Editor’s note: Throughout 2017, we’re highlighting reader submissions of ways they’re observing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Submit your story by sending 300 words or less, plus photos, to livinglutheran@elca.org, with “Reformation story” in the subject line.

Christ the King Lutheran Church in Cary, N.C., observed the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with “Katie’s Day.” The congregation celebrated Bold Women’s Sunday on Katie Luther’s birthday, Jan. 29, with worship services led by women and a visit from “Katie Luther,” who spoke to the congregation and during the Sunday school hour.

Congregation member Leigh Pittman, playing the role of Katie, described life at the Black Cloister, the home Katie shared with Martin Luther. While talking about her family, Katie invited everyone to join her in singing Martin Luther’s lullaby, “Away in the Manger.” In honor of Katie’s birthday (exactly 518 years earlier), the event ended with cake and root beer floats.

Reformation anniversary activities at Christ the King also include “500 Ways to Serve” and “Walk to Wittenburg.”

The year-long “500 Ways to Serve” challenges the congregation to meet a monthly outreach goal. Whether it’s by contributing 500 hours to the congregation’s annual day of service or collecting 500 pounds of food for a charity, Christ the King demonstrates the love in action foundational to Luther’s teaching.

“Walk to Wittenberg” is a healthy-living challenge, with church members submitting exercise miles toward the collective journey of 4,385 miles—the distance from Cary, N.C., to Luther’s home of Wittenberg, Germany. The walk coordinator provides weekly progress reports of the distance traveled, including a 360-degree view of cities at the current milepost and a Lutheran church where participants could be worshiping at that point on the journey.

Additionally, the children of Christ the King are collecting money to plant a tree at the new Luthergarten (Luthergarden) in Wittenberg. The congregation will also plant a companion apple tree near its King’s Harvest Community Garden with future produce going to local food pantries.

Submitted by Suzan Noden, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Cary, N.C.

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