“Reformation 500” in the NC Synod is a partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) Commemoration of the Reformation’s 500th Anniversary. The NC Synod Council-appointed task force began their planning in December 2013.
The commemoration and observance will include a variety of opportunities organized under the headings of: Worship, Education, Service, and Fellowship. We officially began a few years ago with a worship service—in partnership with the South Carolina Synod—on September 20, 2015, at Christ, Charlotte. Plans for additional worship opportunities are outlined below along with other available resources.
The planning and work of the task force is dynamic, ever-changing, and on-going. If you have suggestions or ideas, please contact task force chair, Sarah Ingle, or call the synod office at 704-633-4861.
A capstone worship will be held Saturday, September 23, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte with ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton preaching. Again, we will collaborate with the SC Synod for this worship. Learn more.
An ecumenical opportunity for worship will be held Friday, October 27, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Chapel Hill. Learn more.
Ideas from congregations on how they are celebrating Reformation 500.
“We are hosting ‘A Celebration in Music’ in Observance of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, Sunday, August 20, at 7:00 p.m. Les Ackerman, Organist, with Brass Quintet. American Guild of Organists, Charlotte Chapter, Summer Recital Series 2017. Call for more info: 704-375-9185.
We have video programs planned; will be celebrating the opening of our Columbarium; are adding Sunday School classes that highlight either the works of Martin Luther or of the Lutheran Church; planning a congregational celebration.
We held a potluck dinner and screening of the Rick Steves’ DVD. Midweek Lenten worship is ‘With Love and Awe’ from Augsburg Fortress; Sunday preaching and table talks on Wednesday nights are emphasizing the parts of Luther’s catechism.
Pastor is writing a weekly article for the Wilson Times; Small Catechism subject of Conference Clergy Lenten Pulpit Exchange; Confirmation moved to Reformation Sunday; Conference-wide Reformation Worship; Oktoberfest planned for fall.
We did Lenten Studies on Martin Luther and the Reformation. In late summer, we plan to host a Luther Fest, with a worship service the reflects the Reformation and a fair afterwards with crafts and games.
Joint Lenten Services on Small Catechism; Weekly reading of 3 of the 95 theses; Wednesday study of Augsburg Confession.
We have several projects including collection of 500 items for different outreach programs each month and a challenge to walk to Germany.
We are a new congregation under development that is both Lutheran and Episcopal. As we prepare a class for Confirmation to confirm and receive those new to our faith, we’ll be talking to them about the Reformation.
Hosting Book Fair; We are offering different historical Lutheran Worship.
Bulletin inserts and other resources from Reformation 500 Sourcebook. We participated in the Reformation book sale, as well.
Faith Formation classes on the Reformation.
Working through the Reformation study on each 3rd Sunday.
We will have a special event on Reformation Sunday and a dinner.
Huge Reformation Fall Festival, Reformation Doors outdoor decoration event, Luther Rose landscaping visible, word and deed presence at local farmers market, Reformation timeline and map developed by local artist, tours to older Lutheran churches, Luminary worship and bonfire event.
Reformation Faire, Reformation Bible Study.
Our children’s Sunday School class will learn about Martin Luther during the summer, and everyone in our congregation will be encouraged to send in ‘Flat Martin’ pictures from their summer travels. Our Adult Sunday School class will hold various classes about Martin Luther and the Reformation, and will watch Rick Steves’ “Luther and the Reformation” video. On Reformation Day, our choir will present a special musical offering along with multiple instrumentalists.
Using the Ever-Reforming Curriculum; planning a special service for Reformation Sunday in conjunction with a local Presbyterian congregation.
Common Prayer service with Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. One service on Reformation Sunday with special music, celebration of Affirmation of Baptism, and a congregational potluck meal after. Screening Rick Steves’ Reformation DVD.
Joining other ‘Coastal Plain’ conference congregations in a joint worship service in October. Using Augsburg Fortress and other study materials for Bible study and worship.
Holy Family is using the Synod supplied 12 week Reformation Study materials.
Holy Trinity highlighted the Small Catechism during Lent, Evening Prayer service planned with Catholic neighbors in the fall, hosting an ecumenical Reformation service, college students went to Germany to see Reformation sites, VBS will be Reformation Caravan theme that we are writing, and Adult Sunday School will feature Reformation classes in the fall.
Dr. David Ratke is leading the Synod generated Luther Study. A special Reformation service with Dr. Weber set for September. Hosting a community Reformation service along with LRU.
Mt. Zion, Conover, has so far held discussion classes using the Rick Steves video.
We are planning on developing a display in our Archives and History display case, featuring a facsimile of Luther’s Bible, Romans text, a tract about the nuns he was seeking to place, some Reformation centennial coins etc.
We are studying Luther’s Small Catechism and the 95 Theses.
Using the ‘Ever-Reforming Reformation 500 Cross-Generational Study’ for our Adult Sunday School Class.
During Lent we had a Bible study centering around the changes brought about by the Reformation to church and society, particularly how the Lutheran Reformation remade the church. There will be a preaching series in October centered around the ‘Solas’ of the Reformation.
