Sunday, October 15, 2006

Reformation Celebrations

For twenty years our church has had a Reformation Celebration around October 31. Early in this practice, I was adamantly opposed to any kind of "Harvest Festival" or participation in Halloween. While we still do not allow our children to go out "trick-or-treating," I have come to see the issue differently over the years. Tim Challies's ambivalence and ruminations on the subject last year pretty reflect my own.

Nevertheless, we are continuing our tradition at Grace Baptist Church this year and on October 27 will host a chili supper (a tipping of the hat to my Texas roots!) and movie for the adults and a Reformation Fair for the children (put on by our youth and young adults). The kids will be introduced to key leaders of the Protest Reformation with medeival games, skits, etc while the adults will watch "The Radicals," a film on evangelical anabaptists (highlighting the life of Michael Sattler). We have watched a variety of movies over the years that have highlighted some aspect of our Christian heritage. It has been a lighthearted way to promote appreciation for the work of God's grace in previous generations.

Other churches host reformation conferences, like the one at Audobon Drive Bible Church with Joel Beeke and Geoff Thomas. First Baptist Church of St. Francis, Kansas will also host a Reformation weekend, October 27-29 with Roy Hargrave preaching on "God's Sovereignty and Man's Responsibility."

I am sure there are other conferences related to Reformation Day coming up in the next two weeks. Feel free to let us know about them in the comments section.


stilldesiringGod said...

The Radicals is one of my all time favorite movies! Your church will love it, too! Although my wife and I hold to the opinion that we allow our children to view realistic life events such as the violence that happened to the Anabaptist, some in your church may be "offended" by the scenes that occur in the film. Just a heads up reminder in our modern age of church sensitivity. What a great idea to celebrate our Christian heritage instead of pagan rituals! Keep the children safe and educate them and their parents.

allofgrace said...

Kudos for ackowledging the reformation in your church. I only wish mine would acknowledge it all. Blessings.

Howard Fisher said...


I have made a webpage for St. Francis and information regarding the conference.

God Bless


Bill Formella said...

And if you happen to be in the Atlanta area, we will be having a Reformation celebration on October 28th from 5PM to 8PM at:

Providence Church (Reformed SBC)
Duluth, GA

Truthfully, I don't know what we're doing besides games for the kids and lots of food.

Speaking of Roy Hargrave, his new booklet "An Idol Called Evangelism" has been published. I have mine on the way

JW said...

Last year Redeemer in Fort Worth had a replica of the Guttenberg press, manuscripts, breakout sessions with some seminary profs., displays, etc. after their worship service.

They will be doing something similar this year:

Doug said...

We usually make sure to mention the Reformation that day and sing Luther's A Mighty Fortress is our God. I, however, have been unable to be in the service for the last three years because I attend the Ligonier Pastor's Conference in Florida. You would think R.C. Sproul, of all people, would schedule his conference so that pastors could be with their own congregation on Reformation Sunday!

scripturesearcher said...


Wolfe Brand Chili?

How long has it been since you had
a "heeping" bowl of Wolfe Brand Chili?

Well, that's too long!!

Made in TEXAS (I think) for all
reformed and non-reformed people!

Proverb 17:22

jmattingly said...


Our church is having its first Reformation Day party this year:

We found the Doorposts ministry to be useful for ideas for organizing this party:

My 5 yr old son is excited to go to the party as Duke Frederick.

We hope to instill in our kids a
sense of the great men who have gone before us. It's shameful that I graduated high school and couldn't have told you who Martin Luther even was. I think as we understand God's working in history we get a better appreciation for His sovereignty over all things, His love for the church, and also the importance of the gospel.

We're going to finish off the party by watching the latest Luther movie.

Thanks for sharing- maybe we'll have chili next year!


iamchief said...

Anyone in central Arkansas is welcome to The Bible Church of Little Rock's Annual Reformation Celebration, Tuesday evening, Oct. 31st at 6:30pm. You can view this Word doc for details.
The guest speaker is Phil Johnson and he'll be giving a biographical presentation of his hero, Charles Spurgeon. Yeah, yeah, I know Spurgeon wasn't a "reformer", but he was reformed. Close enough?! :o)
There will be games & activities afterwards for the children.

Andrew Wheatley said...

Hey Tom:

4th word of 1st line of 2nd paragraph should be 'continuing' not 'cotinuing'.

deacon said...

Hey Tom,
Castlewoods Baptist Church in Brandon, MS will have a Reformation Celebration at 6p.m. on October 27. You can visit my blog here for details:

We are having a tour of the "Heroes of the Reformation." The kids will be reinacting the lives of the Reformers they have been learning about in a study series by the same title that is produced by Children Ministries International. Great stuff.

Please come by if you are in the Brandon/Reservoir area of MS. Our kids have been working really hard.

jbuchanan said...

We will be observing a reformation Sunday at Salem Baptist Church in Richmond, VA on Sunday, Obtober 29th. In the morning I will be preaching on the subject "A Southern Baptist Reformation" and in the evening we will be reviewing the history of the reformation. This is something that I started doing over 10 years ago in our previous church and it has always been a wonderful time. Email me at if anyone would like more info.

Randy Williams said...

October is "Reformation Heritage Month" at my Church. On Sunday mornings I have been preaching "What is a Baptist?" and in Discipleship Training we have been watching John Piper's DVD series. "When I don't Desire God". We had a "Anabaptist Communion service" on Sunday Evening October 8 using Balthasar Hubmaier service he designed for his German Anabaptist congregation. It was a powerful service! This past Sunday was Oxford Martyrs Sunday and there was a short reading remembering the martyrdom of the English Reformer Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer. October 29 will be a Reformation Sunday celebration of Luther nailing the 95 theses.

Rational νεόφυτος said...

I'd love to find a Reformation Day Anything near where I live...