Mack Library to welcome students for Reformation Day celebration


The Reformation Day celebration at Mack Library will begin with a reading of the book of Galatians. Photo: Tatiana Bento

When you think of the date Oct. 31, 1517, what comes to mind? If you’re thinking of the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, congratulate yourself for remembering something from History of Civilization.

This day, commonly remembered as Reformation Day, is a momentous occasion in Protestant circles. In celebration, Mack Library will host an evening of activities on the second floor of the library tonight from 7:30 until 10:15.

The night will begin with a reading through the book of Galatians.

“Galatians is written against the Judaizers, and in some ways Luther viewed Catholicism as a sort of Judaistic system,” said Van Carpenter, director of Mack Library. The book is perhaps at the heart of Lutheran theology, as far as the idea that works [are] not that which saves.”

After the Scripture reading, the 1953 biographical film “Martin Luther” will be shown. The film, which was nominated for two Academy Awards, begins with Luther’s entrance into the Augustinian monastery, climaxes with his famous “Here I Stand” speech and finishes with his congregation singing, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”—the hymn often associated with Reformation Day.

This is a new event for Mack Library, although the idea is not original. Carpenter, who served as library director of Northland International University for 12 years before coming to BJU, said his former library did a similar informal celebration. This sparked his idea to create a similar event at BJU.

The celebration of Reformation Day is part of the library’s ongoing efforts to encourage students to spend time in the library. “We’re trying to make the connection that the library is welcoming,” Carpenter said.

The library began efforts in this direction last year with Night in the Library, a fun night filled with library workshops and games, which the library repeated this year.

Later in the semester, around finals week, the library hopes to bring in therapy dogs from the Greenville chapter of Therapy Dogs Inc. for students to play with as a way to de-stress.

The library hopes to offer more student-friendly events in the future, including a guest lecture series, laser tag and a small chamber concert.

Reformation Day activities are free, and all are welcome to attend.