Had Luther’s descendant as a speaker.
Participating in Always Reforming Bible Study.
We are studying ‘Ever-Reforming: A Reformation 500 Cross Generational Study’ during our Sunday School time.
Sunday school classes, one service, dramatic portrayal, brass ensemble, special music.
Participating in the Ever-Reforming Bible Study.
Trinity View Senior Living Community in Arden holds a monthly ‘table talk’ with the chaplain. This is an opportunity for participants to engage in conversation on matters of interest. Topics have included religious, spiritual and secular matters. Participants include those from many religious backgrounds.
At Our Redeemer we are using Martin Luther’s quote, “God doesn’t need your good works, but your neighbor does” as an invitation to engage in acts of service as a part of sharing ‘500 ways that we Live Lutheran.’ As people participate in serving they are invited to write a short sentence about what how they have served on a Luther rose and then to add it to our ever-growing display throughout this 500th anniversary of the reformation.
Using Ever Reforming in adult study group. Study of Small Catechism during Lent. Special hymns throughout the year.
Reformation 500 Bible Study.
We’ve already started with discussions during the Wednesdays in Lent. Special observances in October, TBA.
We bought two special books for every member of the church attending midweek Lenten Services. The first book was a new translation of Luther’s Small Catechism and the second book was Daily Devotions During Lent based on Luther’s Small Catechism. Pastor Rust preached on the Small Catechism during Lent, Holy Week, and Easter.
Focused Lenten series on studies and devotions based on the parts of Luther’s Small Catechism–Wednesdays at noon and Sunday evenings– for nine sessions in all.
Hosted and led preparations for a community ‘Hymnfest’ of Luther’s catechetical hymns with partnering congregations’ choirs, musicians and leaders April 2, 2017.
Joint Reformation service with other local congregations
Special classes, bulletin inserts, and worship services additions that focus on Luther and the Reformation.
Lenten worship services centered around “Quotes of Dr. Martin Luther.” Our Vacation Bible School will have the children journey back to the days of Luther; including major themes, costumes, videos, etc…most developed “in-house.” Will be showing Rick Steves videos on Germany and Luther.
Hosting a ‘Reformation Movie, Meal and Mixer’ special event in August.
Lenten Mid-Week Service focus on Luther’s Small Catechism, Annual Youth Show ‘Luther 500’ theme, Rally Day in August, and Faith Formation focus in September and August (Children and Adults curricula focused on Reformation and Lutheranism).
Reformation Youth Show, Small Catechism Lenten Worship Series, Ever-Reforming Class in the Fall.
Using the small catechism for a Lenten worship series. We have worship and faith formation events planned for the fall 2017. We hope to participate in a Reformation worship service with churches in our conference.
Representing the Reformation 500 Task Force.
Reading a portion of Luther’s Small Catechism before each weekend sermon for a period of three years. Celebrating our congregation’s 125th anniversary with a Reformation Hymn Fest and Compline on September 15 with Pr. Michael Costello, Kantor of Grace Lutheran in River Forest IL.
Our adult Sunday School classes are using the Ever-Reforming Reformation 500 study and we are planning a joint Reformation service in the fall with other Lutheran and Reformed churches in our area. Also for this year our Lenten theme dealt with an overview of Luther’s Small Catechism.
Lenten series on Luther’s Seven Marks of the Church. Adult Sunday School series on the Reformation and the reformers this Fall. Learning some of the lesser-known reformation hymns during worship.
We are using the Reformation 500 study materials for adult Sunday School classes.
Offering a weekly class using the Ever-Reforming Cross-Generational Study
Celebrate shared worship with conference congregations and a local community ecumenical worship service.
Banners and focus on prominent Lutherans in History, Lenten Catechism series.
Special Sunday School Study/Special Worship.
We are celebrating the 500th Anniversary by partnering with the Salisbury Symphony and Chorale to perform Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5 “Reformation.”
The Reformation 500 Task Force is happy to share a new choral piece by Dr. Paul Weber with your congregation. It is a setting of Romans 1:16-17 and includes a verse of Martin Luther’s first Christ-hymn, “Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice!” The anthem, “For I Am Not Ashamed,” is available below for download in two formats: choral and flute, and flute alone.
|The Luther Reading Challenge|
|ELCA News Story "ELCA looks ahead to 500th anniversary..."|
|ELCA Reformation 500|
|Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017|
Sign Up for R3 Bible Reading Program
Use this bulletin insert to publicize “Reformers Reading Romans” in your congregation.
The complete “Reformers Reading Romans” summer Bible reading plan.
Ever-Reforming: A Reformation 500 Cross-Generational Study is a curriculum with 44 weeks of study to be used with adults and youth. In addition to the curriculum, corresponding coloring pages are also available for download–one per session.
Updated: January 25, 2017
As an addition to the study, consider using Dr. Julius Carroll’s article “We Say that We Are Lutherans” to include the story of U.S. Virgin Islanders and Other African Americans within the ELCA. Dr. Carroll has retired to the NC Synod.