StoneBridge Church Community

Building Bridges of Grace

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.
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October 28th at 8:30am

Reforming Relationships:  Male/female relationships affect us all—whether in the home, the neighborhood, the workplace, the church, or the wider world. Human relationships are the cause of our greatest tensions, distress, and fears. They are also the source of some of our greatest joys. God’s vision for relationships between his sons and daughters takes us into uncharted territory. From the beginning his plan was always for his sons and daughters to join forces as a Blessed Alliance to advance his purposes. The Blessed Alliance is one of the boldest concepts in the Bible. What is that Blessed Alliance? And how can we move toward fulfilling God’s vision for us?

Reforming Missions:  Reformers are sometimes criticized for being so theologically minded that they are of no practical good.  Why would a person who believes in God’s sovereignty or predestination bother sharing their faith?  The recovery of the gospel in the Reformation brought with it a joyous desire to  share that good news!  God used John Calvin to orchestrate a church planting movement around the world.  Far from ignoring the call of missions, a reformed church today is to be zealous in pursuing people with the gospel.  The story of his efforts that sent missionaries and martyrs worldwide for the cause of Christ is truly mind blowing.

Join us Saturday morning,  and hear from our guest speakers 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. 
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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.