Lutheran and Catholic congregants worship side by side during a Christmas service at the St. Paul Lutheran and Catholic Community of Faith in Denver. 

(Courtesy Ron Hoffman)

Five hundred years ago this month, Catholic monk Martin Luther challenged the leadership of the church. As the story goes, on Oct. 31, 1517, Luther nailed his "95 Theses," opposing what he called "indulgences" within the Catholic Church, to the door of the Schlosskirche church in Wittenberg, Germany. This marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation and centuries of intense debate, distrust and even wars between the two faiths. 

Pastor Penni Walsh and Father Don Sutton serve communion during a recent service at St. Paul Lutheran and Catholic Community of Faith.

(Courtesy Ron Hoffman)

A Denver church has decided to focus on what unites Lutherans and Catholics, and to create single place of worship for both. Father Don Sutton and Pastor Penni Walsh, of the St. Paul Lutheran and Catholic Community of Faith, tell Colorado Matters that significant efforts have been made over the last 50 years to reconcile the churches -- largely sparked by the 1999 document the "Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification," which founded common ground on key faith questions.  Sutton and Walsh say they're continuing to look for ways to deepen the relationship between St. Paul's Lutheran and Catholic congregants. 

St. Paul Lutheran and Catholic Community of Faith marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this weekend with several events.