ALPB gauging interest in anniversary medals

The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau (ALPB) would like to hear from those interested in buying a series of nine commemorative medallions it plans to offer “to begin a countdown of the years to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017,” according to an ALPB press release.medals-1.gif

Established in 1914, the ALPB “is a non-profit organization independent of official church control, linked by faith and confession to the Church it serves,” as stated on the ALPB’s website.

Rev. Scott Blazek, an artist and pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, an LCMS congregation in Clovis, N.M., is providing initial designs for the medallions.

The release indicates that ALPB would like to hear from “Lutheran congregations, pastors, teachers and lay members … to indicate if there is enough interest in sufficient quantities of the medals for the project to proceed further.”

Rev. Frederick Schumacher, the ALPB’s executive director, told Reporter that depending on the amount of interest shown, the first two of the nine planned medals could be offered and struck as early as mid-2011.  He said that the next two medals would be issued in 2012 and that for each of the five following years, one other medal would be struck.

The nine medallions would measure 1-1/2 inches in diameter, and would be offered in the following metals:

* Gold anodized aluminum “for distribution to children in Sunday and church schools and adult members and visitors … to help encourage interest and study of the life of Martin Luther and the Reformation among the children as well as adults,” the release suggests. They would be $1 each, in bags of 25 for $20, or bags of 100 for $75.

* Antique bronze and .999 silver “for collectors of medals of Luther and the Reformation.” Bronze medals would cost $18 each.  A price for the silver medal will be determined later.

The two medallion designs planned for 2011 feature relief images of Luther in the lightning storm of 1505 and the Erfurt monastery where he became a monk. The obverse of each medal would focus on Luther facing left (from a painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder) toward an image related to the art on the reverse side.

Other medals planned in the series would depict and commemorate Luther traveling to Rome (1510-11), Luther receiving the Doctor of Theology degree (1512), his experience in the tower (1513), Frederick the Wise blocking Tetzel from Saxony (1514), the 600th anniversary of Jan Hus’s martyrdom (1415), Charles V becoming King of Spain (1516), and Luther posting the 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church (1517).

The news release also indicates that plans call for “an informative pamphlet on each issue” to accompany filled orders of medallions, and that a holder for the nine medals would later be made available.

To express interest in the project and indicate possible orders, go to, follow the link titled “Martin Luther Medal Countdown Project,” fill out the form at the bottom of the page and return it online by Jan. 5. Or, contact Schumacher by that date via e-mail at or call 914-720-0178.

Posted Oct. 6, 2010

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