us, both as a community and as individuals, to an ongoing re-formation and re-shaping of our life.
October 30th, 2016
Join us in worship as we continue to ‘re-form’ the Church and strive to perform the Lord’s work in our community and globally.