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St. John’s to host Reformation celebration services

By Susan Shinn Turner

For the Salisbury Post

St. John’s Lutheran Church, the largest ELCA congregation in Rowan County, is collaborating on a number of community events in celebration of the Reformation.

“We had so many different areas to consider when planning this milestone observation,” says Rob Durocher, St. John’s minister of music and deacon. “We wanted to assemble a calendar with offerings of arts, music and academic study, that would engage not only our congregation, but would interest folks from our community and beyond. We hope that many people will take advantage of everything that’s happening between now and Oct. 29. This 500th anniversary is a magnificent moment in the life of our congregation, and for the Lutheran church around the world.”

Here’s a look at the upcoming events, which culminate with a Reformation worship service Oct. 29 at St. John’s, 200 W. Innes St. in Downtown Salisbury.

• Sept. 12, 19, 26, and Oct. 3, 10, 17 — Senior Seasons Academy. Each fall, winter, and spring, St. John’s hosts an academy for community members ages 50 and up. Each Tuesday Sept. 12-Oct. 17 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the academy will be studying the spread of Lutheranism in North America. Pastor Rhodes Woolly will lead these sessions. Register on the St. John’s website.

• Sept. 23, 7 p.m. — Reformation Symphony at St. John’s. The Salisbury Symphony with the Salisbury Symphony Chorus, will perform music based on “A Mighty Fortress” and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5, “The Reformation Symphony.” Tickets at $20 each are available at Seasons Gifts or from the St. John’s website (see article for details).

• Oct. 10, 17, and 24 — Joint Catholic and Lutheran Study, St. John’s. Woolly and Father John Eckert will lead a study and conversation between Lutherans and Catholics. Time TBA.

• Oct. 12-16 and 18-21 — “In God’s Own Country,” The Meroney Theater. The English-language world premiere of the play tracing the story of Lutheranism in America is presented in partnership with Piedmont Players Theater (see article for details).

• Oct. 26 — Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World, Tinseltown Cinemark Theater. St. John’s will host two screenings of this new movie which follows Luther’s life of adventure, political intrigue, kidnappings, and life-or-death showdowns. Showtimes are 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. You can purchase tickets at $10 each from the church office or the St. John’s website.

• Oct. 29 — Reformation Worship Celebration. This special service at 11 a.m. will feature St. John’s musicians, brass, and festival liturgy.

Additionally, the North Carolina and South Carolina Synods are hosting a joint Reformation Service at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Covenant Presbyterian in Charlotte. Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, the ELCA’s presiding bishop, will preach.

To learn more about these events, visit stjohns-salisbury.org. Under the About Us tab, click Reformation 500.

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