“Freed and Renewed in Christ” is the theme used by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America during its observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation that began with the 95 theses that Martin Luther first made public on Oct. 31, 1517.

Across the globe and throughout 2017 people are celebrating all that the Holy Spirit was up to 500 years ago and how that same Holy Spirit continues to reform us today. During October, this celebration increases as we recall Luther posting the 95 Theses.

Here in the Valley, our conference of Lutheran congregations will be serving together and worshiping together. In case you missed any previous announcements, here are some upcoming events:

* Sunday, October 15, Viewing of Rick Steve’s “Luther and the Reformation” from 6 to 8 PM; doors open at 5 PM; Wayne Theater, Waynesboro

* Thursday, October 19, 7 PM Roanoke College Choir Reformation Concert at Christ Lutheran, Staunton

* Saturday, October 21, 5 PM Lutheran night at Salem. Please bring a German dish to share; we will watch the movie “Luther” afterward in the Imagine Center.

* Sunday, October 29, 4 PM Southern Valley Conference

* Reformation Worship at Christ Lutheran, Staunton

As we move into the next 500 years, I hope and pray that we continue to be open to the Holy Spirit’s calling in all that we do as a church. I hope and pray that reform happens when necessary. I hope and pray that we are bold in our mission and all that God sends us into the world to be as disciples of Christ. So this October, as we celebrate the past 500 years, we also look forward to all that the Divine has in store for us saints and sinners who certainly are freed and renewed in Christ.

Pastor Derek