CHRISTIANS from across Toowoomba will gather on Sunday to mark 500 years since the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
On 31 October, 1517, Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany, in which he rejected what he saw as abuses of the Roman Catholic Church.
He was particularly troubled by the Catholic view on indulgences which saw people pay to have their sins forgiven.
Retired Pastor Marcus Schultz, who spent 20 years serving in Toowoomba, acknowledged the day carried particular importance for the region's strong Lutheran population.
One of the region's Lutheran pastors has even travelled to Germany to mark the event.
But Pastor Schultz stressed that the day was important to Protestants and Catholics alike.
"Originally, this was a discussion with Martin Luther and the Church over indulgences and the forgiveness of sins that were paid for. Discussions were polarised," Pastor Schultz said. "It was a fight for what Rome believed to be right and what Protestants believed to be right.
"But there has been dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and Lutherans and Uniting and Protestants in general. "There's been a dialogue between churches and a coming together.
"What they have discovered is that there is more that unites them than divides them."
He added: "We don't like to call it a celebration because there were so many wars (between denominations). It has been a sad part of history."
An Ecumenical Gathering will take place at the Armitage Centre at 5pm on Sunday.
Choirs from Concordia Lutheran College, TACAPS and St Saviour's Catholic Primary School will join together with church leaders and the public to commemorate the 500th anniversary.
Several hundred are expected to attend.
All are welcome.
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