On two Saturdays, July 29 and Oct. 21, during this 500th anniversary year of the Protestant Reformation initiated by Martin Luther in 1517, the Northwestern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will open churches all over Northwest Ohio from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. so that people can learn about local connections to that major historical event. There will be opportunities to learn about everything from genealogy to beer brewing, Reformation art and music to a Germany travelogue, stained glass windows to the story of how shipwrecked Lutherans ended up in Ohio, Lutheran-Catholic relations then and now to a tour of the Lutheran Orphan and Old Folks Home.
Local congregations involved in the Reformation 500 Crawl include the following: Rev. Julie Parsell at Trinity Lutheran Church (398 S. Shoop Ave., Wauseon) will share a Travelogue of Reformation sites in Germany and Switzerland; Rev. Norm Imbrock will share local stories from the German Society’s archives at Lutheran Social Services of NW Ohio (T-793 State Route 66, Archbold); and Rev. Keith Hunsinger will lead a tour of the historical cemetery and share the unique Lutheran history of southern Henry County at Hope Lutheran Church (10016 State Route 18, Hamler).
German immigrants with roots in the Reformation have shaped this area of Ohio for generations. The public is invited to go to nwos500.org and scroll down to “NWOS Reformation 500 Crawl” and click on the heading to access information, map and listings of all the events taking place across northwest Ohio. All locations will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and those locations offering presentations will do so at three starting times: 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. during that time frame.