PLU Celebrates 500 Years of Re•forming

For the past year, Pacific Lutheran University has marked the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation — beginning, in part, with an issue of ResoLute dedicated to Lutheran higher education that looked back at Martin Luther and his spirit of revolution. As we continue the countdown to Oct. 31, the official date of the anniversary, here are a number of events to honor the occasion as well as our heritage.

Sept. 11 – Nov. 5
This exhibit in Mortvedt Library will feature Luther’s German Bible, published in 1522 at the beginning of the Lutheran Reformation, as well as other books, manuscripts and artwork of the period. Luther was a media pioneer who used every communication form and art medium available to promote a new vision of Christianity and its radical commitment to education for all persons.

Sept. 28
The National Lutheran Choir will perform at 7:30 p.m. in Lagerquist Concert Hall in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center. Under the direction of David Cherwien, the National Lutheran Choir has become one of the top-ranked choral ensembles in North America. While tickets are free, they must be secured on the campus prior to the concert.

Oct. 22
This concert, at 3 p.m. in Lagerquist Concert Hall, will feature four-hand (and feet) organ transcriptions played by University of Illinois organist Dana Robinson and PLU organist Paul Tegels. The concert will include a transcription, written by University Organist Paul Tegels, of the last two movements of the Reformation Symphony of Felix Mendelssohn.

Oct. 31
Martin Luther distributed a document to his faculty colleagues at the University of Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517. The document included 95 theses that called into question the spiritual economy of the late medieval church and criticized the pope who sanctioned the sale of spiritual favors of dubious repute. For 500 years, Lutherans and other Protestant Christians have celebrated the beginning of the Reformation on this date. PLU will mark this significant day in the history of Lutheran education with a variety of events on campus.

Nov. 5
Puget Sound ELCA congregations, the Southwestern Washington Synod and PLU invite you to worship at 3 p.m. in Lagerquist Concert Hall. This special service will include a pastor’s procession — preaching by the Rev. Richard Jaech, bishop of the Southwestern Washington Synod — as well as communion and joint choirs.

PLU says 'Prost!' with Reformaiden

If the raised fist on the bottle is any indication, Reformaiden beer makes a statement.

The German, alt-style beer — boasting a cloudy caramel color and a subtle malt flavor — immortalizes Katharina von Bora, the woman who stood beside and, in many ways, propped up the Great Reformer Martin Luther.

“Dear Kate,” as Luther called his beloved wife, bore six children; she ran the household and organized the finances; she ministered to the sick and opened her home to orphans; she grew much of the family’s food, raised livestock and cooked.

And among all her exploits in the home and otherwise, Dear Kate still managed to find time to brew beer. Reformaiden is a tribute to her memory and the memory of the Lutheran Reformation. Wingman Brewers, with head brewer Ken Thoburn ’09 at the helm, created the commemorative brew to help PLU mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

“This is most similar to the style that Katharina would have made,” Thoburn said on brewing day.

To prepare the beer, he researched lager from the Düsseldorf region of Germany. He networked with other brewers and conducted online research to guarantee the recipe was right and, more importantly, authentic. “Crisp and malty is what we’re aiming for,” Thoburn said.

The university is selling bottles and cases until they run out, so beer enthusiasts better get to it before it’s gone.

It’s available at 208 Garfield, and will be served at various events related to the 500th anniversary celebration. Lutes are invited to enjoy a tall, cold glass of brew in the name of Dear Kate. Prost!