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Messiah youth Germany bound

Youth at Messiah Lutheran Church are studying Martin Luther's impact on the Reformation to prepare for their 11-day trip to Germany in June 2016. (CONTRIBUTED)
Youth at Messiah Lutheran Church are studying Martin Luther’s impact on the Reformation to prepare for their 11-day trip to Germany in June 2016. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Messiah Lutheran Church youth have embarked on a yearlong educational “Odyssey” for their 11-day trip to Germany in June 2016.

The youth are studying Martin Luther’s impact on the Reformation. Their study, “A Secular and Sacred Odyssey to the Land of Luther,” runs through the school year.

“The trip’s goal is to visit historic sites involving Martin Luther and the Reformation, although recent German and world history will also be studied,” communications coordinator Meredith Kilby said.

In 1517, Augustine monk Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses to Castle Church’s door in Wittenberg, Germany. The theses “protested the sale of indulgences by the Catholic Church,” Kilby said. “Lutherans worldwide, estimated at over 70 million, are making plans for the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in October 2017.”

Guided by Messiah’s Pastor Scott Peterson, the youth, youth director Sue Doubleday and adult volunteers will have monthly lessons devoted to German history. “They’ll learn the profound impact Martin Luther and the Reformation had in shaping the Christian faith that continues today,” Kilby said.

Messiah Lutheran is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Southeastern Synod. Its sister synod in Germany is The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria, which the youth will visit.

Messiah’s travelers will stay in youth hostels and with host church families, giving exposure to German culture and customs.

Peterson, a native of South Dakota, was impacted by a family trip to Europe when he was in high school. “That journey changed my outlook on the world,” Peterson said. “It shaped my thinking in positive ways and deepened my understanding of other cultures. I want our youth to have a similar opportunity.”

Messiah youth are engaging in numerous fundraisers. On Sept. 19, the youth will conduct a car wash at Kroger, 7090 U.S. 72 W.

“We’re seeking businesses to provide financial support. Those who offer financial gifts will be recognized through bulletin boards and Sunday bulletin inserts,” Kilby said.

After the Germany excursion, Messiah youth will invite corporate and individual sponsors for a trip report with an illustrated travel journal and brief narratives.

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