The LCS Sisters Fellowship 20th Annual Retreat, held on 22nd April 2017, saw a warm attendance by pastors and members from all congregations of the church body.
The Theme of the retreat was on Women of The Reformation. In this excerpt, Lanny shares about who these women were, how they were involved in the Reformation and the role they played.
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KATHARINA VON BORA (1499-1552)
Born into a middle-class family, Katharina was sent when she was 5 years old to a monastery to become a nun. She became interested in the growing Reformation activity and when she was 24, she escaped with other nuns from the monastery after hearing Luther’s preaching on the weakness of the teaching in the monastery.
Within two years, Luther was able to arrange marriages for all the runaway nuns, except for Katharina. His friends persuaded Luther to marry Katharina but he was reluctant as he feared for his life during the Reformation and did not want his wife to become a widow. Eventually, Luther succumbed to his friends’ persuasion for him to marry Katharina so he can be a model for other monks to give up their celibacy.
After Katharina’s marriage to Luther, she immediately took on the task of administering and managing the vast holdings of the monastery, breeding and selling cattle, and running a brewery, in order to provide for their family and the steady stream of students who boarded with them, and also the visitors seeking audiences with her husband. Luther called her the “morning star of Wittenberg” for her habit of rising early to take care of her various responsibilities.
Katharina cultivated Christian family values and biblical teaching. She and Luther had six children and adopted four orphans. Their youngest biological daughter, Margareta, was married into a noble Prussian family. One of Margareta’s descendant – Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934) was the elected President of Germany from 1925 until his death on the eve of Hitler’s totalitarian rule.
ARGULA VON GRUMBACH (1492-1554)
Argula was the first Protestant female theologian and author who supported the Reformation from 1522. A Bavarian noble woman from Munich in Germany, she openly rebuked the persecution of the reformers and wrote long letters to express her views. They eventually became bestsellers.
MARIE DENTIERE (1495-1561)
Marie was a Swiss Protestant reformer and theologian. Born into a relatively well-off family of nobility, she entered an Augustinian nunnery at a young age and eventually became an abbotess. Luther’s preaching against monasticism led her to flee the monastery. Marie advocated that women and men were equally qualified to interpret Scripture and entitled to practise religion. She was the only woman whose name was written on the Reformation Wall in Geneva.
MARGARET OF ANGOULEME (1492-1549)
Margaret was the Queen of Navarre and the sister of Francis I (King of France). She was called the Ambassador of the Reformation because she used her royal status to protect and provide refuge to the reformers. She was the first of a feminine dynasty of evangelical reformers.
How the Retreat Impacted Me
I was impressed by the courage, intelligence, passion and contribution of these women of the Reformation. Although not as well-known as Martin Luther and some of his contemporaries, these women have also left us a legacy. Dr Lee concluded his sharing by saying that God’s blessing is for both men and women.
The Sisters’ Fellowship Committee appreciates sisters Cheong Kah Ping (singspiration), Grace How (translator) and Agnes Loo (Master of Ceremony) for their parts in the programme. The retreat was very lively, with the worship and praise of the Lord and some performances.
The Senior Citizen Fellowship from the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer sang a few songs, while some members played the ukulele and the “Sure Foundation” Choir also sang a few songs. Members from the Bedok Lutheran Church danced and sang, while those from the Queenstown Lutheran Church performed a dance of praise. All the songs and performances were very inspiring. An offering was collected for the rebuilding fund of the Jurong Christian Church.
The participants enjoyed the retreat very much, helping themselves to a sumptuous dinner before leaving for home.