Today was the day my cold finally got the better of me. I managed to get out of my room twice, once for breakfast and church, and later, after a three-hour nap, for a literal blast from the past
Today was Reformation Sunday at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church; it has been 499 years since Martin Luther posted his “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” also known as “The 95 Theses,” on the door of the Wittenburg Castle church. This is celebrated in Lutheran Churches worldwide; this year it was celebrated in Lund Cathedral in Sweden with a special visit by Pope Francis, beginning a year of observation of the events 500 years ago that resulted in the Protestant Reformation. Instead of the usual 8:15 and 10:30 services, this Sunday featured a single service followed by a potluck -- I thought I would do both, but was so whipped by the end of the service, I just headed back to bed.
But I did get a familiar dose of religion. The hymns were played fast. When we moved east and could only find Missouri Synod and Episcopalian churches that suited my parents, my mother's one complaint was that the music dragged. Here's a sample of the "praise band" playing "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" to give you a taste:
The chatter you hear is because they reprised it at the end of the service while people were leaving the sanctuary and greeting the minister. They've adopted a version of the passing of the peace, but instead of the responsive "peace be with you" "and also with you", it was a lengthy round of "good mornings with people leaving their seats and walking all over the sanctuary. For the first time, this introvert was feeling overwhelmed!
One part of the sermon really impressed me. The pastor noted that the theological differences between Lutherans and Roman Catholics have not been resolved, and never will be, but that there is growing desire for reconciliation from a contentious and sometimes violent past. The goal is not agreement, but mutual respect.
I went back to room and crashed for a few hours, and was having a cup of tea when I heard this unmistakable sound:
A steam engine was making its way back to Cheyenne and stopping in North Platte overnight. The news article about it has given the ETA as about 4:30, but it arrived early. So I didn't get to see it in motion, but I did join the swarm of North Platters that converged on Front Street to look and listen and take pictures. It was the biggest crowd I had seen anywhere this week!
Tomorrow, if my voice is working, I will give Sharon a call, and start to plan my library talk for this Thursday.