IRVINE, Calif. (November 2, 2017)— Concordia University Irvine (CUI) wrapped two days of campus events and celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 with a concert at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
This year marks 500 years since Martin Luther published his 95 theses, or complaints, which launched the Protestant Reformation and challenged Christians’ understanding of their relationship with the church.
The Reformation “expressed itself in song,” said Dr. Steve Mueller, Dean of Christ College, “but it wasn’t revolutionary. Luther simply used the gift of music to communicate. That was done all the way back in Old Testament times and in earlier Christian eras. It’s a way to help people memorize and express their faith."
Dubbed Reformation 500, Concordia’s anniversary activities started at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, October 31 on the Irvine campus with a convocation lecture entitled "Why It Still Matters: The Theological and Political Legacy of the Protestant Reformation," followed by a worship service and concert by Concordia Sinfonietta, which performed Symphony No. 5 ("Reformation") by Felix Mendelssohn.
Music played a major role during Concordia's Reformation festivities. “We have a long heritage of rich texts and really fine music,” said Dr. Jeff Held, orchestra director and Assistant Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. Held also coordinated many of the Reformation 500 events both on and off campus.
Activities concluded on Wednesday, November 1, with a concert “Reformation 500: An Evening of Word and Song” at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa.
Prior to the start of the Segerstrom performance, Senator John Moorlach, 37th District, presented Concordia President Kurt Krueger with a proclamation recognizing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Senator Moorlach attended the event celebrating the Reformation at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall on Nov. 1, which featured more than 500 Southern California musicians and vocalists. The 1,704 seat concert hall was sold out for the event.
All Reformation 500 events were open to the public.
About Concordia University Irvine
Concordia University Irvine (CUI) is a private non-profit Lutheran Christian four-year liberal arts university that prepares students for their vocations—their calling in life. Concordia offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in education, nursing, theology, business, and coaching/athletics administration. CUI’s undergraduate program is distinctive because of its nationally recognized core curriculum, Enduring Questions & Ideas, and its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of "Grace Alone. Faith Alone." Concordia is a U.S. News Top Tier Regional University and has been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the fastest growing private nonprofit master's institutions. The University enrolls over 4,000 students annually and is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II.
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Lizz Mishreki, APR
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Concordia University Irvine