Lutheran congregation whose founding predates the United States itself is preparing to welcome a local Roman Catholic priest for the first time in its pulpit Sunday.
The Rev. Stanley Krempa, pastor of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Winchester, is scheduled to preach at the 8:15 and 11 a.m. services at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 26 W. Boscawen St., Winchester. He plans to talk with the congregation about its 250-year history and the importance of continuing its Christian tradition.
The Rev. Stanley Krempa, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Winchester, talks with the Rev. James Utt, pastor of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Winchester, last week in preparation for Reformation Sunday. Krempa will be the first local Catholic priest to preach at Grace in its 250-year history when he stands in the pulpit at 8:15 and 11 a.m. Sunday.
“We have an opportunity to be a great light in darkness, which is a great theme as Advent is approaching,” Krempa said Thursday. “We are workers together in the vineyards for Christ.”
Krempa’s sermon is part of the church’s year-long 250th anniversary celebration, and comes on Reformation Sunday, a time when Lutherans around the world remember Martin Luther and the event that sparked the reformation of the church. On Oct. 31, 1517, the day before All Saints Day, Luther, a Christian theologian and Augustinian monk, posted his “95 Theses” and called for Christians to return to basic Biblical teachings and renounce some of the practices of the 16th century church.
In years past, Lutherans spent Reformation Sunday celebrating a victory of sorts over the Catholic Church, but the theme in recent years has turned more toward unity, said the Rev. James Utt, pastor of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church.