An Ecumenical Commemoration of 500th Years of Reformation

National Council of Churches in India – Unity and Mission

Church of North India – Diocese of Nagpur

An Ecumenical Commemoration of 500 Years of Reformation

October 31, 2017 is a historical day for the global Christian Communities. This day marks the 500th Anniversary of the Christian Reformation in Germany initiated by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther, a Catholic priest who nailed his 95-faith questions and reflections on the doors of  Castle Church, traditionally known as All Saints Church, in Wittenberg, Germany on 31 October 1517. This act became the major stimulus for Reformation in the history of Christianity.

Since then, the Reformation has made an impressive journey everywhere: movements for reform started gaining momentum, new faith orientations and values were inculcated, and people’s faiths started to be practiced in public.  This day, 31st October 1517, roused Christians to interrogate themselves in order to appropriate their faith meaningfully and responsibly, and to experience the call to bear witness to the resurrected Christ in public.

Therefore, the commemoration of this quincentennial anniversary offers a historical opportunity for all of us to reflect on the need, relevance and reasons for Reformation and to discern its spiritual and societal impact.

The Lutheran World Federation has  called the global Christian communities to contemplate upon the theme “Liberated by God’s Grace” during the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, a theme which is closely linked to the doctrine of justification by faith, which has become the backdrop for the Reformation.  The central insight of this doctrine, namely that in Christ, God’s grace is given to us as a free and unconditional gift, evokes a response of gratitude, expressing itself in loving and caring engagements with human beings and the whole of creation. This understanding is as pertinent today as it was in Luther’s times, and it continues to influence all aspects of theology and spirituality of all Christians. A theology centered on justification by faith holds on to the concept of grace since, in biblical terms, justification promises God’s unconditional acceptance of human beings.

In this context,  National Council of Churches in India – Unity and Mission  joins the Nagpur Diocese –  CNI,  the Catholic Arch Diocese, Methodist, Lutheran, Oriental Traditions and other Congregations and Worshiping Christian Communities in Nagpur in commemorating the historical 500 years of Reformation through an Ecumenical Worship at All Saints Cathedral, Sadar, Nagpur.

This Ecumenical Worship would facilitate our generation to remember the works of our ancestors and church leaders who were trying to make our faith relevant. They not only aided reformation but also worked incessantly to bring together the varied colorful denominations of Christianity to walk hand in hand towards an Inclusive One-Ecclesia, the Body of Christ, forgetting the differences and rejoicing in diversities.

Hence, you are cordially, invited to be part of this historical commemoration of the 500th year of Reformation, at All Saints Cathedral, Sadar, Nagpur on 31st October, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.

ALL NCCI CONSTITUENT MEMBERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO HOLD SIMILAR  OBSERVATIONS.

Come let us all worship God in one voice and as one people of God!

 

With Prayers

Rev. John George
Presbyter-in-charge
All Saints Cathedral, Nagpur
Rev. R. Christopher Rajkumar
Executive Secretary
NCCI – Unity and Mission
Rt. Rev. Paul Dupare
Bishop,
CNI Nagpur Diocese
Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad
General Secretary,
National Council of Churches in India.

 

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