Here's a few tidbits about Hans Denck, as well as a few links at the bottom to learn more. It's suited a bit more for older elementary children, so adapt as needed for younger children, teenagers and adults.
STORY of Hans Denck:
St. Francis of Assisi lived 800 years ago. He decided to give up war and wealth in order to live with the poor and preach the good news of Christ in Italy.
One of his followers was Claire, who also gave up her wealth in order to live with the poor and preach the good news of Christ.
Pilgram Marpeck lived 500 years ago. He believed that people should not use the sword when they disagree. He also believed that everyone should help each other, even when they disagree.
2.) Childhood and Education
Today's story is Hans Denck,
He lived 500 years ago as well, just like Pilgram Marpeck.
Both Pilgram and Hans were from South Germany, although they probably never knew each other.
Hans was highly educated by his parents, and eventually became the rector at St. Sebaldus School in Nuremberg.
It was in Nuremberg that he met Anabaptists, and changed his mind on church.
Already Catholics and Lutherans were disagreeing with each other.
Hans, too had different ideas.
Hans believed that it matters what people do, far more than what they say. Following Jesus is the best way to love God.
Hans believed the Bible was helpful, but that people must also learn to listen to the voice of God inside each person. He believed it was ok to disagree with the Bible.
Hans also believed that God is for absolutely everyone, and loves absolutely everyone. It doesn't matter if you belong to a certain church or certain land or government. Everyone is loved by God.
Because of his beliefs which challenged the government and church, he was fired from his job and kicked out of town. He traveled around preaching his beliefs of how to follow God in everything do.
Eventually, he got sick with the plague and died within 3 years of being banished from Nuremberg.
One can only imagine what he would have done if he had lived as long as Marpeck did.
Within the last two months of his life he was still writing his beliefs and meeting with Lutherans to talk about the best way to follow God.
6.) Questions for reflection-
What is one thing you do you to follow God beyond Sundays?
Without the Bible, what is one way to listen for God?
What does it mean to listen for God's voice?
Is it more important to pray or read the Bible? (Probably for older kids)
Links for Learning More:
Gameo Link (an Anabaptist Resource)
MWR Article about Denck and the Bible
Article about similarities with Quakers/Friends
Events & Evites:
Tory - Pastor of Children and Youth Faith Formation.