Reformation 500 Anniversary Celebrations
Please scroll down for information on Upcoming Events, Lectures, Concert Series, and Past Events.
Donate to Reformation 500 Fund here.
On October 31, 1517, a German monk named Martin Luther posted the “Ninety-Five Theses” on the door of the Wittenberg Chapel, kicking off the Protestant Reformation. This one event lead to the birth of the Lutheran Church, but also fundamentally and forever changed European and global politics, art, culture, and had lasting ramifications on the course of history that are still being felt to even to this day. In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Faith Lutheran Church of Castro Valley is joining churches, academic institutions, cultural institutes, museums, and more in a global celebration of Martin Luther, his writings, and the church that bears his name. Please see some of the special events that our church is hosting.
The Reformation 500 Lecture Series celebrates the rich history of the Reformation and connects that history to a vibrant future. The lectures are presented by leading scholars in Reformation studies and are free and open to the community. The lectures begin at 7:00 pm and are each preceded by a meal at 6:00pm; both the lecture and meal are free and open to the public. A free will offering will be collected at each event.
May 17, 2017; 7:00pm: Luther & Copernicus: From Reformation to Revolution by Rev. Dr. Ted Peters
2017 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses; we recall the hammer and nails of 1517 that sparked the Protestant Reformation. In 1543 Nicolaus Copernicus published his theory that the Earth orbits the Sun; and this sparked the Copernican Revolution. Are they connected? This is a historical mystery. Lutherans today love natural science. Could Copernicus be the reason?
Ted Peters is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is now Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and co-editor with Robert John Russell of the journal, Theology and Science, at the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. For the 2017 commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, he has just published Sin Boldly! Justifying Faith for Fragile and Broken Souls (Fortress 2015). He is also author of the forthcoming book: God in Cosmic History: Where Science and History Meet Religion (Anselm 2017). Visit his website for more resources: TedsTimelyTake.com.
June 21, 2017 at 7:00pm: Portrayals of Luther presented by Derek Nelson.
The stakes of telling Martin Luther’s story are perceived to be very high because so much is known about him. There has been an astonishing variety of presentations of his life. Early on, he was discredited and vilified as well as defended. Subsequent generations portrayed his story as one of divine intervention in history and acclaimed him to be prophet and national hero. To Catholics, he became the quintessential arch-heretic. Not just books but also movies and plays have tried to capture the “real” Luther. This quick run-through of 500 years of Luther scholarship will broaden our understanding about what we can learn from Luther in today’s continuing Reformation.
Derek Nelson is the Professor of Religion and Stephen S. Bowen Professor of Liberal Arts at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He teaches courses in theology and church history, as well as religion and culture (such as literature and film), and social ethics. In recent semesters independent studies with students have included “Faith, Food, and Sustainability Ethics,” “Christianity and Natural Science,” and “The Christology of Karl Barth.” After graduating summa cum laude from Wabash College in 1999, Nelson earned the M.Div. at Yale Divinity School and the Ph.D. in systematic and philosophical theology at the Graduate Theological Union and the University of California in Berkeley. He taught at Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania for six happy years. He was a visiting scholar at Oxford University in 2013. Nelson is the author or editor of ten books, including The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Martin Luther, on which he is working with a team of international experts. This resource sets a new standard in Luther research, and will be published to coincide with the 500thanniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017. His intellectual biography of Martin Luther, co-written with his deceased mentor Timothy F. Lull, is Resilient Reformer: The Life and Thought of Martin Luther.
June 2, 2017; 7:00pm: The Noble Art of Music by JennaMarie Warfield, flute
Martin Luther famously said of music “Next to the word of God, the noble art of music deserves the highest praise.” Indeed, music is a central part of Lutheran heritage. Featuring the works of J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, Nielsen, Tredici, and Liebermann, “The Noble Art of Music” celebrates the work of famed Lutheran composer Bach along with a diverse program that captures a Reformation “spirit,” with music that ranges from prayerful and contemplative reflection to joyful, effervescent praise.
JennaMarie Warfield received her MM in flute performance from George Mason University and her BA from Millersville University. Ms. Warfield currently studies under Julianna Nickel and previously studied with Dr. William Montgomery, Mr. Joel Behrens, Mrs. Lana Behrens, and Dr. Linda Kirkpatrick. Ms. Warfield was a Finalist in the 2012 Louis Vyner Competition, was selected as a performer for the 2012 Julius Baker Master Class, and performed and was featured in the 12th, 13th and 14th Annual New England Conservatory Summer Metropolitan Flute Festival Orchestra. Ms. Warfield currently performs with the Mason Symphony Orchestra, Mason Baroque Ensemble, Mason Wind Symphony, George Mason Flute Choir, Capital Wind Symphony, a woodwind quintet and is an alternate for the Columbia Orchestra. She is also an active solo performer in the D.C Metropolitan area, and has performed in concerts across most of the East Coast. Ms. Warfield is not only passionate about performing but also teaching, she is the founder and director of the Frederick Youth Flute Choir, now entering it’s second year, and enjoys teaching in her private studio in Maryland and Virginia.
