Reformation 500th

With the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, a lot is happening in and around our synod. Below you can find a list of events happening as well as resources to plan your own commemoration.


Events Commemorating the Reformation



Looking Back & Called Forward: ELCA 500

October 31: Please plan to join ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton on Tuesday, Oct. 31, as she co-hosts a commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.


The event, which will include speakers and a service, will be at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Bishop Eaton will be joined by co-hosts Indiana-Kentucky Synod Bishop Bill Gafkjen, ELCA Vice President Bill Horne and Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod Bishop Richard Graham.


The event, which will meet under the theme “Looking Back and Called Forward,” will be available online via livestream for all to watch. The livestream link is:



Martin Luther On Trial

November 11 & 12: The new play Martin Luther on Trialimagines a provocative courtroom drama where the German professor of theology must take the stand in defense of his religious and political controversies. Aided by his beloved wife Katrina, Luther is up against a wicked prosecutor -- who happens to be the Devil himself -- and a witness lineup that consists of Adolf Hitler, Sigmund Freud, Martin Luther King Jr. and Pope Francis. Catch the verdict when Martin Luther On Trial brings its witty and incisive examination to the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis. Tickets & more information.


The Unfinished Business of the Reformation: Luther’s Overlooked Proposal for House Churches

November 18: A conference will be held to engage with Martin Luther’s overlooked proposal for home-based, lay-led faith communities. Participants will discuss advantages and risks associated with such communities, consider historical and contemporary examples, and assess whether or not the time is right to act on the proposal. The Rev. Tim Thompson is organizing the conference. More information at


Lutheran-Catholic Service of Common Prayer

On Saturday, January 20, 2018, Lutherans & Catholics will join together in prayer and worship at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis. Details are forthcoming.




ELCA's Freed & Renewed in Christ: 500 Years of God's Grace in Action

From "'Freed and Renewed in Christ' will be the theme used by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's churchwide organization in its observance of the 500th anniversary of the evangelical Lutheran Reformation that began with the Ninety-Five Theses that Martin Luther first made public on October 31, 1517."

To learn more about events, resources, and partnerships happening through the Freed & Renewed in Christ campaign, visit


Lutheran World Federation: Liberated by God's Grace

From "'Liberated by God’s Grace' is the main theme of our celebrations surrounding the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. All our celebrations, worship, study and engagement over the next three years will focus on how the gracious love of God, through the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, opens up opportunities for us as faithful Christians to reach out as healers and reconcilers to a world torn apart by strife and inequality."

To learn more about the resources available to you through Lutheran World Federation, visit


Lutheran World Federation: Joint Common Prayer

From LWF: "The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU), in cooperation with a group of noted theologians, have jointly developed a Common Prayer to mark the 500 years of the Reformation in 2017. The liturgical materials offer suggestions on how Catholic and Lutherans should preside and read together at a common prayer service. Examples are provided of hymns and songs from a variety of multicultural contexts, as well as biblical and confessional readings that reflect mutual joy and repentance, and the desire to serve and witness to the world together."

These liturgical materials are available for download in English, Spanish, French, German, & Dutch at


Rick Steves' "Luther and the Reformation" Travel Documentary

From ELCA: For years, Rick Steves has had his sights on 2017. As the 500th anniversary of the Reformation approached, the travel guide knew he wanted to create for his popular PBS series a special devoted to Martin Luther and the ways in which his tumultuous time helped lead to the Modern Age.

With "Luther and the Reformation", Steves set about crafting a documentary that highlighted the historic, economic, and social context of the Reformation. His goal was to produce a special that could be used as a resource for congregations and have wider appeal for TV audiences.

Steves' "Luther and the Reformation" is airing throughout 2017. It's also available to watch online at, along with resources for hosting congregational screenings of the film.