"Ye are the light of the world"
(MATTHEW 5:14)

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Church Secretary's Address

Dear friends,

As we know 2017 marks the 500th Anniversary of the start of the Reformation in Europe. It was sparked by a German monk nailing 95 theses (statements for debate) to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. When I first read, the now famous, 95 theses my initial thought was an incredulous: "That started the Reformation?" I think I must have been anticipating something much weightier, after all 95 is a fairly large number. What I hadn't appreciated at that time was just how bad things were in the church of the sixteenth century. The statements were primarily concerned with the sale of indulgences - letters of exemption from an imaginary place of torture called purgatory where all but a few would go after death. So the church got richer by the sale of these indulgences. To us, the whole concept probably seems bizarre and surely nobody would believe such things. But they did and they were effectively robbed as a result. It is unlikely that Luther thought his debate would do anything more than prevent a Dominican friar called Johann Tetzel from selling his wares in the region. In this matter Tetzel is known for a couplet attributed to him: "As soon as a coin in the coffer rings - the soul from purgatory springs." Yet this relatively small event in a town in Germany had repercussions throughout Europe, the rewards of which we still reap today, 500 years later. It ought to be immensely encouraging to us to know that the Lord uses apparently small things to achieve great purposes. So when the Bible says whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31) it is not excluding small things that you think are unlikely to make any difference. With God there are, in effect, no small things.

-Church Secretary.

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