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Happy Reformation Day

Steve Ranney, Pastor

 

On occasion, I have had the opportunity to visit places where great historical events took place.  I remember walking the Freedom Trail in Boston when I was thirteen, standing under a tree where John Wesley preached in Georgia, standing on Mount Carmel in Israel and visiting the thousand-year-old rock carvings in a pasture outside of Caborca, Sonora, Mexico, just to name a few.  Each time I visit one of these places, I try to imagine what it must have been like for the people who were a part of those historical events.  Did they know what effects their actions would have on the world?

 

This Summer, Kim and I had the opportunity to visit one of those places that dramatically changed the world and had a profound effect on our lives.  The place was Wittenberg, a small rural town in eastern Germany.  The event happened on October 31, five hundred years ago, when Martin Luther, a priest and a Greek and Hebrew biblical scholar, posted on the entrance doors on the cathedral, ninety-five issues (theses) that he thought were worthy of discussion to help the Church bring itself in line with what Scripture teaches.  His hope was that the ensuing debate would reform the existing church and refocus their attention on serving Christ with all of the resources that the church possessed.  Unfortunately, the people in power at that time were not receptive to his thoughts, but unlike previous attempts to reform the church the political climate of the world provided space for the new churches to arise and flourish.

 

One of the greatest benefits of this new world was that the Bible was translated into local languages and published.  This made it possible for each of us to read and study the words of Jesus, to ponder the love that our Creator has for us and the great lengths that God went to in order to invite us back into the life-giving relationship that we need to make our lives complete.  It is a gift beyond measure that is available to us twenty-four seven.

 

So this year, as we celebrate the brave act of Martin Luther, let us not take that gift for granted.  Let us pick up that amazing book and, as we read it, let Godís voice call to us from its pages.  And as we do, let us thank God for the life of Martin Luther and his passion to give us Godís Word.

 


 

Meet Steve Ranney

 

As we welcome our new Pastor, Steve Ranney, here is a little information to help us get to know him better:

 

  • Married to Kim Skilling who is a graduate of Princeton Seminary, is celebrating over 30 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and is now the Designated Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Anaheim

  • Two sons and a daughter and two grandchildren.

  • B.A. in Ministry from Northwestern College in Roseville, Minnesota.

  • Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary.

  • Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from McCormick Seminary.

  • Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1991.

  • Associate Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church of Centennial, Colorado, 1991Ė2006.

  • Pastor/Head of Staff of St. Mark Presbyterian Church of Ballwin, Missouri, 2006Ė2015.

  • Steve seeks to lead both by example and by challenging people to use the gifts that God has given them for the building up of the body of Christ.  Thus, Steve's main focus is helping each person grow up in their relationship with God so that God will be able to bless others through them.

 

 

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