The Lutheran Trifecta: The Part with Balloons
While one might logically and theologically expect that a story entitled "The Lutheran Trifecta" would explore the Holy Trinity: God the Creator (Father/Mother), Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit, that is not the subject of this writing. As October passes and November begins, Salvadoran Lutherans and many of their global siblings in faith gather in worship and tradition to celebrate the Lutheran Trifecta: Reformation Day, All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
Reformation Day is traditionally celebrated on All Hallows Eve - October 31st - the date on which in 1517 C.E., Martin Luther supposedly nailed his notorious 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany. His goal was to reform the Roman Catholic Church. His legacy, with that of other reformers, charted a new course for Christianity.
|The Flat Martin pattern made its way to El Salvador several|
years ago, and sightings of Flat Martin have been reported in 2022.
(photo by Pastor Gloria)
In El Salvador, there are about 15,000-20,000 people who identify as Lutheran, or about 0.3% of the Salvadoran population. The Salvadoran Lutheran Church is small, but mighty. It is a church which works hard to care for those most in need, and to preach a prophetic message of grace and social justice.
This year (2022 C. E.) marks the 505th anniversary of the Reformation. One of the beloved church elders, Monseñor Santiago (who most refer to Pastor Santiago Papá), did a little digging in the soil in Santa Barbarita about a month before the celebration. He had an idea to create a living memorial for Reformation Day, for the reforms of the past and the reforms to come.
|Pastor Gloria helps her father, Pastor Santiago to plant local herbs|
and plants on the dirt mounds. (photo from Pastor Gloria)
|Papa Santiago and his helper from Santa Barbarita look over their work.|
(photo from Pastor Gloria)
|In the early morning of October 27th, pilgrims gathered with|
Papa Santiago to see the living memorial to the Reformation.
The letters spell out: Reforma 505 años (photo from Pastor Gloria)
|Reformation Report: Flat Martin has made his way to |
Santa Barbarita (photo by Laura)
After their visit to the green memorial, on the morning of October 27th, pastors, church leaders and lay people from the region gathered at Iglesia Luterana Héroes en la Fe (Heroes in the Faith Lutheran Church) for worship.
|Pastor Sonia (newly ordained pastor in Los Héroes) gave the welcome|
and preached the sermon. (photo by Pastor Cruz)
|Some of the pastors from the northern region. One gift of the |
ever-reforming church is the leadership of women.
(photo by Laura)
|Celebration of Holy Communion.|
(photo by Laura)
|Pastor Chemita, the coordinator for the northern region,|
gives the final blessing. (photo by Laura)
|Fellowship fun after worship (photo by Karla)|
Balloons! (Video by Karla)
Read another Reformation story (with a bit of humor) from the northern micro-region of the Salvadoran Lutheran Church: Smiling, Waving, Friendly Lutherans.