More Information about Future Lectures, Concerts, and Events Will be Coming in the Next Few Weeks!
Lecture: Woman and the Reformation: Mothers of Faith by Rev. Dr. Kirsi Stjerna
April 26, 2017 at 7:00pm
We have much to learn about and from the mothers of faith in the reformation traditions. We are beginning to know the names and life stories of women who embraced the teachings of Martin Luther, Jean Calvin, and other reformers, and who in their own vocations sought to exercise the new spirituality. Some were satisfied in the newly revered calling of mothers, whereas others took leadership in the public realm and expressed their theology in writing. Regardless of the limitations set on their gender –as women were supposed to be listeners, not speakers – women have always been in the middle of action and in key roles in nurturing the Lutheran faith in new generations. Today we will encounter some of these brave and creative women as we seek to connect with out faith ancestors and re–evaluate, with them, what our priorities are.
Kirsi Stjerna, a native of Finland, is the First Lutheran Los Angeles, Southwest Synod Professor of Lutheran History and Theology at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California Lutheran University. She also teaches as the Core Doctoral Faculty of the Graduate Theological Union and at Helsinki University. Her special areas of interest include women and the reformations, Luther and the Jews, and Lutheran spirituality. She is the author of “Women and the Reformation” (2009) and one of the general editors for The Annotated Luther (6 volumes, Fortress Press, 2015-2017).
The Jeünger Bach Festival, a Short Afternoon Concert by the Kaleidoscope Ensemble
2:00pm March 26, 2017
Featuring the music of J.S. Bach, one of the greatest composers in the Lutheran tradition, Faith Lutheran Church is proud to host the Jeünger Bach Festival as our inaugural concert in our Reformation 500 Concert Series. The Jeünger Bach Festival will be performed by the Kaleidoscope Ensemble, a baroque music youth group that convenes in Berkeley, but comes from many different places such as San Francisco, Oakland, Albany and Richmond. Kids from ages 8-18 join together to learn how to play chamber music and work together as a team. Many of the youth in this group also participate in the San Francisco Girls Chorus, Oakland School for the Arts, Pacific Boychoir Academy, Scottish fiddle and dance, and the Sfems.org Music Discovery workshop. Last year, the Kaleidoscope ensemble performed with the Kairos Youth Choir at the Junior Bach festival. The Kaleidoscope Ensemble is directed by Dr. Ondine Young. This concert is free and open to the public! A reception will follow the concert. For more information, call 510.582.0818.
Parent’s Night Out Fundraiser
(February 10, 2017)
Picture this: It’s the Friday before Valentine’s Day, you’re hoping to have a special date night with your loved one, or maybe even just a night to catch up on cleaning or binge watching your favorite television series. But what are you going to do with the kids? Why not bring them to our Parent’s Night Out! We will have Valentine’s themed crafts, games, movies, and will even provide dinner for your kids. You can drop them off for as little as you like or for the entire evening! Check out our Parent’s Night Out page for more information.
REFORMATION 500 BOOK FAIR FESTIVAL
Wednesday, October 26, 4:00-8:00pm
Stop by our Reformation Book Fair Festival on Wednesday, October 26th from 4:00-8:00 pm for special Reformation and Bible themed activities, games, and fun for the whole family (not to mention a chance to meet Martin and Katy Luther)! We will also be taking orders for engaging books on the Reformation for readers of all ages and interests! Save up to 50% plus receive free shipping on all orders.
Our Bookstore is sponsored by Augsburg Fortress, the publishing ministry of the ELCA, and Sparkhouse Family, a subsidiary of Augsburg Fortress focused on family and child Bible education. The books will include bestselling biographies like Luther the Reformer as well as an atlas of the European Reformations, a graphic novel for young readers, and primary sources from The Annotated Luther series. Additionally, it will feature a wide variety of new resources based on the beloved Spark Story Bible, including a family devotional, a collection of prayers for kids based on the Psalms, a picture book about Noah’s Ark, the first-ever animated Spark video (starring Squiggles the caterpillar!), and a new line of Spark Play and Learn Books to help make family faith formation easy and fun. Other noteworthy titles included in the upcoming Book Fair are a new Christmas picture book from the Frolic series and a gorgeous Advent pop-up book that will make a delightful gift. The Sparkhouse Family books and video are designed to help parents instill an open-hearted, transformational, lifelong Christian faith in their children at every age and stage.
To see a list of Bible-inspired books for children and families, click here: Book Fair Sparkhouse Books Guide.
To see a list of books about Martin Luther and the Reformation, with resources for children through adults, click here: Reformation Book Guide.