Celebrating the Reformation

Reformation Offerings

St. John’s is spending 2017 commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, an important time in history for the church and the world. Adult Discipleship, along with other ministry teams, will offer opportunities for you to study and participate in activities along the way. New information will be added to this page as we move through the year.

Bloomington/Normal Reformation Events

You are invited to celebrate the Reformation through the following special events:

2017 Illinois Conference of Churches Annual Assembly • Friday, September 22 • 8 AM–3 PM
United in Christ: Reconciliation and Commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

  • 9 AM—Worship / Bishop S. John Roth, Central/Southern Illinois Synod of the ELCA, will deliver the message during the morning worship 
  • 10 AM–2 PM—Forum / Dr. Martin E. Marty, author of October 31, 1517: Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World will be the presenter
  • 2 PM—Business Meeting

Katie Luther Women's Retreat • Saturday, October 21

St. John's, Our Saviour, and Resurrection Lutheran Churches join together for this Women's Retreat held at St. John's! 


Luther and the Reformation Movie • Sunday, October 22 • 2 PM
Join us at the Normal Theater in Uptown Normal for an afternoon matinee of Rick Steves's Luther and the Reformation, and then have a panel discussion afterward. Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther kicked off the Reformation, which ultimately split western European Christianity in two: Catholic and Protestant. In this one-hour public television special—filmed on location in Germany and Rome—Rick Steves traces the dramatic events of this grassroots movement that changed the course of history. We'll gather for a Luther movie, popcorn, and fun discussion.

Reformation Day Worship • Sunday, October 29 • 8:30 AM and 11 AM
Join us for morning Reformation worship services in the Sanctuary. The 8:30 AM worship will be traditional style and the 11 AM will be contemporary style. All are invited to a continental breakfast in the Parish Life Center anytime from 9–11:30 AM. Children's activities will be available 9:45-10:45 AM. Watch for RSVP information for the meal.

Reformation Day Celebration • Sunday, October 29 • 3 PMreformation.tif
St. John's, Our Saviour, and Resurrection Lutheran Churches will offer a joint service of Word and Sacrament with a heavy dose of Lutheran hymnody and song. Enjoy combined choir pieces and more in St. John's Sanctuary. Light refreshments will follow the worship service. Our offering from this service will be directed toward ELCA missionaries and young adults in Global Missions. 

Bach and God Author Presentation
Bach scholar and author Michael Marissen talks about his book, Bach and God, which engages Bach's approach to Luther's writings and theology. He will especially lift up this connection given the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. The presentation will combine his lecture with a performance of one of Bach's cantatas. The organizers are also working with IWU voice faculty, the local Chorale Cantus Novus, and both LCMS and ELCA congregation to sing. The event will take place at Evelyn Chapel on IWU's campus, and will be free and open to the public. 


Reformation Books

 Faith Alone: A Daily Devotionalfaith-alone.jpg
A treasury of accessible devotionals taken from Martin Luther’s best writings and sermons from 1513 to 1546. This carefully updated translation retains the meaning, tone, and imagery of Luther’s works. Through daily readings, Luther’s straightforward approach challenges you to a more thoughtful faith. Read one brief section a day beginning January 1 or explore themes using the subject index in the back of the book. Faith Alone will deepen your understanding of Scripture and help you more fully appreciate the mystery of faith. If you would like a copy of this devotional, please contact Dave Bollmann.

Reformation Rootsref-roots-cover.jpg

Do you ever wonder why we have so many Christian denominations, and if there is really much difference between them? How did this “Lutheran” thing come about anyway? The answers to these questions lie in the dramatic and turbulent times of the Reformation. This small group DVD resource helps you understand the when, why, how, and what. History buffs will particularly love it.


We Must Plant the Church: 
The Story of Lutherans in Americaalh-front-cover-final.jpg
When Lutherans came to America, they brought with them Martin Luther’s belief that people of faith engage the big questions of the day. This story is characterized by the tension between honoring the European roots of the church and adapting to the new realities of American life. The Lutheran church, from it’s earliest days, faced religious pluralism, intolerance, racism, war, lack of state support, and diversity of languages and traditions. It wasn’t easy then, and it isn’t easy now. Understanding American Lutheran history can change the way we see ourselves and our future. This six-part DVD series transports learners through four centuries.

Contact Dave Bollmann for more information on these and other opportunities.