Visit often to find events, resources and ideas for celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.
As part of the celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation, congregations, conferences and agencies are finding many ways to commemorate this world-changing event.
There will be worship services and educational programs, explorations of Lutheran music and culture and the contributions of Lutherans of color, and more. Bookmark this page to find new events as they are announced.
Use this online form to submit your events. Send stories and photos of your celebrations to email@example.com.
The Rev. Dr. Timothy Wengert will present on “The 95 Theses as Luther’s Template for Reading Scripture” at the 2017 Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge on April 21. Four ELCA seminarians will also share their results engaging scripture in congregational settings. The FREE event runs 8:30 am to 4 pm at the Brossman Center on the seminary campus, with FREE LUNCH. Learn more and register at http://ltsp.edu/HeinFry
Save the date: Join Lower Montgomery Conference for an educational presentation and worship service to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation on Saturday, Oct. 21, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lansdale. The day will begin with a Reformation lecture at 11 am (presenter to be announced) followed by lunch at noon (cost TBD). Worship will be a 1 pm. Father Peter Donahue, president of Villanova University, will preach. The liturgist will be Bishop Claire Burkat of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA. Watch this space for further information!
Martin Lohrmann, Assistant Professor of Lutheran Confessions & Heritage at Wartburg Theological Seminary and formerly pastor at Christ Ascension Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, has written and posted a well-researched song I wrote about Luther and beer. Its’ catchy chorus: “Martin Luther drank the beer that Katie Luther brewed.” Download the song and lyric sheet at Martin’s blog.
Northwestern University is offering a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called “Luther and the West” as a resource for celebrating this year’s 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The course is taught by Christine Helmer, who is an internationally known Luther scholar, and Professor of Religious Studies and German at Northwestern University in Evanston, USA.
This course is about the impact that Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, had on major ideas in the history of the west. You will encounter ideas such as freedom and slavery, biblical interpretation and anti-Judaism, politics and economics. In addition to Luther, you will meet important thinkers, such as Baruch Spinoza, Immanuel Kant, and Martin Luther King Jr. The course includes 36 video lectures by Professor Helmer, in addition to many texts by Luther and others that you can download for free. You can connect with other learners in discussing the course material.
What? With New Voices — the Small Catechism in the 21st Century is an invitation to all members of all ages to hear the catechism from new voices — voices that perhaps we did not hear in our earlier faith experiences — and to be renewed in our own voices as witnesses of Jesus Christ.
When? From August 2016 (the 2016 Churchwide Assembly) to Oct. 31, 2017, (the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation).
How? In a way that is most promising for your community of faith and most fitting for the relationships in your community. In particular, we encourage a congregation-wide engagement with the Small Catechism during the season of Lent in 2017.
Where? Resources will continue to be added to this site. We encourage you to check back often.
Why? The Small Catechism is a treasure too good for just early adolescence. With New Voices invites you into a fresh engagement with the Small Catechism as a way of turning to this world with renewed passion for proclaiming and embodying this promised hope from God.
Rick Steves’ “Luther and the Reformation” is available for you to stream and share. This one-hour video is a wonderful resource to better understand our Lutheran roots and help us in our continued journey of understanding the gospel. Many thanks to Steves, who has generously given all members of the ELCA access to this video. DVD copies have been distributed to each congregation.
Planning a viewing party? Find promotional photos, discussion questions and sample fliers at ELCA.org/RickSteves.
In 2014 Steve Seyfried, actor and playwright, traveled with Bishop Burkat and others to Germany on a tour of Lutherland, following in the footsteps of Martin Luther, through Wittenberg, Erfurt, Eisenach and Eiseleben. Steve returned with a wealth of stories, insights and photos, and the desire to share this remarkable experience with others.
In a spirited one hour presentation, in the style of a TED Talk, Steve brings the story of the Reformation to life from the posting of the 95 Theses to the Peace of Augsburg that formally recognized the Lutheran Church.
The Lutheran Reformation offers to Christian communities everywhere a liberating way of listening to and speaking the Scriptures. The Reformation teaching that Christ’s life flows through faith into a life of service to the neighbor is especially liberating in our culture today. The Reformation teaching that faith is the work of God’s Holy Spirit is especially liberating in a culture that assumes a faith relationship with God is an act of human “free will.”
Many, both within Christian communities and beyond, are held captive by ideologies that limit the full scope of God’s mercy in Christ to demographic groups defined sociologically by certain beliefs, behaviors or experiences. The Reformation teaching that Christ’s life flows through faith into a life of service to the neighbor is especially liberating in a culture that makes religious life into a demonstration of one’s own worthiness and privilege to the disadvantage of others.
— Adapted from elca500.org
The ELCA has created a special website, http://elca500.org, with ideas, news, resources and stories of Reformation celebrations across the church. Visit this site often to see the latest.
Updated: Feb. 10, 2017