StoneBridge Church Community

Reformation 500

Why are we celebrating something that happened 500 years ago?

After Jesus ascended into heaven, he sent the promised Holy Spirit to indwell and empower his followers to carry out his kingdom work in the world.  The book of Acts and the various letters of the Apostles tell the story of the early church:  Amazing growth, though with persecution and internal troubles as well (just read Corinthians!).
 
Still, the church spread throughout the Roman Empire, eventually becoming its official religion.  While it was a relief to see persecution end, becoming ‘respectable’ was not good for the church as many joined simply for social reasons or career advancement.
 
With the fall of the Roman Empire, the church, like all of Europe, faced some dark times.  But eventually the church began both civilizing and Christianizing the invading barbarians.  What we now call the Middle Ages saw much vitality, but by the 13- and 1400s, many central aspects of the Gospel began to be eroded by human tradition.  Some of the worst problems had to do with indulgences – thinking one could essentially buy one’s way to heaven – beliefs about the Pope, and beliefs about Mary, the mother of Jesus.
 
Enter Martin Luther!  This German monk was tortured with an overwhelming sense of sin that he could not resolve however much he tried.  In fact, he came almost to hate God since God was righteous and Luther was sinful.  But the Lord spoke to him through Romans 1:17, and he finally realized that the righteousness of God spoken of there gets credited to our account through faith! 
 
Luther was zealous to share his discovery with the church and to reform its false ideas about getting right with God through performance, religious rites, and other human traditions laid down by the church.  Without entirely meaning to, he started the Reformation which led to the formation of the Protestant church.

Sermon Series

During the month of October we will have a sermon series called Reformation 500 in light of the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation.  Each Sunday the pastors will preach on one of the issues central to the Gospel that the church had almost lost.
 
October 1 – Sola Gratia/Sola Fide
October 8 – Solus Christus
October 15 – Sola Scriptura
October 22 – Soli Deo Gloria October 29 – Conclusion by guest speaker, Dr. Frank James

Focus Class

Reformation Focus Class Series: Starting September 24
Rick Harper will lead us in an excursion 500 years into the past to the rediscovery of the Gospel that happened during the Reformation.  Find out how God worked in the past through people like Martin Luther and the need for the Reformation to continue today.

Special Events

We will also have special events taking place throughout the month of October to celebrate the reformation and see it’s impact on our faith today. There are things for the whole family so we hope you can be a part! You can read the descriptions below.

Click the button or visit the fellowship hall to sign up for one or all of the different events.
Luther
October 6 at 6:00pm

Join us for a night at the movies! The adults will be watching the movie “Luther” while the kids (birth through 6th grade) participate in activities just for them! Don’t miss this evening with fun for the whole family!

LUTHER: One man's struggle for the Lord. A story of how Faith and Courage can change many lives. During the early 16th Century idealistic German monk Martin Luther, disgusted by the materialism in the church, begins the dialogue that will lead to the Protestant Reformation.

Sign-ups are required for this event so we can plan for childcare and refreshments.

Martin & Kate
October 15 at 6:00pm

An Evening at the Theatre! This play is an intimate look at Martin Luther through the eyes of the person who knew him best, his wife Kate. As a young monk, Luther was plagued by guilt. He resented God’s high, unreachable standard, but once he began to read the Bible itself he discovered Romans and the message of our justification by FAITH. It radically changed his beliefs and therefore, his life. He gained courage, freedom, joy and a wife. Delightful, tender and inspirational, this show is packed with contemporary relevance on a historical backdrop. Performed and written by “The Peculiar People (
http://www.peculiarpeople.com)
Childcare is not provided but sign-ups are required.

A Blessed Alliance
October 28 at 8:30am

Join us for a saturday seminar with Dr. Frank James & his wife Carolyn Custis James.
Dr James is the president of Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA. He formerly served as Provost and Professor of Historical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. His expertise is Reformation history. Carolyn Custis James (BA in Sociology, MA in Biblical Studies) is an award winning author who thinks deeply about what it means to be a female follower of Jesus in a postmodern world.

The James’ will be speaking on “A Blessed Alliance.” The relationship and marriage of Martin & Katherine Luther and how that can influence our relationships and marriages today. Sign-ups are required for this event.

Sunday Celebration
October 29 at noon

Jousting! Bratwurst! Games & Fun! Join us as we celebrate all God has done through the reformation!
Tickets are $5 per person (6 & above) or $30 for a family of 6 or more. Children 5 and under are free. Please purchase your tickets beforehand so we can plan for food needs.