The Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. The celebrations took place on September 10 in Ratiboř in Vsetín, in the church and in the region connected with the Lutheran tradition.
The worship was led by the pastor, Jarmila Wiera Jelinek, and the sermon was preached by the Synodal Senior, Daniel Ženatý. Before worship began, the brass band from Oldřichovice with its music and the attentive volunteers distributing programmes summoned everyone to the Ratiboř temple. Encouraged by the preaching about freedom (Ga. 5: 1) and the communal singing (with the support of the Zlín Echo choir under the leadership of the whole-church cantor, Ladislav Moravetz) the faithful approached the supper of the Lord. The powerful singing of more than 750 festival participants proclaimed the importance and the message of the event. Czech Radio broadcast the event live. The temple collection, of 40,000 CZK, is intended to help produce a new evangelical hymnbook.
Enhanced by Wallachian “kyselice” and “frgals”, the participants could take part in an apple tree planting in the parish garden or go on a guided walk of the Ratiboř cemetery. After the concert of the Bells of Good News and the greetings of ecumenical guests, there followed the theatrical performance Xanthippa of the Reformation, about Luther's wife, Catherine of Bora. Performed by a group of young people, this portrayed several episodes of the life of this wise woman, who was a great support for her husband.
The programme continued with a lecture by Ondřej Macek, who has long been interested in the life and work of Martin Luther. The closing ceremony comprised a performance by the local choral choir and the remembrance of the native and witness – Miroslav Frydrych. In the end, everyone received a word for the journey and a blessing.
At the Ratiboř feast, our church published four publications to mark the anniversary of the Reformation in the Kalich Publishing House and Bookstore. ‘God is a burning furnace full of love’ offers a translation of roughly a hundred quotes from Luther's extensive work to give an insight into hs thought world. The second book is the translation of Luther's ‘Minor and Greater Catechism’, which has previously appeared as part of another book; now, however, it is a separate, more comprehensive and supplemented edition. In addition, there is a translation of a book by Albrecht Beutel, Professor of Church History at the University of Münster, ‘Martin Luther: Putting into Life, Work and Reference’, the first monograph in Czech on this important reformer. And the last publication is a children's book called ‘About the Storm: the Bible and Martin Luther’, which is accompanied by rich illustrations.
Jana Vondrová, Daniela Ženatá
(Written for Bulletin)