Celebrating reformation

Jenn Tran

Open choir commemorates departed souls

Esther Chung Kim, associate professor of religious studies at Claremont Mckenna College, believes that Luther’s efforts to persuade officials to invest in poor children’s education stems from the fact that his attempts were often denied.

At a young age, she had committed to learning Korean, her family believing the best way was to learn through the Bible, which was translated into Korean. Considered to be an essential part of one’s spiritual life, Kim would go to English services in the morning and Korean ones in the afternoon.

Bilingual worship had become a major part of her “hyphenated identity,” she explained.

“While Luther initially intended to reform the Roman Catholic Church, we acknowledge that the Reformation led to a schism of which the church continues to heal,” she said. “Although he must’ve been frustrated, there is a sense of faith in frustration. Faith gives believers the strength to help others — the push that spurs us to action.”

On the 500th year of the reformation, Seattle Pacific University gathered its staff, students and community members to celebrate the significant additions Protestants have made to Christianity.

This event took place in the First Free Methodist Church on Oct. 31 at 11:10 a.m.

As the choir sang “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” the community lined up in the center of the church, one by one setting their candles onto the table, left lit for the remainder of the service.

Aside from commemorating the contributions made, SPU brought its community together in order to raise awareness of the fundamental need for ongoing reformation of the church.

One of the many crucial events in Protestantism occurred on Oct. 31, 1517. On this day Martin Luther placed his “95 Theses” on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg.

With this quarter’s chapel theme being worship, this day was dedicated to remembrance of the Reformation’s part in disseminating the Bible, empowering laypersons with the ability to lead in worship.

Throughout the service, the community was invited to sing along with the choir in between readings of passages in various languages.

SPU music therapy student Catherine Zingg believes that Reformation day is important because it is the day revival happened.

“We came back to the word of God. Simple as that. And to be able to sing about the true word of God, that cuts between spirit and soul. To do so in God’s house is even more powerful,” she added.

In celebration, SPU Chaplain Bo Lim wanted to acknowledge that the service is meant to serve as a celebration of All Saints Day and All Souls Day, two holy days that are commemorated by the church in honor of Christian martyrs and in remembrance of those who had gone before their time, or before us to go be with the lord.

The community was invited to walk towards the front of the stage to light an LED candle in honor of departed souls, whether they be their friends or family who had recently passed.

“While Luther initially intended to reform the Roman Catholic Church, we acknowledge that the Reformation led to a schism of which the church continues to heal. In attempt to bridge divides, today, we also celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day,” Lim said.