Dear First Pres,

   I'm only recently back from the Reformation Tour and personal time in Norway. It was a phenomenal time! The experience of walking in Luther's footsteps in Wittenberg, Eisenach, Leipzig and Erfurt was incredible! When I think of the Reformation, I realize that many, many people contributed to it. However, it took just one man, Martin Luther, at the appointed time, under the right conditions, to speak up and stand his ground (upon threat of death) when he saw things that were contrary to scripture. It took one man, Luther the Wise, who was sovereign of Ernestine Saxony to protect him in Wartberg Castle. The timing was right and Luther sparked an uprising that impacts each of us today! I'm humbled when I realize that men and women died for their faith so that we might worship God in our own language, be free of the tyranny of indulgences (pay money to be forgiven of sins), and know that by faith we are saved! I'm grateful for his steadfast belief in these and many other principles that have had such a positive impact and allow me to worship freely.
  To combine those experiences with singing beautiful music in awe-inspiring churches enhances it ten-fold! Our group was a wonderful group of people, some with musical experience, others with little to none, who worked hard, rehearsed, learned their music, then were rewarded with an unparalleled experience at the Berliner Dom and other Lutheran Churches. Throughout our time in Germany they bonded and became a choir! I can truly say they sang their hearts out for the Lord in many churches and proclaimed the good news of the gospel in song.
  As October 31, 2017 approaches, I encourage all of us to remember the events of 500 years ago with grateful hearts.
  At a time when often it's the "news of the day" that captures our attention, let's pause to reflect on these vital events of the past. More importantly, let's remember Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to be with us, died for all our sins, rose from the grave defeating death, sits at the right hand of God interceding for us, and will come again! Amen and Soli Deo Gloria!


Julie Carter