A celebration is planned in central Iowa this month to mark the 500th anniversary of one of the most important events in the Christian faith. It was in 1517 that Martin Luther nailed the historic 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, launching the start of the Protestant Reformation.
Don Beitz is helping organize a free commemoration at Stephens Auditorium in Ames on Sunday, October 15th.
“I’ve had this dream of a large celebration of the Reformation,” Beitz says. “I put together a committee of people from various area Lutheran churches and we have a wonderful program, a chance for people to come together and celebrate.”
Beitz, an Iowa State University professor with a doctorate in philosophy, was asked how relevant the Reformation is after five centuries.
“The Reformation is actually celebrated every year at the end of October and this is a very special year,” he says. “People in Germany have hosted more tourists at the Martin Luther sites around Germany.”
The celebration will feature a list of speakers and experts on theology and history, as well as musical performance by artists including Iowa native opera star Simon Estes.
“We have quite a nice lineup of people we can listen to and watch,” Beitz says, “and in addition to that, we will be singing some well-known hymns as a large audience.”
A free will offering will be taken for Lutheran World Relief to assist those impacted by the recent hurricanes.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City