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


Screenshot of the SolasAlive website.

ONLINE – Lutheran Hour Ministries – Canada has released “SolasAlive,” a series of three short videos you can use to on social media to share your faith with friends and family online.

These short, engaging, videos and companion webpages have been created for you to use on social media, to invite outside the Christian church to find out more about God and His plan of salvation for all.

Each of the three videos provides an unexpected take on traditional slogans of the Reformation: Grace Alone, Faith Alone, and Scripture Alone. Watch all the videos below:



Here are some ways you can participate in this outreach:

  • Like and Share the videos on Facebook
  • Use email, twitter, and other social media as well as word of mouth to promote the SolasAlive videos
  • Try sharing them on different days so you don’t overload your friends’ social media feeds
  • Put a link to SolasAlive.com on your personal or congregational web-site

When you like and share the videos on Facebook, you increase the chances others will find them. For more information go to www.LLL.ca and click on “Resources.”

Find out more about Solas Alive at www.SolasAlive.com. Follow LLL-Canada online at the Facebook pages for Lutheran Hour Ministries – Canada and Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada. And subscribe to LLL-Canada’s YouTube page here.

Help others learn of God’s message of Grace Alone, by Faith Alone, as revealed to us in Scripture Alone.


Snapshots from LCC’s Reformation Exhibit

WINNIPEG – Lutheran Church–Canada is currently holding Here I Stand, an exhibit commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation at its synodical office in Winnipeg (3074 Portage Avenue).

The event features a poster-series developed by leading German museums, in addition to numerous artifacts, including period books, statuettes and busts, coins and medals, models, artwork, music, film, and more. The event is open every day 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. from October 27 to November 5, 2017.

A 19th century statuette of Martin Luther, patterned after the memorial in Worms.

A facsimile of Bugenhagen’s Passion Harmony in front of a model of the Wartburg and a statuette of Martin Luther patterned after a memorial in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

A statuette of Martin Luther, patterned after the memorial in Eisleben.

A facsimile of a hand-painted edition of Luther’s 1534 Bible in the foreground, with woodcuts of Luther, Melanchthon, and Cranach the Elder in the background.

Busts of Melanchthon and Luther. Not pictured but also featured on the table are facsimile editions of The Augsburg Confession, The Small Catechism, and three of Luther’s most important early treatises: The Babylonian Captivity, The Freedom of a Christian, and To the Christian Nobility.

Coins and Medals commemorating the Reformation, ranging in date from 1730 to 2017.

A table featuring information on the Old Lutheran flight from persecution under the Prussian Union, with a copy of C.F.W. Walther’s homilies in the foreground. The table also features Reformation coins, medals, and notgeld. In the background, footage from a 1927 silent film on Luther’s life plays.

A 1737 edition of Scriver’s The Soul’s Treasure accompanies an explanation of Lutheran spirituality. Not pictured, but also featured on the table, is a 1699 edition of Gerhard’s Sacred Meditations.

A model of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Not pictured, but also featured in the exhibit, is a model of the Lutherhaus in Eisenach.

Wittenberg notgeld (“emergency money”) with woodcuts of Luther. Not pictured, but also featured in the exhibit, are three other sets of Notgeld.

Artwork by Kelly Klages commissioned by Lutheran Church–Canada to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The six-part series features artwork and an artist’s description on The 95 Theses, The Excommunication of Luther, The Diet of Worms, The Translation of the Bible, The Augsburg Confession, and Lutheranism after Luther.

The exhibit features a number of other pieces, and all pieces include informational text. Immerse yourself in Reformation history. Come face to face with Martin Luther and the world he shook through artwork, statuettes, models, period books, and more. Discover how the Gospel transformed the world 500 years ago—and how it continues to do so today. The story comes alive in this special event hosted by Lutheran Church–Canada.

More information on the exhibit is available here: “Winnipeg to host Reformation exhibit.”



Winnipeg to host Reformation Exhibit

WINNIPEG – Lutheran Church–Canada’s (LCC) national office in Winnipeg, Manitoba will host Here I Stand, a special exhibit commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, in late October and early November 2017.

