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What new resources are available related to the 500th anniversary?

February 17th, 2016 by Beth A. Lewis

If you hang out in Lutheran circles much, you know that 2017 will be the 500th anniversary of the date largely regarded by church historians as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation because it was in 1517 that Martin Luther (or his delegate) posted the 95 Theses on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg.


As congregations, synods, campus ministry leaders and others are beginning to consider how to use this anniversary as an opportunity for commemoration, building bridges with ecumenical and interfaith partners in ministry, teaching and learning, I often hear a question similar to the one in the title of this post: “What new resources are available related to the 500th anniversary?”  Here is a bit of information to provide you with some answers to that question.

Small Catechism

We are planning print and digital anniversary editions of Luther’s Small Catechism, both the Pocket Edition and Study Edition, with availability in time for the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August.


While confirmation isn’t strictly about the 500th anniversary, CoLABorate, our fast-selling new Lutheran confirmation curriculum from sparkhouse uses print leader and learner resources combined with humorous original animated videos to teach youth (and adults) about Martin Luther and Lutheran doctrine along with a traditional scope and sequence regarding the Bible. Users of this curriculum might want to consider pulling out a pertinent session or two or more for an intergenerational 500th anniversary teaching and learning event.

Anniversary Resources

Reformation 500 Sourcebook: Anniversary Resources for Congregations will be available in June 2016. Included will be a variety of ideas for worship services, learning experiences, music and visual arts, service projects, connections with other Christians, and communication strategies. A CD-ROM of reproducible, customizable content is also included. You may Pre-order and download/view a sampler with this link.

Also, colorful children’s and adult studies about the Lutheran expression of Christianity are in preparation, with availability in time for the ELCA Churchwide Assembly.

In 2015, we published Resilient Reformer: The Life and Thought of Martin Luther, a wonderful new biography started by the late Dr. Tim Lull and completed by Dr. Derek Nelson. And, for youth (or adults who want a fun read), we have recently published an entertaining and educational novel, When Lightening Struck! The Story of Martin Luther.

Reference Resources

Whether for your personal collection, your congregational library or for others with a passion for learning about Martin Luther and the Reformation, my Fortress Press colleagues are publishing a wonderful new six-volume series, The Annotated Luther. If you sign up for a standing order for the series, you’ll receive a 30% discount.

Another of my favorite resources is our recently published Atlas of the European ReformationsMy husband and I took a copy with us in October on a reformation study tour along the Elbe River from Prague to Berlin and it was well-used by the members of our group by the time we returned home! (Plus, several of them said they would be ordering it as soon as they got home!)

Learn More

Here’s a signup link to receive more information about Reformation 500 resources: Here is a summary of some of these resources in this email that was sent out yesterday to those who have signed up for information about Reformation 500 resources we are publishing.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!




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Beth A. Lewis, President & CEO Augsburg Fortress

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