The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

by Rev. Doug Mork

I hate to be overly dramatic, but today is a big deal. Some scholars say it's the most important day in the history of modern religion. I don't want to go that far, but, still, I am excited to commemorate a moment of protest that transformed our world. 500 years ago today on October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to a Church in Wittenberg, Germany and set off the Protestant Reformation.

While his theses were largely theological arguments for reforms in the church of his day, he also called for a more active Christian life focused on loving one's neighbor. For Luther and many subsequent reformers, the faithful response to God’s love was to live one’s life for the common good. They argued for economic justice so that all could experience God’s gifts: daily bread, clothing and basic necessities, home and family. 

I'm a Lutheran Pastor and a former union organizer. Luther's powerful act is an important example of what it means for me to be a Christian. It also informs why I'm so deeply involved in the work of IWJ. Luther taught that our faith frees us to love our neighbors and that our work is a gift of God. More than anywhere else, IWJ has been the organization that has inspired me to act boldly for dignity at work and for justice in our society at large.  

I suspect that you also support IWJ because you believe in the same vision. You believe that we can bring justice and realize God's love in the world by organizing and building power.   

You allow us to organize national campaigns around wage theft and worker safety, to train young labor leaders in our Seminary Summer program, and to advocate for worker justice in Washington, DC.   

Thank you for all that you make possible.

Rev. Doug Mork is the lead pastor of Cross of Glory Lutheran Church in Brooklyn Center, MN and the President of the Board of Directors at Interfaith Worker Justice.