How might your congregation observe Reformation 500?

October 31, 2017, will mark 500 years since the beginning of the Lutheran Reformation, spurred by Martin Luther’s posting of the Ninety-Five Theses. This is an important anniversary and one that deserves to be lifted up not just on a global scale—as it will be—but in your congregation and community as well.

Through several avenues, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Augsburg Fortress will be highlighting a wide range of ideas and possibilities from various sources with ways to mark and observe this milestone.

Reformation 500 Sourcebook: Anniversary Resources
for Congregations

As congregations plan the ways they will mark the Reformation’s 500th anniversary, this Reformation 500 Sourcebook will be an essential guide. The Sourcebook content is gathered into three main sections that focus on the areas of worship, education, and service. 


Within these covers you will find a treasury of ideas for planning worship services, education events, music festivals, service projects, and connections with other Christians. A CD-ROM of reproducible, customizable content is also included.

Who are the Lutherans and what are they all about, both historically and around the world today? Some of our most gifted pastors, scholars, and writers here offer a glimpse at Lutheran faith, worship, and mission. An online leader guide for use with groups will also be available.

Colorful studies telling about the Lutheran expression of Christianity in refreshing and unique ways—for children and for adults.

Dive Deeper into the Reformation Story 

Together by Grace: Introducing the Lutherans

The exciting story of Martin Luther, told through the eyes of his children Hans and Magda. This colorful, 88-page “comic book” is geared especially toward children ages 8 to 13, but will intrigue all ages. An online leader guide for use with groups will also be available.

Papa Luther: A Graphic Novel

Luther’s Small Catechism

At the Churchwide Assembly and Grace Gathering this August, ELCA members and congregations will be invited to engage Martin Luther’s catechisms in renewed study and conversation during the months leading up to October 31, 2017.

As part of the anniversary observance and this churchwide invitation, Augsburg Fortress is developing two new print editions and a mobile app of Luther’s Small Catechism.

Anniversary Study Edition

The English Small Catechism and Spanish El Catecismo Menor de Lutero are both included in a free mobile app. Content from the Study Edition is available as an in-app purchase.

A translation of Luther’s explanations along with other catechetical study helps, such as prayers, worship rites, and Luther’s introduction. NRSV and Evangelical Lutheran Worship texts are used for the wording of the Ten Commandments, Lord’s Prayer, Apostles’ Creed, and the included worship rites. The Anniversary Study Edition features a new cover design, a letter from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, and new illustrations by Roman Catholic artist Gertrud Mueller Nelson. 

Mobile App

Anniversary Pocket Edition

A translation of Luther’s explanations in a small paperback format. The Anniversary Pocket Edition features a new cover design, a letter from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, and the Evangelical Lutheran Worship version of the texts is used, as found in the appendix to the Pew Edition.

Ecumenical and Interfaith Study

Honoring Our Neighbor’s Faith: A Lutheran Perspective on Faith Traditions in America, Revised Edition

Resources to encourage conversations with other Christians and understanding of various faith traditions.

Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry, and Eucharist

Celebrates fifty years of international and regional Lutheran-Catholic dialogues and harvests the results of those efforts into Statements of Agreement on church, ministry, and eucharist. It invites both communions to affirm the unity achieved through these agreements and establish church practices that reflect this growth.

A rich ecumenical resource designed to help Catholic and Lutheran communities mark the approaching 500th anniversary of the Reformation. By gathering together to reflect on and discuss its contents, Christians will foster the church’s unity on a grassroots level and grow in their awareness of the ways that unity already exists. Discussion questions for each of the six chapter essays follow at the end of the book.

Hundreds of Christian denominations and dozens of non-Christian traditions have followers in the United States. How do we view this wide variety of beliefs and practices? How does the Lutheran tradition compare with others? Since its release in 1999, Honoring Our Neighbor’s Faith has been widely embraced as a valuable resource for congregational study or personal exploration around these questions.

One Hope: Re-Membering the Body of Christ

Reformation 500: Resources for Congregations

Download our new Reformation 500: Resources for Congregations brochure, which highlights the above resources from Augsburg Fortress, and more from our publishing partners at Sparkhouse and Fortress Press.

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