500 Years Since the Beginning of the Reformation - 500 Years Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ

CLTS releases translation in honour of 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

wittenberg-reformation-cover-webST. CATHARINES, Ontario – Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary has announced the publication of the first English translation of a significant sixteenth century Lutheran document.

The Wittenberg Reformation (1545) was written by Philipp Melanchthon at the behest of Elector John Frederick, in response to a request from Emperor Charles V that each estate should give an account of reformation in their territory. It was signed by Martin Luther and the other major Reformation leaders in Wittenberg, and serves as a commentary on the Augsburg Confession, explaining how it was to be put into practice. It appears here for the first time in English translation, by Rev. Dr. John R. Stephenson.

The translation is accompanied by “The Household of God: Observations on ‘Church’ in the New Testament and the City of Ephesus,” by Rev. Dr. Thomas M. Winger. This exegetical essay was presented to Lutheran Church–Canada’s (LCC) East District Pastors Conference in April 2016.

“Both writings are offered as a modest contribution to 500th anniversary festivities of the Lutheran Reformation,” an announcement of the book’s publication notes. “They are also timely as LCC enters into a restructuring process to be completed in the Reformation anniversary year. While God has not ordained a particular church structure, the Holy Scriptures and our Lutheran heritage have much to teach us as we put theology into practice.” 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

The book is available at the seminary bookstore for local customers ($11.95), as well as online via print-on-demand publishing ($9.95 + shipping): http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-r-stephenson-and-thomas-m-winger/the-wittenberg-reformation-1545/paperback/product-22711931.html.

Montreal begins commemorations of 500th anniversary of the Reformation

Working in l’Eglise luthérienne de l’Ascension’s Prayer Garden in Montreal.

Working in l’Eglise luthérienne de l’Ascension’s Prayer Garden in Montreal.

The Quiet Garden
Lord, thy call we answer. Take us in thy care.

Train us in thy garden, In thy work to share.

MONTREAL, Quebec – At the front corner of l’Eglise luthérienne de l’Ascension is the Prayer Garden—an ongoing project, begun in 2015 in view of the upcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The space builds on the idea of the Luthergarden in Wittenberg, Germany, a joint venture which sees Lutheran churches from around the world contribute 500 trees to plant there. That project is inspired by a quote attributed to Luther, “Even if I knew that the world were to collapse tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree today,” a message of hope and responsibility.

The Montreal garden, including an “apple tree,” is intended to provide a haven for reflection in the multi-ethnic diversity of the inner-city neighbourhood around the church. Open day and night, the small enclosed area has been gradually evolving with the participation of some 25 volunteers thus far. The garden is a spiritual oasis in the city—a place for passersby to find a quiet interlude for prayer and meditation. Everyone is welcome to enter into this restful and secure space. It is filled with life and growth and colour, reminders of God’s reassuring work in our world. Organizers hope visitors, friends and neighbours to the garden will find solace, serenity and the radiant presence of the risen Lord, who first appeared to His followers in a garden.


Rev. Dr. David Somers

LCC unveils logo for 2017 Reformation celebrations


CANADA – Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) has released its logo for 500th anniversary commemorations of the Reformation in 2017.

The logo was designed by Philip Prozenko as a gift to the church. Prozenko is chairman of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is also President and owner of AtlantexCreativeWorks, a company involved in the design and fabrication of exhibits, displays, and sculptures for museums, interpretative centres, and trade shows.

“I designed the Reformation wordmark in response to some of the literature and souvenirs that I had been seeing, which I didn’t feel reflected the significance and importance of this world-changing event,” Prozenko explains. “My design incorporates both the Luther Rose and the cross to reflect Martin Luther’s desire to return Christendom’s focus back to Christ crucified and that we, as sinners, are justified with God by grace alone, through faith alone, on the basis of Scripture alone.”

Even the font, he notes, echoes the German blackletter style in use at the time of the Reformation.

The logo is also available in French.

LCC’s Reformation 500 Committee is hard at work preparing resources for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. Rev. James Heinbuch serves as Chairman of the committee, which includes LCC members from a variety of backgrounds, including laity, churchworkers, the seminaries, and LCC auxiliaries. LCC congregations and members can expect to see the committee release a number of Reformation-themed resources in the months to come.

2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. October 31, 1517 is the day Martin Luther is traditionally believed to have first nailed the 95 Theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg—an event regularly associated with the beginning of the Reformation. Over the ensuing decades, Luther and other reformers called for the correction of certain abuses in the church at large, and a return to a theology and church practice more clearly grounded in the Scriptures. After their call to “Re-Form” the church was rejected by Roman Catholic authorities of the day, the movement gave birth to what we today call the Lutheran church.