LWF opens Heaven’s Tent in Wittenberg

The LWF Heaven’s Tent in the Luthergarten in Wittenberg awaits visitors to the World Reformation Exhibition. Photo: LWF/Annette Glaubig

Hosts from all over the world present the Lutheran Communion at World Reformation Exhibition

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) opened its contribution to the World Reformation Exhibition in Wittenberg punctually on 20 May. In  the Heaven’s Tent, the LWF member churches and partners from all over the world will present themselves and their work until the exhibition closes on 10 September 2017. A total of fifteen hosts will give an international atmosphere to the city. The first of the Exhibition’s theme weeks is focusing on Europe. The program for the first week in the Heaven’s Tent has been organized by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy (ELCI) together with its ecumenical partners.

“A few weeks ago the LWF was commemorating the global Reformation in Windhoek. Now, with the Heaven’s Tent, it has moved on to Wittenberg,” says Hans W. Kasch, director of the LWF Center in Wittenberg. He adds: “People from all over the world will take turns playing host in Heaven’s Tent. In their own special way, they will present church life in their home countries to visitors and give an insight into the diversity of The Lutheran World Federation.” 

The Heaven’s Tent is open every day except Tuesday to exhibition visitors. Each day starts with prayers at 9:45. The host groups will plan their program themselves. A stage and multipurpose interior provide facilities for all kinds of performances, events and displays. 
Until 11 June the ELCI will be the host in Heaven’s Tent with ecumenical partners such as Waldensians, Methodists and Baptists. A focal point will be the issue of refugees and migration, an area in which the Protestant churches in Italy are particularly active. Visitors are invited to a do-it-yourself activity called “Boat of Hopes”. “Prayers in the Wind” call to prayer, and a practical interactive session demonstrates “A mighty fortress is our God”.  

The Italian church will be followed by churches from Saxony and Finland. In addition, LWF partners such as the Martin-Luther-Bund and the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD) will be represented, along with areas of the LWF’s work, e.g. the Global Young Reformers Network or the women’s program “Women in Church and Society” (WICAS). 

Heaven’s Tent is centrally located in the Andreasbreite section of the Luthergarten. The living Reformation monument invites us to stroll through the park and discover the trees that have been planted by churches from 91 countries worldwide on the occasion of the Reformation anniversary. Luthergarten Andreasbreite is directly opposite the “Altstadt” train station and 200 meters south of Castle Church. The garden is open round the clock and the Heaven’s Tent can be visited daily (except Tuesdays) from 9:45 to 18:00.

The host groups

  • 31.05 to 11.06.17: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy with ecumenical partners

  • 12.06 to 30.06.17: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony with different partners and areas of work

  • 01.07 to 03.07.17: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (Turku diocese) with the City of Turku

  • 04.07 to 10.07.17: Martin-Luther-Bund with ecumenical partners from Russia and Britain

  • 11.07 to 17.07.17: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (USA) and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania

  • 18.07 to 24.07.17: LWF emergency response and sustainable livelihoods (World Service)

  • 25.07 to 31.07.17: LWF Global Young Reformers’ Network

  • 01.08 to 06.08.17: Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad

  • 07.08 to 10.08.17: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Schaumburg-Lippe with partners from South Africa

  • 12.08 to 14.08.17: LWF women’s program WICAS 

  • 15.08 to 21.08.17: United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD)

  • 22.08 to 25.08.17: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover (Burgdorf church district) with Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil

  • 26.08 to 28.08.17: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary

  • 29.08 to 04.09.17: LWF Czech National Committee (Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession and Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren)

  • 05.09 to 10.09.17: Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland