Remembering the Reformation

“Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.”
— Martin Luther

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

This weekend and next Tuesday mark an important time in the Christian tradition — a time when we remember 500 years since the first beginnings of the Protestant Reformation. Whether we are Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopal, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or another faith tradition or practice — today we remember that Truth is something that is continuously revealed, just as the Holy Spirit spoke through Martin Luther 500 years ago. It is this revelation — God’s voice — that continues to give us hope for the world.

Here at Valparaiso University, we have gathered together to remember the Reformation in this way, asking questions like “What does it mean to claim our Lutheran identity,” “What does the Reformation mean for us today and for our still divided word,” and “How does this spur us to think globally and across cultures?”

At Valpo, we remember this movement, not just this weekend or today, but throughout the year and in our daily lives and interactions. We’ve done so through the Wangerin Excellence in Preaching Series, inviting preachers from across the country and around the world to speak on campus. We imagine the Reformation in our academic curricula, through the Table Talk on Tuesday evening, and through panels with students, faculty, and alumni. And we’ve invited members of the wider community to celebrate music through hymn sings and special exhibits that celebrate the Lutheran and other Protestant traditions.

This weekend and next week, there will be a number of outstanding opportunities to gather together once again and remember this 500-year movement that continues to spur hope in our hearts, lives, and vocations today. Please refer to the official Valparaiso University Reformation website for the most up-to-date information and schedule, and please join us for as many of these activities as you are able. We look forward to seeing how members from the wider community, alumni, students, faculty, and staff unite in adoration — remembering the past, celebrating our commonalities, and exploring our differences.

In addition, we are delighted that our Valparaiso University Chorale is currently in Germany touring at various locations as part of the 500th anniversary remembrance, with a special performance at Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The Chorale was the only international choir invited to perform on this momentous occasion, and those of us who are in Germany look forward to hearing them glorify God with beautiful music.

As always, thank you for being part of our vibrant and diverse University community. We look forward to the ways we can use this moment in history to reflect on our rich past and position ourselves for a bright future as together we pursue Truth, serve generously, and cultivate hope.

God’s blessings,

Mark A. Heckler