THE CHRISTIAN YEAR – REFORMATION DAY
The 31st of October is “Reformation Day”. On that day in 1517, Martin Luther, a professor of theology at the University of Wittenberg in Germany, posted on the door of a prominent church an invitation to a debate on the church’s practice of selling “indulgences” in order for people to receive forgiveness of their sins. The invitation also stated Luther’s own position in 95 points, and thus came to be known as his “95 Theses”. That event sparked an upheaval in the church — a period of debate, conflict, and reform that lasted for more than 100 years, and came to be known as the Reformation. Many Protestant churches (including the Presbyterian Church) came into existence during that time.
Another prominent figure in the Reformation was John Calvin, from France. In the 1540s and 50s, he established in Geneva, Switzerland, a separate branch of the Reformation from Luther’s. Now known as the Reformed Tradition, this branch of the church is the one to which our own Presbyterian Church in Canada belongs, along with the United Church, the Christian Reformed Church, and many other denominations around the world.
Reformation Day is not only an occasion to commemorate the accomplishments of the Reformers, but also to recognize that the church always needs reforming in order to stay true to God’s wishes and purpose for his people. The symbolic color for Reformation Day is red, in recognition of the fact that a great many people lost their lives during the turbulent years of the Reformation.
PWS&D Appeals – Presbyterian World Service and Development was already appealing for donations to assist people affected by severe droughts in Africa when Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti — and now PWS&D is appealing for donations for both emergencies. Copies of an information leaflet on the droughts in Africa are set out on the table at the south entrance. Information on both appeals can be found on PWS&D’s website at www.WeRespond.ca. Donations toward either appeal can be made through our congregation, using your offering envelope or a separate envelope — mark it either “Africa Drought” or “Haiti”. Donations can also be made directly, using your credit card, either online at www.WeRespond.ca or by phoning 1-800-619-7301, extension 291.
Sunday, October 16th, 2016
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church
Royal Road South
Adults $15.00 12 & under $8.00
6 & under – Free
Although Thanksgiving Day (which dates back to colonial times) is a well-established festival in North America, it is a relative newcomer to the Christian Year (which took shape much earlier, during the Middle Ages). In the Christian Year, Thanksgiving Day is only a secondary festival, since it has to do with something other than an event in the life of Jesus, or in the history of the early church. Nevertheless, it is a significant festival, since it affirms that God, as Creator, provides for our needs. Thanksgiving gives us a special opportunity to give thanks to God for the harvest, as well as the many other blessings by which he sustains our lives. In Canada, Thanksgiving Day has been an official holiday since 1879, but has been observed on the second Monday of October since only 1957.
Synod Conference – Our Synod will be holding a one-day conference on evangelism on Friday, 28 October, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Westwood Presbyterian Church, 197 Browning Blvd., Winnipeg. It is entitled Say What: Evangelism for the Shy Christian, and will be led by Ross Lockhart, a professor at the Vancouver School of Theology. Everyone is welcome. For details (including cost), see the flyer posted on the bulletin board in the Church Hall. For inquiries, or to register, please contact the clerk of the Synod, Peter Bush (204-837-5706 or firstname.lastname@example.org).