October has arrived, and with it Reformation Day planning! The seniors are hard at work, planning for a Reformation Day celebration during the week of October 30 to November 3. Secondary students are abuzz with food booth and costume ideas. Parents are wondering how to avoid last minute crises as their teenagers take on responsibilities and projects. Some of you may be wondering what Reformation Day is, and why we put so much energy into celebrating it. All this seems like a good time for a quick primer on Reformation Day and Student-Led Activities.
Reformation Day is the day the Protestant Church recognizes and celebrates Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. This event was like the spark that lit a gas-filled room on fire, igniting the Protestant Reformation, a time when God refined the Church and shaped history through fiery trials. The Reformers fought (and many died) to root the worship of God’s people in the Scriptures, translating them into the languages of the common man. They fought for the truth of salvation being in faith alone, not by works of the law. We stand on the shoulders of these Reformers and owe much to their faithfulness! (Here is a great article if you are interested in a bit more.)
At ECS, we celebrate Reformation Day because we are grateful. Grateful for God, whose hand has written and is writing a glorious and hard history that keeps working toward the end when all things will be made new. Grateful for the holy catholic (i.e., universal) Church, who is still being sanctified by our Savior. Grateful for the good and glorious work that God has right in front of us! And so we celebrate the Reformation at the end of October, with festivities of all kinds, planned and executed by our seniors.
The mission of ECS aims for students who “carry and advance Christ-honoring culture.” We think letting them plan Reformation Day is a great way to get that work on the ground. They are commending the works of the Lord as they learn about His work in the Reformation, sacrificing their time and efforts as they plan and execute the celebration, and having lots of opportunity to weaponize their laughter as it all plays out! And we walk in faith, as they do this, asking the Lord to keep building their love of Him and capacity to carry a Christ-honoring culture.
Letting our students lead large events is not an accident. It is not because the staff is trying to get out of the work, and it is not because eighteen-year-olds are naturally great at it. This is an intentional investment in our future. Like all investments, it comes at a cost. It is a little messy. It isn’t always comfortable. But this is the same tension as teaching your kids how to cook…you want enough supervision they don’t burn the house down, but they are going to need some room to make mistakes. Yet these are the investments that, by God’s grace, will pay off in the future, when your table will be full of glory at the hands of these same people.
The details of our Reformation Day festivities have changed over the years, as students have continued to improve upon the efforts of those that have gone before and filtered ideas through family and school staff. This year is no different. May we all be full of grace, patience, and hope as we invite our students to join us in the work of carrying and advancing Christ-honoring culture!
—Mrs. Pakinas (The Deputy of the U.H. aka D.U.H)