Tyler religious leaders to mark 500th anniversary of Protestant Reformation with public programs

Published on Friday, 22 September 2017 20:04 - Written by

EMILY GUEVARA, eguevara@tylerpaper.com

Leaders from several Tyler churches will partner over the next month to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

Over the course of six programs, guests will get to hear about the Reformation from a variety of denominational perspectives.

“As we look at what it means to continue to reform the church, I think one of those aspects is going to be working together,” event organizer Pastor Mark Braaten of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church said.

The programs are scheduled for 7 to 8:15 p.m. for the next six Thursdays at The Foundry Coffeehouse, 202 S. Broadway Ave., in downtown Tyler.

Scheduled speakers include: Pastor Mark Braaten of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Bishop Joseph Strickland and the Rev. Joshua Neu of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tyler, the Rev. Matt Boulter of Christ Episcopal Church, the Rev. Eric Barton of Bethel Bible Church, the Rev. Ben Wheeler of Redeemer Presbyterian Church and Blaine Davis, a Grace Community School teacher and a Lutheran Seminary student.

The Rev. Mark Braaten of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church is spearheading the program after a successful run last year with programs about German pastor theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Each Thursday’s session is open to the public and there is no charge.

In a separate but related event, First Christian Church will present “Luther and His Legacy: Gospel Promise in Cracked Pots” from 9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Oct. 7. James Duke, professor of History of Christianity and History of Christian Thought at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, is the scheduled speaker. That event costs $25 and includes a light lunch breakfast and lunch.

Finally, to celebrate the Reformation after all the ecumenical talks, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 4900 Kinsey Drive, will host an Oktoberfest from 4 to 9 p.m. Oct. 28.

There will be food, a band, dancing, beer, soft drinks and special events for children.

“After all the studies, we envision this as a time for Tyler to come together and enjoy and celebrate,” Braaten said in an email about the event.

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WHAT: Reformation 500

WHEN: 7 to 8:15 p.m. for six Thursdays

WHERE: The Foundry Coffeehouse, 202 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler

WHY: To learn about the Protestant Reformation from different perspectives

COST: Free

SCHEDULE: Sept. 28: Lutheran perspective

Oct. 5: Roman Catholic perspective

Oct. 12: Episcopalian perspective

Oct. 19: Reformed perspective

Oct. 26: Luther and Vocation

Nov. 2: Panel discussion about the Reformation’s ramifications and what this means moving forward in ministry