Born on the 10th of November.

Loved by some. Hated by others. Misunderstood by still more.

Surrounded by history and legend, some of it true and some of questionable validity. With a reputation for enjoying a few beers and spouting off some rather harsh insults, even sprinkling in some profanity to the conversation from time to time. 

Loud and a bit brash. Regularly accused of being obnoxious or aggressive, and of using unconventional means to accomplish the mission. Sleep deprived and often experiencing digestive issues thanks to a high carb diet.

Marrying someone off limits. At times, demonstrating absolute disdain for certain kinds of authorities.

Hero or terror, it depends which side of the disagreement you find yourself on. Unafraid of throwing a punch and never holding back. You really wouldn’t want to be on the opposing side, for then the excrement would soon start flying your way.

By Paul Koch

500 years ago. Can you believe it? 500 years ago, an unknown monk and professor of theology at a small university in the town of Wittenberg, Germany let his frustrations with the bureaucracy of the church boil over. See, though the church was always a place where the gifts of Christ were given to the faithful, over the years it had become a place marked by systems of penance and work that obscured the gifts of Christ. To continue the growth and strength of the church, monetary payments were attached to your devotional activities. From viewing relics to buying indulgences the Christian was encouraged to ease their conscience and show their repentance by these acts of faithfulness. But this meant that the conscience of the people was always plagued with doubt. Did they give enough or do enough to be sure of their salvation? Where they good enough Christians? Perhaps just one more payment, one more pilgrimage, one more act of penance is needed. In fact, one more is always needed.

By Bob Hiller

So, are you tired of Martin Luther yet? As you well know by now, next Tuesday marks the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his “95 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” to the church door in Wittenberg. And though I’m sure by now you’ve read plenty about how those theses weren’t truly “Lutheran” as such (they are still pretty catholic in their theology), that event seems as good a time as any to mark the beginning of the Reformation. Now, 500 years after that incident, here we stand, rejoicing in and celebrating Luther’s “recovery” of the Gospel for the sake of the Church. Happy Halloween!