Do you know what happened on October 31, 1517– nearly 505 years ago?
Do your kids know? What about your church?
As Christians, we have something to celebrate on October 31st and it has nothing to do with Jack-O-Lanterns, goblins, or ghosts!
It was 505 years ago on October 31st that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Chapel. This fueled the Protestant Reformation and there is no question about the effect of that on Christianity as we know it today— the freedom to read our own Bibles in our own language for starters. So, if you own your own Bible, you have reason to celebrate!
15 years ago, we started “Reformation Night” at our church with the hopes of not only having an “alternative” to observing Halloween, but actually celebrating this very significant event that happened nearly 500 years ago. We set up Reformation-themed booths, offered candy and prizes for playing all the games, and had skits to demonstrate events that happened in the Reformation. Out of those skits were born our As Told By Littles movies that we initially just made for our church. Other churches started to get ahold of the films and were encouraged to start Reformation Day celebrations of their own.
It is our desire to see a worldwide celebration on October 31st. And we aren’t talking about Trunk-or -Treat or a Hallelujah Night! It isn’t necessary to have an alternative when we have something to celebrate! We are talking about a full celebration of an actual event that happened on October 31st that is absolutely worth celebrating for all Christians everywhere!
If you like this idea, here are some ways you can celebrate with your church:
Play Reformation-related games.
Each game can teach about a Reformer. Offer prizes for playing the games. A few examples are:
-St. Giles Bowling- each pin has an ”idol” on it and it represents when John Knox threw the idols, relics, and icons out of the windows in St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland.
-Five Solas Ring Toss- each child has 5 tries to toss a ring while repeating each of the Solas in English and Latin.
-Calvin’s Escape- Rent an obstacle course from a party rental company. Let the kids go through the course, but tell them the story of how John Calvin escaped out a window on a rope made of bedsheets before they go through!
Eat Reformation-themed food.
“Tetzel’s Pretzels”. Serve regular or soft pretzels with toppings and tell the story of the man named Tetzel who sold indulgences, misleading people to believe that they could buy their way out of certain sins or out of purgatory. These indulgences were one of the things Martin Luther wrote about in this 95 Theses.
Diet of Worms dessert: Layer chocolate ice cream and chocolate cookie sandwiches in a clear cup. Top with gummy worms. Be sure to explain what the “Diet of Worms” is. (Pronounced Diet of “VERMS”)
Make and eat a “gingerbread” Wittenberg Chapel (pictured below).
Dress up as your favorite Reformer.
…and have the kids dress up too. Explain who they are, what they did to stand up for their faith, and why they are your favorite Reformer!
Wear Reformation-related clothing.
Wear the Five Solas on your shirt (visit our shop here for our English version to start gospel conversations!) or wear another Reformation-themed shirt!
Watch an As Told by Littles movie.
Pop some popcorn (or “Pope Corn”- ha!) and sit down and watch one of our films or all four! We just released our John Knox: as told by Littles* that is available for pre-order on DVD and Digital Download. You can get it at a special low price until this Saturday, October 8th! For that deal, click here!
*If you are a pastor or represent a church, and would like an extra discount on our John Knox film so you can show it at your church on Reformation Day, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will give you a discount code! Also, if you would like to get a few more ideas on games you can use at the event, please note that in your email!
For a sneak peek of our new film, watch below!
Whether you are a pastor or not, we would love to hear from you and how you are celebrating Reformation Day! Let us know how you are celebrating by tagging us on instagram (@fivesolasmedia) or Facebook (Five Solas Films) or with the hashtag #REFDAY22