The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Poland
The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Poland, together with other churches in the world, has been preparing to the 500th anniversary of Reformation. Not only Lutherans are engaged in the celebrations but also other Christians who find the idea of Reformation important.
On October 31st 1517 in Wittenberg, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther announced 95 theses against the selling of indulgences. Critics of the atonement practice in the late Medieval Ages was one of many appeals for reforming the Church, visible throughout the history.
The date October 31st 1517 is symbolical and becomes a part of the sequence of important events that have changed the world not only in the religious sphere, but also in the cultural, social, economic and political ones. However, religious revival was the main force of Reformers’ actions. Reformation had become the citizen of the world, quickly spreading outside Germany. It has been shaping Lutheran identity both in Europe and beyond.
Today there are about 80 million Lutherans in the world but also Anglicans/Episcopalians and members of Protestant denominations feel connected with the Lutheran heritage of the Reformation.
WHAT DO WE WANT TO CELEBRATE?
For the Lutherans, the 500th Anniversary of Reformation is the celebration of faith in Jesus Christ. It is also the opportunity to ask the question about today’s meaning of Reformation’s idea and our place in the Church and society.
Preparations for the 500th Anniversary is also the time of struggling with our own history and challenges of the ecumenical dialogue:
–500th Anniversary of Reformation is the time of thorough theological reflection, both in the personal and communion aspect. Our celebrations are going to be ecumenical, even though we differ from the Roman Catholic Church in our opinions on the meaning and development of Reformation.
–Remembering about Reformation, we want to go beyond the frames of history and ask Luther’s key question about a merciful God in the world in which both the Church and religion lose their meaning
–We don’t want to glorify Luther but present him as the engaged Christian and the reformer of the Church
–We want to take up difficult topics which are the part of Reformation’s history
–We want to express our gratitude to God for the gospel about justification of the sinner from grace though faith in Crucified and Resurrected Christ who is real present among us through Word and Sacraments
The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Poland has taken the initiative to create the website luter2017.pl/luter.pl. In the Year of Catechism (2014) the website received a modern layout and new logo which refers to Reformation as to the process of re-forming life.
There has been multimedia historical application OUR HISTORY created. It documents the Lutheran heritage on Polish lands. We plan to create a virtual map of the Lutheran monuments, including (non)existing churches, cemeteries, cantorates but also priceless prints, including the Holy Bible editions, songbooks and prayer books. The application, co-created by the internet users, will become a virtual museum of places partially forgotten and neglected. Moreover, it will be helpful to all the people looking for signs of Reformation in Poland.
Our aim is to promote the presence of Lutherans in Poland in the widest and the most intense way – both in the past and now. We have been working on the projects that support popularization of Reformation in Poland through competitions for scientific works in the area of history and Reformation’s output. We also plan to create modern multimedia materials concerning both the past and the present of the Lutheran Church in Poland.
We invite you to cooperation!