Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
Get ready to celebrate 500 years of the Reformation! In 1517, Martin Luther launched an epic movement that forever changed the church and the world. He wanted the church unified by the Gospel--the Good News that humanity is saved from sin, evil and death by the justifying work of Jesus Christ, and not by our own works and devices, no matter how churchly and moral they appear to be. Christ’s redemption is entirely a work of divine grace to be received with trusting faith and witnessed in worship and works of love. After nearly 500 years, despite conflicts within churches and with the world, the Reformation continues. Huge gains have been made in Gospel-centered church unity, and the Gospel as the power of salvation has freed and fortified countless Christians to live with faith, hope and love. A celebration, beginning in 2015 and climaxing in late 2017, is now on the minds of Lutherans and other Christians around the world.
Rev. Paul Seastrand
The Reformation 500 Task Force has received a gift from the North Carolina Synod. It is a link to a new curriculum called, "Ever-Reforming: A Reformation 500 Cross-Generational Study". Included with the curriculum is a very creative coloring book supplement. Please click on the links provided to access this wonderful curriculum, and get your congregation ready to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation next year!
Colleagues in Christ,
We are grateful for your support and interest in the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, and look forward to being in partnership as we continue to move into observance of the Reformation’s anniversary. The 500th anniversary will provide a great opportunity for all ELCA expressions, partners and networks to support one another.
One way to encourage community around this observance will be the facilitation of a few digital platforms. They will serve to uplift the many observances, encourage participation and inspire others to consider similar ideas.
We are excited to share that the website, www.ELCA500.org, is live!
We hope this note serves to both inform you and also reemphasize the invitation to share resources and events you may know of, related to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. There is a section on the website called “Post It!” where you can submit any resources you may want to share. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope that you’ll consider following the ELCA Reformation 500 Facebook page, as well! It is another space to share information and create community around this observance.
Amanda Lauer, Marcus Kunz & Heather Dean
Early in 2014, Bishop Jessica Crist
called into being a Task Force to lead the Montana Synod’s observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Chaired by the Rev. Paul Seastrand, the task force includes Pr. Grant Applehans, Pr. Amanda Applehans, Pr. Tonya Eza, Pr. Paul (and Kay) Hanson, Pr. Bruce (and Reba) Kolasch, Pr. Jason Pollington, Megan Pratola, Pr. Bob Quam, and Bp. Crist. Some of the ways planned to observe this anniversary are:
+ the availability of numerous NEWSBRIEFS, which are short essays on various topics that can be used by individuals, small groups, adult forums, temple talks, etc.
Topics include Luther on God and Government, Faith and Culture; The Augsburg Confession: Essential Lutheranism; Luther and the Devil; Luther on Your Christian Calling;
Lutherans and Moravians; The English Reformation; Luther and Prayer; Luther and the Old Testament; Luther and the Jews.
+ DVDs highlighting our Montana history with Hutterites, Amish, and Roman Catholics.
+ Worship Resources
+ Luther writings and ecumenical studies for use by individuals and small groups.
+ Congregational projects like Reformation quilts, best Lutheran humor, most loved hymns, best Lutheran recipes, etc.
+ Luther Lectures in fall, 2015 with Dr. Timothy Wengert; and for children, Sunday School crafts and skits.