Asbury UMC to hold Protestant Reformation summer institute

By CAROLINE CARMICHAEL

Special to the Reporter

HOOVER – Asbury United Methodist Church is celebrating 500 years of Protestantism by kicking off its fourth annual summer institute July 19, this year exploring “The Protestant Reformation: How A Monk, A Mallet And A Message Changed The World.”

Senior pastor Kip Laxson will lead sessions every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. until Aug. 30.

Through his teachings on the Protestant Reformation, Laxson aims to guide his congregation through the events that facilitated the emergence of the Protestant faith and its various denominations.

Clarifying the distinctions between Protestants and Roman Catholics is also a goal.

Laxson’s executive assistant Patricia Mazur said that as a church, Asbury strives “to remain challenged and equipped to grow more disciples for Jesus Christ” as it practices values such as hospitality, worship and faith development.

By providing practical training on a variety of topics pertinent to contemporary Christian living, Asbury’s summer institutes do just that.

Past summer institutes hosted by the church explored the topics of Christianity and Islam, Finding Jesus and Making Sense of the Bible.

As a recommended resource for this summer’s study, attendees are advised to purchase the book The Reformation for Armchair Theologians by Glenn S. Sunshine. Copies are available in a variety of formats, including Kindle and Nook compatibilities, and can also be purchased for $10 from the church’s office.

“I believe you will find this book very helpful in navigating a complicated historical period,” Laxson expressed on the church’s website.

Admission to the institute is free and childcare is provided.

“Everyone is welcome and invited,” Mazur said. “Our doors are always open to visitors.”

Asbury provides a “welcoming and friendly” church community, Mazur said.

According to its website, Asbury has approximately 2,200 members with a typical worship service attendance of 1,250.

Since the church’s formation in1986, Asbury services have offered progressive theology with traditional worship and “open outreach to all.”

Asbury is located off of Cahaba Valley Road. Traditional service times are 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m in the sanctuary. A contemporary service called The Bridge meets at 11 a.m. in the gym.

To register for the summer institute or to learn more about Asbury United Methodist Church, visit AsburyOnline.org.