Immerse yourself in Reformation history with #HereIStand, a poster series developed by leading German museums. Come face to face with Martin Luther and the world he shook through artwork, statuettes, models, period books, and more. Discover how the Gospel transformed the world 500 years ago—and how it continues to do so today. The story comes alive in this special event hosted by Lutheran Church–Canada.

The exhibit is open from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. each day at LCC’s national office (3074 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg) from October 27 to November 5, 2017. Admission is free, although donations are gratefully accepted. Visitors should note that viewing this exhibit involves taking stairs to the second floor.

The #HereIStand poster series was developed by Germany’s State Museum of Prehistory Halle, the Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt, the Deutsches Historiches Museum Berlin, and Foundation Schloss Friedenstein Gotha. LCC is grateful to Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada for sponsoring the printing of these posters for its Winnipeg exhibition.

For more information on the exhibit, contact LCC at 1-204-895-3433. For more information on the Reformation, visit www.reformation2017.ca.

To advertise the event in your congregation or community, download a promotional poster here.


Leader’s Guide for Luther Movie Showings

ONLINE – As congregations prepare for observances of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in October, some will likely be planning to watch a film adaption of Luther’s life. Many such congregations will turn to the 2003 film Luther starring Joseph Fiennes. Lutheran Church–Canada is pleased to provide a study guide that can be used to introduce the film and lead discussion following it. It can also be used for private reflection on the film.

The study guide was developed by Rev. Ted Giese, the award-winning film reviewer for The Canadian Lutheran, as well as Issues Etc. and KFUO. The guide comes in two parts: a presentation introducing the film to the audience as well as a leader’s discussion guide for after the film has been shown. A participant’s guide to follow along during the initial presentation is also available.

Congregations are reminded of the importance of respecting copyright law when it comes to the public presentation of films. Licensing for the 2003 film Luther is available in Canada from Audio Cine Films Inc. Churches can purchase annual licenses to show films, or they can submit a quote request for a single presentation license.


LCC releases Luther Liturgy for Reformation celebrations

CANADA – Lutheran Church–Canada has released a new “Luther Liturgy” service which congregations are invited to use as part of local celebrations of the five-hundredth anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.

The communion service celebrates the music of Martin Luther, and may be used at any time of the year during Reformation services. Congregations may wish to use it for October 29 or October 31 to coincide with Reformation Day observances. Alternately, the service can be used at another date of the congregation’s choosing.

“Luther once said: ‘The riches of music are so excellent and so precious that words fail me whenever I attempt to discuss and describe them,’ noted Rev. Paul Roggow, who planned out the Reformation-themed liturgy. “For Luther, music was ‘the greatest treasure in the world,’ second only to the Word of God.’ Let the church rejoice, during the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, in this great treasure of God—the music of Martin Luther.”

The festival communion service sets selections of the liturgy to music composed by Luther. The Gloria in Excelsis, for example, is set to A Mighty Fortress is Our God, while the Nunc Dimittis is set to the tune of Our Father, Who from Heav’n Above. The Alleluia is set to From Heaven Above to Earth I Come and the Agnus Dei is set to From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee. Other Reformation pieces appear in the service as well, with the closing hymn being Luther’s most famous composition: A Mighty Fortress is Our God.

The service incorporates material from Concordia Publishing House, which has graciously granted permission to LCC congregations to use the service throughout the Reformation anniversary in 2017. Congregations using the service must have the Lutheran Service Book in their pews.

Download the Luther Liturgy here.


Experience the story of the Reformation anew with free video series

ONLINE – Delve deeper into the story of the Reformation with A Man Named Martin, a free video-based Bible study series from Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM).

“In this Bible study, Luther’s life and times are examined through the lens of history, religion and theology,” notes promotional material for the series. “Expanding on commentary from Rev. Gregory Seltz, Speaker for The Lutheran Hour, numerous scholars add their expertise and perspective to render an illuminating portrait of the life of this extraordinary human being… A Man named Martin is a fresh and explorative look at an individual who, down through the centuries, has increased in importance and vitality to the Christian church.”

