Add two more dates — Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 — to your arts calendar. The events not only provide important history lessons but celebrate historic music.
Observance of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation is the theme for worship services hosted by two area churches: St. Luke’s Episcopal in Jacksonville in services Oct. 29 at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., and Grace Fellowship Church at McClellan, which will be joined by four other churches on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.
The famous event observed is that of Martin Luther posting his 95 theses to the door of his hometown church in Wittenburg, Germany. The Protestant Reformation changed church history by modernizing the medieval church and opening up worship options for people. The reformation also affected music, culture and politics.
In fact, the role of music was one of the strong points in Luther’s theology, according to “The Unquenchable Flame” by Michael Reeves.
Tonight, for college students and the congregation, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will show a documentary-drama on the subject by Rick Steves.
Next Sunday at 7:30 p.m., the church will show the BBC production “Reformation: The Individual Before God.”
Luther’s passion and purpose will be visually presented when St. Luke’s congregant Dennis Zuelke will appear as Luther, dressed in the theologian’s dark robe and classic hat. Zuelke was raised in the Synod of the Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, Wis., and grew up with a knowledge of Luther.
“It’s important that people are reminded of this reform movement and the story behind it, and why it is important today,” Zuelke said.
Celebrating the reformation in song
Five churches in partnership will conclude their sermon series on the Protestant Reformation with a concert on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. at Grace Fellowship Church (860 Summerall Gate Road at McClellan).
“The ongoing continual reforming back to biblical Christianity is what we are commemorating,” said Abigail Acker Workman, concert coordinator. The concert is free and open to the public.
Musicians from Grace Fellowship will perform as well as the Oxford Christian Choir, led by Jennie Wall. Organist Christopher Henley and other community instrumentalists are also on the program.
Other music with themes from the Reformation (traditionally thought to range from 1517-1648) will include a choral arrangement of the hymn Luther wrote, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” with organ and orchestra, and Bach’s “Now Thank We All Our God.”
Local author publishes ‘Aunt Sister’ book
“True abundance is a wicker rocking chair on a shady porch … and a good book,” according to “The Art of Abundance” by Candy Paull.
If you’d like to read a good book on Southern ways (especially in Alabama), Julia Harwell Segars’ “Aunt Sister” may be just for you.
The book is based on Segars’ aunt, whom the family called “sister,” and “Aunt Sister” became a permanent name.
This lady was full of stories, just as the book is full of things that every true Southerner will understand.
Ed Mullins, retired dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama, reviews the book in this way: “Need a manual to help you with the baffling, sometimes devious twists and turns of Southern mores? Look no further than ‘Aunt Sister.’ Whether sports, holidays, religion, ‘bidness,’ food, travel, manners and more … you’ll find perfect descriptions of all familiar — and sometimes heretofore unfamiliar — Alabama traditions written in original and comic prose.”
Connecting them all is Segars’ ear for the language and point of view in celebrating the South, both now and then.
“The stories are really about all of us,” said Tom Potts, who believed that the subject could reach a broad audience and urged Segars to publish the book.
Segars will hold book signings on Nov. 2 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Tyson’s Fine Wines & Things (3326 Henry Road, Anniston), and on Nov. 10 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Hair & Co. (1012 Noble St., Anniston). The book is also available online at auntsister.com.
“Aunt Sister” is a collection of humor columns written by Segars.
The column appears regularly in The Talladega Daily Home. The book takes its name from the pen name the author uses for the column.
Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.