A Simple Question…or Is It?

October 31, 2022

Grace and peace to you from our Savior Jesus the Christ!

Happy Reformation Day!!

This is a significant day for Lutheran Christians. On this day we remember and give thanks for a 16th Century German monk named the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther. October 31, 1517 is the day that Lutheran Christians believe Dr. Luther offered 95 theses or the Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences that expressed concerns he had about the church. I don’t believe Luther was looking for fame as one of the world’s great church fathers and reformers. I don’t think Luther was interested in starting a new branch of the Christian tree. Luther was challenging the church to be in the daily practice of reform.

Here’s the simple and honest question I’d like us to think about on this year’s Reformation Day …

Is the church you and I are connected to a church that has reformed?

This church started a long time ago and hasn’t done anything new since. And refuses to do anything new now.


Is the church you and I are connected to a church that is constantly reforming?

These churches constantly look for new ways to bless and serve their neighbor in Jesus’ name; seek new opportunities to proclaim the gospel of Jesus for the sake of the salvation of all of God’s creation; and have an ongoing awareness of where the Holy Spirit may be leading them next in mission and ministry.

As I travel across this church (the ELCA) as a synod bishop, the number of faith communities I encounter that have reformed and have no interest in reforming is a bit disheartening.

I am also filled with abundant hope by the many faith communities I encounter who are reforming in amazing and grace-filled ways. It’s in their DNA.

Has your church reformed??

Or, is your church reforming??

As you think about the church being in a constant state of reform on this year’s Reformation Day, I’d love hear what’s happening in your faith community that is bringing forth reform!

Use the comment sections to share your faith community’s story of reform.

Until next time, may the peace of Christ be with you always and in all ways…

Bishop Craig


About Bishop Craig Schweitzer

The Rev. Craig Schweitzer, of Bismarck, was elected as bishop of the Western North Dakota Synod on July 17, 2020, in the first-ever digital Synod Assembly. A historic event, Schweitzer is the first bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to be elected in an online assembly. Bishop Craig Schweitzer began serving the Western North Dakota Synod-ELCA on September 1, 2020. He has always seen himself as an easy-going person who seeks to daily discover anew how God is present in his life and the world in which he lives and serves. Prior to service in the Office of Bishop of the Western North Dakota Synod, Bishop Craig served at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bismarck, ND as Music and Worship Minister (lay staff from 2002-2010), Associate Pastor (2010-2014), and Senior Pastor (2014-2020). Beyond his service in the church, he has an eclectic background that is a diverse collection of musical, educational, and business experiences ranging from live concert production and promotion to recording studios and live performance to music education. Throughout all of his professional and personal experiences, the Apostle Paul’s words to the church in Rome have been a guiding light that has kept him grounded in whatever work God was calling him into – “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7) Bishop Craig is a graduate of the University of Mary in Bismarck with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education and a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership. He also holds a certificate degree in Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM) from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA. He was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament on September 16, 2010. Outside of his life as Bishop, Bishop Craig enjoys reading, all music, a little golf, a cold beverage with friends, and intentional times of quiet. And, of course, spending time with his wife Wendy and their adult twin daughters Ilia and Taegan. View all posts by Bishop Craig Schweitzer

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