There are three segments in the video series: Part 1: The Man, Part 2: The Moment, and Part 3: The Movement. Part 1: The Man introduces viewers to the person of Martin Luther, a 15th century religious reformer from Germany who broke ranks with the Catholic Church. Part 2: The Moment examines the errant teachings and wayward traditions of the late medieval Church which sparked the Protestant Reformation, a theological overhaul set in motion by the publication of Luther’s 95 Theses. Part 3: The Movement traces how the Reformation transformed European society and eventually left a profound impression around the globe.

The three Parts are subsequently broken down into smaller sessions, providing enough video material for several weeks of group study in each Part. Alternately, viewers can enjoy each of the three Parts as a self-contained film.

You can watch the entire study of A Man Named Martin online for free on LHM’s website. See Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here. The website includes additional resources and links to complement each session.

You can also buy the series on DVD through the Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada. Each DVD comes with a discussion guide to help groups gain even more from these well-received documentary studies. Congregations looking for ways to share the story of the Reformation with the community around them can also purchase the LHM booklet A Treasure Revealed: Martin Luther and the Events of the Reformation (in English, French, and Spanish) as well as the booklet What Lutherans Believe (in English, French, and Chinese).


Free Online Course on Luther’s Life

ONLINE – Concordia Lutheran Seminary (CLS – Edmonton) has announced that its next Quest Course will focus on “Martin Luther’s Road to Reformation, 1483-1521” and be taught by Rev. Dr. John A. Maxfield. The free course is scheduled for Wednesday nights in October 2017, with live-streaming online for those unable to attend in person.

“What better way to celebrate the Reformation 500 anniversary than to learn about the man who started it all?” asks promotional material. “In this course we will examine Martin Luther’s life and the development of his theology from his birth in 1483 to the controversy that developed thirty-five years later after his posting of the Ninety-Five Theses on Indulgences on October 31, 1517 that initiated the Reformation.”

Classes will take place October 4, 11, 18, and 25 at Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Edmonton from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time, with live-streaming online occurring simultaneously. Video from the lectures will be made available online later for viewing after the event.

The breakdown of classes is as follows:

October 4: Church Life and Spirituality in Germany on the Eve of the Reformation / Luther’s Family, Upbringing, and Education

October 11: Life in a Monastery and Student of Theology/ Luther as Professor of Theology and Maturing Theologian

October 18: Luther’s “Reformation Discovery” of Justification by Faith—Early Developments and His Reflections as an Old Man/A Theologian of the Cross and the Beginnings of Reform

October 25: The Controversy over the 95 Theses and the Development of a Reformer/A Wild Boar in the Vineyard? The Road to Luther’s Stand at Worms

Course instructor Dr. Maxfield is an ordained pastor of Lutheran Church–Canada and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Concordia University of Edmonton. He teaches courses in the History of Christianity, Theology, and European History, specializing and publishing on the German Reformation and Luther Studies. Among other works, he is a contributor to the forthcoming Oxford Encyclopedia of Martin Luther, with an article on Martin Luther’s exposition of Old Testament texts.

Those interested in participating can do so either on campus or online (http://concordia.adobeconnect.com/quest). There is no cost to participate, but organizers ask people to register by email at admin@concordiasem.ab.ca or by phone at 1-780-484-1468 (ext. 225).


Free “Here I Stand” poster exhibition


ONLINE – Recognizing that many people are not able to travel to visit Reformation museums and displays in 2017, four German museum organizations along with three American partners have worked together to produce a free Reformation-themed exhibition that anyone can download and print for free—or, alternately, view online.

The exhibition “#HereIStand: Martin Luther, the Reformation and its Results” is a modular poster exhibition, meaning interested parties can print and display anywhere from 9 to 30 posters reflecting on the Reformation and its impact for today (posters are 84.1 x 59.4 cms in dimension).

“With modern, scientifically substantiated, and attractively designed information graphics, the exhibition shows the most important events in the history of the Reformation, and its effects up to the present,” promotional material explains. “Using the biography of Martin Luther as a starting point, insight is given into the time prior to the Reformation. The exhibition then directs its focus to the dynamics of the Reformation, which unfolded after Luther’s posting of his 95 theses against the sale of indulgences, and deals with central questions of the history of the Reformation: What was actually new about Luther’s theology? What happened in Wittenberg in 1517? How did the new teaching spread?”

