By Kevin Armbrust
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has new, free materials available to help promote the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year in LCMS congregations and their communities.
“The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is indeed an opportunity for congregations to proclaim Christ in their communities,” said the Rev. Randall Golter, special assistant to the Synod president. “The Lutheran Reformation is a popular and current news story. People who typically pay no heed to the issues of religion and the Church are curious about Luther and the Reformation.”
“The media will present Luther in various ways, many of which will not reflect Luther’s theological focus,” Golter explained. “The congregations of the LCMS can add their voices to proclaim and teach the true message of the Reformation.”
“I’ve been reading lots of Luther,” he continued. “The issues haven’t changed: Is Jesus alone sufficient for our salvation? The Reformation answered that. So we must use every avenue possible to communicate this to others.
“The 500th Reformation anniversary is all about Jesus,” Golter said, echoing the Synod’s anniversary-observance theme, “It’s Still All About Jesus.”
“That’s reason enough to be aggressive in celebration and proclamation,” he said.
Golter added that the new materials will aid congregations as their members benefit from a review of the central teachings of the Reformation: including salvation by grace, through faith, because of Jesus; sola gratia, sola fide, sola Scriptura, solus Christus; Word and Sacraments; and the righteous will live by faith.
“This same message needs to be heard by those outside of the LCMS,” Golter said. “We are compelled to tell others of the Reformation. We simply can’t keep quiet.”
The kit of downloadable resources is expected to be available this month on the Synod’s Reformation-anniversary website at lutheranreformation.org/resources.
The resources may be customized to include the congregation’s name and contact information.
The resource kit will include:
- posters for use in the congregation and the community;
- a newspaper ad;
- a newspaper article about the anniversary;
- a newspaper op-ed article;
- a church newsletter article;
- a banner pattern;
- 12 half-page bulletin inserts;
- 12 copy-and-paste bulletin blurbs; and
- numerous social-media memes.
The new kit complements resources already available at lutheranreformation.org.
Luther film provides outreach opportunity
The new full-length feature film “Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World” premieres Feb. 15 in select locations around the country, including St. Louis.
Funded by a grant from Thrivent Financial, this entertaining new film brings to life the dramatic moments that shaped Luther, and examines the universal questions he wrestled with, like “Who am I?” “What is my purpose?” and “How do I get right with God?”
Several LCMS Reformation scholars and historians, including Synod President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, were involved in the production.
Thanks to a special distribution arrangement, any LCMS congregation or organization can host a screening at a movie theater in their community. Screenings are encouraged as a way to reach out to the community in celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
There is no cost to your congregation or organization to set up a screening, and the process is simple. To learn more about this exciting opportunity, visit newluthermovie.com/lcms.
Dr. Kevin Armbrust (firstname.lastname@example.org) is manager of Editorial Services with LCMS Communications.
Posted January 6, 2017