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LETU to Celebrate 500th Anniversary of Reformation Oct. 31


LeTourneau University will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with a host of events during its "Reformation 500" conference from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the LETU Belcher Center, 2100 South Mobberly Avenue in Longview. The event is free and open to the public.

"The Reformation was a history-altering movement within the church that left a permanent mark on the foundations of Western civilization," said LETU theology dean Kelly Liebengood, who is organizing the Day of Common Learning event to show why the Reformation still matters today.

The conference will include music, poetry, posters and several TED-talk style presentations on the context, cause, significance and legacy of the Reformation, Liebengood said.

"The Reformation had a transforming impact on the way we live today," he said. "One of the aims of the conference is to help people appreciate how they are connected to the life-changing events of the Reformation even today."

Some of the things the Reformation helped to shape include translation of the Bible in native tongues, believer's baptism, the Lord's Supper as remembrance, and sermons based upon a Bible passages, he said.

Liebengood points to many of the institutions we take for granted today were a result of the Reformation, including universal education and health care, our modern banking system, free market capitalism, the notion of nationhood, and the United States constitution and governing structure, just to name a few.

"If you are living in the United States today, the Reformation has had an impact upon your life," Liebengood said. "In one way or another, it has had a part in shaping your view of God and the way you imagine yourself fitting into this world. To reflect upon the impact of the Reformation is to learn more about your family history, to understand more clearly who you are and why you believe what you do.

"We hope local churches, pastors and church leaders will join us, as well as homeschool co-ops, Christian high schools, and school districts in the East Texas region," Liebengood said.

The Reformation 500 Celebration will be held in LETU's Belcher Center with the following schedule:

• 8:30 a.m. Free, light breakfast in the Belcher Center Grand Lobby
• 9 a.m. Welcome, worship and "Why the Reformation Matters."
• 10:15 a.m. coffee break and poster sessions in Belcher Center Grand Lobby.
• 10:45 a.m. What was the Protestant Reformation? LETU theology professors will present specific topics on the Reformation including

o Why the Reformation Happened by Liebengood
o Martin Luther: The Monk and his Mallet by Viktor Roudkovski
o John Calvin by Wilson Cunha
o The English/Scottish Reformation by Will Williams
o Two Responses to the Reformation: Radical Reformers and the Counter Reformation by Luke Tallon

A lunch break from noon to 1 p.m. will provide opportunity for guests to dine at the university's Corner Café or at nearby restaurants of their choice. Poster sessions will also be ongoing in the Belcher Center Grand Lobby.

The Reformation 500 celebration's afternoon begins at 1 p.m. with Part II: the Legacy of the Reformation.

TED-talk presentations will include "The Five Solas of the Reformation" by Jonathan Lett at 1 p.m.; "The Misunderstood Puritans" by Randall Compton at 1:15 p.m.; "The Reformation and Global Missions" by Pat Mays at 1:30 p.m.; "The Reformation and Work" by Bill Peel at 1:45 p.m.; "Why the Reformation Still Matters Moving Forward" by Kelly Liebengood at 2 p.m.; and a Question and Answer Panel moderated by Liebengood will begin at 2:15 p.m.

"Prayer for Our City and the World" will begin at 2:30 p.m., led by Luke Tallon. A coffee break will follow at 3 p.m.

A Reformation Day Concert and Hymn Festival will be from 3:30 to 4:50 p.m. in the Belcher Center led by LETU's new Director of Fine Arts Dr. Jim Taylor. The musical event will include an organ from Dallas to fill the hall with traditional Christian hymns.

A film on Martin Luther, introduced by Dr. Martin Batts, will be shown from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Speer Chapel and will conclude the Day of Learning.

LeTourneau University's 2,000-seat S.E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center is the premier performance center in Longview, Texas. The Belcher Center functions as the university's chapel three times per week for student worship and instruction by incredible Christian speakers and music groups, with chapel services that are open to the public. With world-class acoustics and staging, the center attracts shows that Longview residents would not be able to see without traveling many miles. For additional information, visit www.BelcherCenter.com.

LeTourneau University is the premier Christian polytechnic university in the nation where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of disciplines and delivery models at LETU's residential campus in Longview, Texas, and in hybrid and fully online options at centers in the Dallas and Houston areas. For additional information, visit www.LETU.edu.

Categories: Theology