Confirmation class are now in session, every other Sunday. Classes are twice a month from 5:00-6:30 PM. Please call the office for information. 876-7252
Dr. Martin Luther's Small Catechism (1529) Link:
The Confirmation program at St. Paul's is a two-year program, taught by Pastor Mark Isaacs. Consistent attendance is required in order for all students to be Confirmed. At the end of the program, the names of the students are submitted to Council for review and approval, per church policy. All parents are encouraged to join their children during class time. Thank you.
KATHERINE VON BORA was only eighteen at the time Martin Luther issued his now famous 95 theses from Wittenberg. She had lived in a convent since she was three; her father had taken her there after her mother's death.
Katherine and several of the other nuns at the cloister heard of Luther's Biblical teaching. Once they believed the principles Luther taught, they wanted to leave the cloisters. When Luther heard of this, he encouraged a merchant friend to help them escape. Merchant Kopp often delivered herring to the convent, and one evening in 1523, he bundled twelve nuns into his wagon in the empty fish barrels! Several of the nuns returned to their families; Luther helped find homes, husbands, or positions for the rest. Within two years after their escape, all the nuns had been provided for except one--Katherine.
Gradually, through the persuasion of friends and his father, Luther proposed to marry Katie himself. Luther had been given the building of the Augustinian monastery at Wittenberg by the Elector, and into the monastery Katie moved after her marriage in 1525. She cleaned up the monastery and brought some order to Luther's daily life. Luther wrote a friend, "There is a lot to get used to in the first year of marriage. One wakes up in the morning and finds a pair of pigtails on the pillow which were not there before."
After a year of marriage Luther wrote another friend, "My Katie is in all things so obliging and pleasing to me that I would not exchange my poverty for the riches of Croesus." Luther, the former celibate monk, now exalted marriage, exclaiming, "There is no bond on earth so sweet, nor any separation so bitter, as that which occurs in a good marriage."
Katie managed the finances of the family and helped free Luther's mind for his work of writing, teaching, and ministering. Luther called her the "morning star of Wittenberg" since she rose at 4 a.m. to care for her many responsibilities. She took care of the vegetable garden, orchard, fishpond, and barnyard animals, even to the butchering of them herself. Often there were as many as 30 students, guests, or boarders staying in the monastery, all of whom came under Katie's care. Luther was often ill, and Katie was able to minister to him in his illnesses because of her great medical skill.
Katie's life was not just concerned with the physical, however. Martin encouraged his Katie in her Bible study and suggested particular passages for her to memorize.
In time the Luthers had six children and also raised four orphan children; the family became a model for German families for several centuries. Luther viewed marriage as a school for character. Family life helped train Christians in the virtues of fortitude, patience, charity, and humility.
After Martin's death in 1546, Katie lived six years. She lived to see her children, except Magdalena who had died young, achieve positions of influence.
Martin Luther: An Overview Of His Life
Martin Luther was born on
Though his father was a coal miner, he urged his young son to become a lawyer. However, God led Luther to follow another path. Luther became a priest. There is an interesting story that Luther chose to become a priest during a severe thunderstorm. As lightning crashed close to him, Luther supposedly cried out, “Save me, Lord, and I’ll become a monk.”
When he entered the Augustian order, his father was angry. But Luther and his father did not know God’s plan for Martin Luther. God’s plan was that Luther would change the world.
During Luther’s time the world was changing, and changing rapidly. In fact, what people believed about the world changed almost completely during Luther’s lifetime.
These changes came because of a remarkable number of famous people. These people made remarkable discoveries. These discoveries caused profound changes throughout Europe…and the world.
One of these people was Christopher Columbus. When Columbus discovered America in 1492, Luther was nine years old.
Just a few years later, Gutenberg invented the very first printing press. Until this time the only way to publish or print materials was by copying them by hand. Gutenberg’s invention enabled news, information and all kinds of learning to be shared throughout Europe. During the Reformation, Luther would make extensive use of Gutenberg’s invention. The Ninety-Five Theses, the Large and Small Catechisms were but some of many documents which Luther published using Gutenberg’s invention.
Another famous person who lived during Luther’s lifetime was Michelangelo. This famous artist gained prominence as a great artist and sculptor during Luther’s life. His paintings and views regarding art still influence much of art today.
Leonardo DaVinci, the famous artist, painter and scientist, also did his greatest works during Luther’s lifetime. Nicolas Copernicus, the famous astronomer, also lived during the time of Luther. He was the first to discover that the earth rotated around the sun.
All of these people had at least two things in common. First, they all made remarkable discoveries. Second, their discoveries radically changed the world.
The new ideas which these men taught led to a renewal (or “Renaissance”) in Europe. Throughout Europe there were many new discoveries, ideas and inventions. Luther did not know it at the time. God’s plan for him was to join these great men who changed the world.
Luther’s first step to change the world occurred on
Everyone who came to church on “Hallow’s Eve” ( “Halloween”) saw Luther’s theses on the door. Since Luther was a professor there, people knew who wrote these theses. News of his theses spread throughout Germany, to all of Europe, and to the Pope in Rome.
When the Pope found out what Luther had written, he was angry. He called Luther to come to Rome to say he was wrong. Luther refused to do so. It was at this time that Luther spoke his famous words, “Here I stand. So help me, God.”
Since the Pope was the most powerful leader in Europe, even more powerful that Kings, he condemned Luther. He announced that anyone who spotted Luther could kill him. Fortunately, Frederick the Elector (a German Prince), was a friend of Luther. This powerful leader in Germany kidnapped Luther and kept Luther safe in his own castle in Wartburg, Germany.
It was in Frederick’s Castle that Luther made the first German translation of the Bible. He also wrote many things to share the three basic beliefs of the Lutheran Reformation: Only Scripture, Only Grace, Only Faith.
With these three phrases Luther changed Christianity in Europe. Only Scripture meant that Christian faith was based only on the Bible, not the words of a Pope or anyone else. Only Grace meant that eternal salvation is exclusively a gift from God. Only Faith” meant that we can not get to heaven by doing good things. The only way we can get to heaven is by believing in Jesus Christ.
The world which had changed in so many ways during Luther’s life, changed even more dramatically as a result of Luther’s teachings. His teachings changed and reformed the Christian church. What was the result? People learned that they could not buy or earn their way into heaven with money or with good works.
This angered the Pope because he was using this false teaching as a way to raise money for St. Peter’s Cathedral (“Basilica”) in Roman. Luther, however, taught what the Bible said. The only way they could be saved was by Jesus’ dying for their sins on the cross.
As people doubted the Pope’s and the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching, they began protests against the Roman Catholic Church. These people, like Luther, became “Protestants,” that is, “people in protest.” Roman Catholic leaders ridiculed those who followed Luther’s teachings by calling them, “Lutherans.”
When Luther died on
In addition to his many writings including the Large Catechism and Small Catechisms, Luther wrote many hymns, liturgies and other resources to share his message: Only Scripture, Only Grace, Only Faith.