Churches unite for Reformation service

Rev. Dr. Gordon Jensen, portraying Martin Luther, talks with guests at an ecumenical service on Nov. 19.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Was it ironic that Davidson’s churches gathered in the Catholic parish hall to mark 500 years of the Reformation?

Sonje Finnestad, a Lutheran minister who serves churches in Davidson and rural Loreburn, said she was inclined to see it differently.

“You could say irony,” she said, “or a sign of progress.”

An ecumenical service was held Nov. 19 at the Sacred Heart parish hall to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the schism that led to the formation of the Protestant church.

Finnestad said the service was designed as a unifying event, bringing Christians of all denominations together for a time of shared worship and reconciliation.

The event was organized by the Davidson Inter-Church Association, with all six local churches represented and taking part in the proceedings.

Rev. Dr. Gordon Jensen, a professor at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon, was the guest speaker.

After giving the sermon, he briefly stepped out and returned in costume as Martin Luther, the German theologian whose criticisms of the Catholic church helped to kick off the Reformation.

As far as Luther impressions go, one could say Jensen nailed it.

He answered questions and spoke about Luther’s life, his beliefs and his work as a theologian and reformer.

Jensen told the Leader he’s found that role-playing helps to hold the audience’s interest, more than if he had simply presented a lecture.

“I think it’s more engaging, especially with the ability to ask all kinds of questions,” he said.

Following the service, a medieval feast was served. Organizers provided both the bread and chicken drumsticks, while attendees were asked to bring either salad or dessert.

About 50 people attended, a healthy turnout considering that, as Finnestad noted, “I understand we’re competing with the eastern finals of the CFL.”

The liturgy was based on a common prayer service developed by Lutherans and Catholics for the 500th anniversary.

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