This Sunday is Reformation Sunday. It’s a particularly big day this year marking the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s letter to the Catholic Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg protesting the sale of indulgences. Most of us now know this letter as Luther’s Ninety-five Theses—a letter and an action that sparked the Protestant Reformation.
500 years later, is the Reformation still underway? This week, Rev. Susan Clayton posted this question on social media, “Considering the Reformed moto of ‘Reformed, and always being Reformed,’ If you could reform/change something(s) about the Church of the present day, what would you reform/change?” A similar question was put before IPC staff earlier this week. The answers will be part of Susan’s Sunday sermon at 8:45 and 11 am. It’s entitled, “A Love that Sets Us Free.”
On Monday at 7 pm, the tables will be turned. It will be Susan’s turn to answer the same question. She and Rev. Brian Lays will be part of a panel for Theology on Tap’s October meeting at Ghost Train. As organizer David Seamon describes Theology on Tap, “the format is still the same: beer, conversation and God. Everything is up for discussion. No assumptions. No barriers to entry. It’s an open and honest conversation with friends (new and old) about things that matter.” All are welcome and a free drink goes to anyone who dresses as his/her favorite reformer.
While we are discussing the Reformation here at IPC this weekend, I will be preaching at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville on Sunday. I’ll also be leading an all day seminar on preaching for the Presbytery of Middle Tennessee. The seminar is entitled, “Mary Teaches Us How to Preach.” I’ll talk about how Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a preaching model when it comes to creativity, structure and delivery. I’ll go through the process of planning sermons, preaching about both Evangelism and Social Justice ministry and teach them the brain technique I’ve developed for preaching without notes that creates a virtual teleprompter in the pulpit. It’s a technique I use every Sunday. You can read more about the seminar here.
One final thing—next Wednesday night, November 1 at 6:30 pm, we will celebrate All Saints Day in the sanctuary. The list of names of IPC members who have died in the past year will be sung by the choir at this service instead of being done on Sunday. Please plan to attend this very meaningful and uplifting service.
See you soon,
Dr. William J. Carl III, Senior Pastor