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REFORMATION 500


50 ways the Reformation still impacts pastors


As we commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Living Lutheran is exploring 500 of its unique aspects, continuing the series this month with 50 ways the Reformation still impacts pastors. The first 25 are included here, and the remaining 25 can be found at livinglutheran.org.


Emily Trubey-Weller Pastor, St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Hicksville, N.Y.


This list is not meant as an all-encompassing compendium of everything essential to the Reformation and its theology, but rather as a glimpse of the variety of ways the movement that Martin Luther sparked in 1517 would influence the history of the world.


2 3 1


Context matters. Luther’s assertion that word and sacrament are what matters when


it comes to worship, and the rest is adiaphora (theological nonessentials), is critical to becoming a more just and inclusive church. At St. Stephen, it allows us to continually reform worship, spreading the good news of God’s loving work further and wider.


I am so not in charge. As the pastor, I am just one member of the priesthood of all


believers. The people of my congregation are always ministering alongside me and teach me every day.


4


Theology for the people.Martin Luther’s theology flowed from the pastoral concerns he


had for his people. As a pastor, it’s important that my theological understanding grows from the needs and concerns of my people, my neighbors, my community.


5 22 OCTOBER 2017


Be a sinner and sin boldly …Luther’s frequent reminders of human sinfulness can


seem like a downer. But in daily ministry, I see how the belief that we can be perfect and “do it all” leads to despair. We can’t do it. Accept it.


… but trust more boldly in the grace of God. God never stops speaking love, mercy and


grace to us. But it’s when we finally trust that we can fall back on the love of God that the fullness of life overflows into a beautiful, bold, constant outpouring of gratitude.


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