Northwestern Press

Sunday, April 22, 2018
The Revs. David Kistler and Bob Billig shared leading the worship service at Jerusalem “Red” Church for a celebration of Reformation Sunday. The Revs. David Kistler and Bob Billig shared leading the worship service at Jerusalem “Red” Church for a celebration of Reformation Sunday.
Thrivent Financial provided shirts for members of Jerusalem “Red” Church to celebrate Reformation Sunday.PRESS PHOTOS BY ELSA KERSCHNER Thrivent Financial provided shirts for members of Jerusalem “Red” Church to celebrate Reformation Sunday.PRESS PHOTOS BY ELSA KERSCHNER

Jerusalem “Red” Church celebrates Reformation Sunday

Thursday, December 14, 2017 by Elsa Kerschner ekerschner@tnonline.com in Local News

The Rev. Bob Billig said Jerusalem “Red” Church, Kempton, was celebrating the 500th year since the Reformation began.

This year marks the anniversary of Martin Luther posting his 95 Theses on the door of the All Saint’s Church in Wittenburg, Germany.

This act caused a more urgent plea for changes in the Roman Catholic Church and spearheaded the Reformation, or the Birth of the Protestant Church.

The celebration at Jerusalem “Red” Church was held a week early, on Oct. 22, so it could be on the day when there was a Lutheran service at the Union church.

Following the service there was a luncheon and than a talk by the Rev. David Kistler, a distant relative of Barbara Dotterer who invited him to the church.

Kistler is an expert on the subject of Martin Luther.

Thrivent Financial helped with the luncheon and provided shirts with the words “Live Generously” printed on them for many church members.

Kistler and Billig shared leading the worship service.

Kistler discussed the Protestant Reformation and read lessons from the Bible.

He said Luther wanted the children to know about the new covenant.

To help in his teaching, Luther wrote many children’s songs among others.

The best known is “Away in a Manger.” He believed songs were easier to remember than plain words. Psalm 46 was Luther’s favorite.

Luther scrubbed floors and other manual labor and wanted to work harder. He went into study and earned a Master’s degree at the University of Erfurt.

He studied law but quit to enter an Augustinian cloister. He earned a Doctor of Theology and was called to Wittenberg’s City Church.

Luther did not agree with the Catholic church’s selling of indulgences when it was raising money to build St. Peter’s Church. People who bought them believed they would be made free from sin.

Luther believed freedom was a gift from Jesus so he nailed 95 theses on the door. The theses were to be discussion points.

He had been given a hammer that was the “Official theses hammer.’

Kistler noted his brother Danny was attending the service. He had been a preacher in Japan for 20 years and performed weddings at Disney World.

Kistler said it was through his effort the ELCA was started.

“What a special gift to serve people as your pastor and I can,” Kistler said.

Jerusalem “Red” Church was founded in 1747 and is celebrating its 270th year serving the community.