We move towards the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 in a reflective mood.
And we ask you to join us in reflecting, not only on what Luther sparked in the 16th century by making his 95 theses public in Wittenberg, declaring that it is only by the grace of God that Christians are saved, but also on the ongoing reformation that Christians in the Lutheran tradition are called to.
This anniversary of the Reformation is an opportunity for all of us to affirm that the Church must be open to constant renewal, always seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit in face of contemporary challenges. Won’t you join us? We are all in this ongoing reformation together.
Throughout the next three years we will be offering resources (print and online) to help guide your reflections, which might take place nationally, regionally or globally. They will include Reformation study booklets by writers from every region of our global Lutheran communion and by some of our ecumenical partners, and resources for Bible study as well as ecumenical and interfaith relations.
Join us in reflecting on the ongoing Reformation – it’s not just about 1517, or 2017!
- Reformation Study Booklets
What is the role of Lutheran churches today, 500 years after Luther sparked the beginning of the Reformation in 1517?
To help member churches around the world explore this question, the LWF has published four popular booklets focusing on the main theme of the anniversary—“Liberated by God’s grace”—and the sub-themes: “Salvation - not for sale”, “Human beings – not for sale” and “Creation – not for sale.” They have been written by Lutheran theologians and ecumenical partners from around the world.
- The Hermeneutics Process
This Hermeneutics study process is an important aspect of our many efforts to reflect together as a worldwide Lutheran communion on how we might read and understand Scripture within the framework of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which we mark in 2017.
The Department for Theology and Public Witness (DTPW) has held a series of consultations, which have focused on the Gospel of John, contemporary interpretations of the Psalms and the Gospel of Matthew in order to help us find shared interpretive resources informed by the Reformation.
- Ecumenical Study Material
We mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 with sisters and brothers from different Christian traditions.
From Conflict to Communion, the report of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity (From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017), released in 2013, marks the first attempt by the two traditions to jointly trace the history of the Reformation. We invite our member churches to study this document together with their Roman Catholic sisters and brothers. In 2015, a joint Lutheran-Roman Catholic liturgy that draws from this document will be published.
So far, one of the most far-reaching reception processes of From Conflict To Communion (FCTC) was organized in 2014 by the LWF’s German National Committee. Their virtual reception process, 2017.gemeinsamunterwegs (2017.journeying together: http://www.2017gemeinsam.de/index.php?id=23) which took place from 23 April to 24 November in 2014, provided the opportunity to discuss the content of the document and the questions it raises. Furthermore, in cooperation with the local Roman Catholic Church the Peruvian Lutheran Evangelical Church organized a reception process in 2014. In the U.S., a Study Guide for FCTC has been compiled by The Planning Committee of the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of Greensburg, The Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, and Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod ELCA. The Study Guide is being distributed also by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. See more at: http://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/From_Conflict_To_Communion_Study_Guide_3-13.pdf.
Anglican-Lutheran study materials for congregations focusing on the theme “Liberated by God’s grace” will be published in 2016.
- The Luther Reading Challenge
The Luther Reading Challenge is a project initiated by the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France, an affiliate of the Lutheran World Federation. More than 1500 people have already joined this online reading community, discussing different texts from Luther on the journey towards 2017. See more at: www.lutherreadingchallenge.org/
- Interfaith Dialogue
We live in a world that is rich in cultures, beliefs and perceptions, which can be a challenge. As Lutherans, we welcome religious diversity as a challenge. That is why we are engaged in interfaith study and dialogue, and practical reconciliation where diversity could result in division.
As we approach the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, we will publish texts on understanding of renewal in Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions, inviting churches to reflect with their interfaith partners on the meaning of reform and renewal.