The 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in 2017 is an opportunity for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to bear witness to the hope and joy we have through Jesus Christ. In the years leading up to 2017, all ELCA members were encouraged to plan and participate in activities that prepare for this milestone anniversary. These activities allow us to give thanks for the gospel’s power to free, renew and unite all creation in Christ. At the same time, it provides an opportunity to emphasize the continuing work of reconciliation in the Christian church with our ecumenical partners.
The primary purpose of this grant program is to encourage and support initiatives by congregations, synods and other institutional expressions of the ELCA that observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation message, including particularly the life of faith as a “living, daring confidence in God’s grace” that finds expression in liberated service to others. Local, regional and national activities that promote a wider understanding of and participation in this Reformation witness are eligible for funds made available through a generous grant to the ELCA from Thrivent Financial.
The ELCA Reformation Anniversary Grant Program, drawn from the Thrivent Financial Foundation Reformation Anniversary Grant, awarded 19 grants to assist with 500th anniversary observances. Support has gone to those who seek to promote a wider understanding of the Reformation message and its significance for faith and life in the 21st century.
Grant recipients include 11 ELCA congregations and eight ELCA synods. Projects include a variety of musical events, efforts to pursue and build upon ecumenical relations, social media and story-telling initiatives as well as varying approaches to engaging Luther’s teachings on service and vocation through community engagement, and much more.