In addition to posters, #HereIStand also includes large images of high-quality museum exhibits as well as a number of 3D-scanned items. These objects can be downloaded and printed out on a 3D printer (although related costs would likely require such printing to be made on a smaller scale).

Why not consider displaying the poster exhibit in your congregation as part of Reformation 2017 observances? Download the series for free at: www.here-i-stand.com/en/order. You will also find a promotional poster you can use to advertise the exhibition around your community.

If you are not interested in printing the poster series yourself, you can also check it out online: www.here-i-stand.com/en/exhibition.

Partners on the project include Germany’s State Museum of Prehistory Halle, the Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt, the Deutsches Historiches Museum Berlin, and Foundation Schloss Friedenstein Gotha. American partners include the Morgan Library and Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.


You can also download a series of posters with new art commissioned by Lutheran Church–Canada to commemorate the Reformation here.

Schedule your showing of new Luther film

Padraic Delany stars as reformer Martin Luther in Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World. (Image: Courtesy Boettcher+Trinklein Inc.)

Padraic Delany stars as reformer Martin Luther in Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World. (Image: Courtesy Boettcher+Trinklein Inc.)

The radical events, compelling personalities, and exciting drama of the Reformation are brought to life in Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World. This new full-length documentary features thrilling reenactments of the sixteenth-century events with commentary from leading church-history experts. The film, which was sponsored by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, is now available to schedule for a showing in your community.

The film features narration by Hugh Bonneville, best known for his acting on Downton Abbey. Pádraic Delaney, known for his work on television series The Tudors and movie The Wind that Shakes the Barley, portrays Martin Luther in the film. Producing the documentary are Emmy-nominated Lutheran filmmakers Steve Boettcher and Mike Trinklein. Among the many experts who appear in the movie is Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, President of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Showing the film is an excellent way to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in a local setting. Congregations have two options for setting up screening of the film, either by utilizing local theatre space or by showing the film in your church. Theatre options are limited to those available through partnership with Tugg, so this option is not available in many locations. Church showings are made available via DVD or Blue-ray through licensing. To set up theatre space, visit here. To set up a church showing, visit here (showings are also available for schools and libraries). Congregations are encouraged to work together in setting up a theatre showing for their city in order to ensure ticket sales reach minimum requirements.

[Update: One pastor has reported receiving an email from Tugg saying the film cannot be show in theatres in Canada. We are awaiting confirmation from Tugg on this matter.]

Publicity materials to promote the film are available here.

The film will air on PBS later in 2017.


Remembering the Reformation by preaching Luther’s sermons

Martin Luther (1520 engraving by Lucas Cranach the Elder).

Martin Luther (1520 engraving by Lucas Cranach the Elder).

CANADA – Throughout 2017, the East District of Lutheran Church–Canada is releasing abridged versions of some of Martin Luther’s sermons matched to various appointed Scripture readings from the three year lectionary, and encouraging congregations to use them as part of their own church services.

“Martin Luther’s sermons for the church year, called ‘postils,’ were among his most influential writings for both pastors and people alike,” notes promotional material for the series. Reading these abridged sermons of Luther is a fruitful way to observance the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the creators of the series explain, and is in keeping with the words of Hebrews: “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God” (Hebrews 13:7).

The sermons have been prepared by a team of six pastors throughout the East District, who have condensed each of the sermons from about an hour in length to 12-15 minutes.

The District has released a Luther sermon for March 5 (note that this sermon is unabridged and may need to be shortened before being preached). Following that, the series continues with regularly appointed, abridged sermons for April 9 (could be used any time in Lent); April 23; May 7; June 4; July 23; August 20; September 24; October 15; November 12; and December 31. (Some of these sermons have not yet been released. They will be made available to download from the District’s website as they become available; just visit the Calendar page, and select the designated date to find the download link).

A bulletin insert to announce the initiative is also available for congregational use.

Previous sermons for the series were also prepared for January 1 and February 12.