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Making the Most of Reformation 500 in Your Congregation

This originally appeared as a resource developed for workshops at our 2017 Synod Assembly. Download a PDF of that resource here


The 500th Anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not to be missed – for the sake of our witness to the world! Learn about many great ideas and resources available from our Synod, Churchwide organization and publishers, and the Lutheran World Federation which will help you commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in truly memorable, inspiring, and faith-deepening ways.


Here are Synodical hoped-for outcomes for our Reformation 500 Commemorations – these hopes can inform your local planning, too! We will:

  • promote a deepened, renewed, and joyful sense of global Lutheran identity for the 21st Century

  • make a bold public witness in various formats and media, communicating what the Reformation means to audiences outside of the church

  • nurture strengthened, reconciling ecumenical and interfaith relationships

  • use the Reformation 500 themes to address current societal needs and opportunities


So, what are your local Reformation 500 dreams and plans for autumn of 2017?

  • What are your special plans for Reformation Sunday on October 29?

  • Have you thought about providing educational events on Reformation 500 themes?

  • How about new and creative ways to use Luther’s Small Catechism? After all, the catechism is not just for kids!

  • What about Reformation-themed movie nights? There are some great old and new films and videos available.

  • Who are your ecumenical and interfaith partners in your community? How about reconciling events and initiatives with them during this year?

  • How about reaching out to your local media for special feature stories during late October of this year?

  • How might you engage your community with service projects, making the most of our tagline, "God’s Work, Our Hands"?


There are many resources to help you make the most of this anniversary year. Find resources and titles from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in AmericaAugsburg Fortress Publishers, and the Lutheran World Federation. There are also synodical resources that have been developed and are ready for your use.


There are also many ways for you to engage in events sponsored by our synod or local congregations and conferences. See our listing of Reformation 500 events here and add your own with this web form.


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