Current Focus of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF)
A sampling of what's going on in the larger church. For more details and other samples, check out 2017.lutheranworld.org.
The LWF is intentionally highlighting our ecumenical relations with a number of Christian traditions and what they have achieved together. We are encouraged to engage in worship, study, networking, action and celebration on all levels (locally, regionally and globally).
Reformation Booklets: Liberated by God's Grace
Liberated by God's Grace (the theme for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation) is linked to the doctrine of justification by faith,
which has also been called "the doctrine by which the church stands or falls". These booklets address the question "What is the role of Lutheran churches today?"
Salvation - Not for Sale -- salvation is God's free gift
Human Beings - Not for Sale -- every person is created in the image of God
Creation - Not for Sale -- the environment must be protected
Luthergarden - 500 Trees for Wittenberg
"Even if I knew the world were to collapse tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree today" (ascribed to Martin Luther). As a means of giving expression to the 500 years of Reformation, the "Luthergarten" has been established in Wittenberg on the grounds of the former town fortifications. Churches from all over the world and from all confessions are being invited to sponsor one of the 500 trees to be planted in Wittenberg, and at the same time to plant a corresponding tree in a place that is significant for their own church.
Reformation Day 2017 Liturgical Celebration
A virtual transmission of the Reformation Day celebrations from around the globe in a 24 hour sequence, including the ringing of the bells of the Stadkirche in Wittenberg.
From Conflict to Communion
There is a recent ecumenical resource "One Hope - Re-Membering the Body of Christ" designed to help mark the approaching 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.
The report of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity was released in 2013. This is the first attempt by Lutherans and Roman Catholics to describe jointly the history of the Reformation. Drawing upon this document, a joint liturgy is being developed for occasions where Lutherans and Roman Catholics will commemorate jointly the 500 years of Reformation. In 2017, Catholics and Lutherans will jointly look back on the event of the Reformation and reflect on 50 years of official worldwide ecumenical dialogue during which time the communion they share anew has continued to grow. This encourages Lutherans and Catholics to celebrate together the common witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet amidst this celebration, they will also have reason to experience the suffering caused by the division of the Church, and to look self-critically at themselves, not only throughout history, but also through today's realities. This Commission on Unity invites all Christians to study its report open-mindedly and critically, and to work along the path towards the full, visible unity of the Church.