Reformation 500


On October 31, 2017, the world commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The event has past, but God’s reforming and transforming work continues. Therefore, we hope you will still benefit from the information below. This resource was first shared during the anniversary not as an all inclusive list, but as one we hope can help you on your way toward greater understanding and faith. Messiah Lutheran did not create any of the content. First off, enjoy this short news report on the history, impact and future of the Reformation from Religion News Weekly. (Many more informative videos and resources are listed below. Please be patient as the page loads.)

500 Years of Reformation Speaker Series
The sound of Martin Luther’s pounding hammer has resounded through these past five centuries, and continues to reverberate in the ears of the faithful, calling us back to the Gospel of God’s unmerited Grace given for us in his Son, Jesus Christ. (Messiah Lutheran, All Souls Episcopal and other Hanover County congregations are joining together to sponsor this special speaker series.)

Thursday, February 23, 7:00 pm
Location: Fork Church
Speaker: Dr. David Holmes
Mason Professor of Religious Studies, Emeritus, at the College of William and Mary

Topic: High Church, Low Church: Virginia Churchmanship & the Reformation

Thursday, March 30, 7:00 pm
Location: St Paul’s, Hanover
Speaker: The Rev. Dave Zahl
Co-author of Law And Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints)

Topic: Law and Grace, 500 Years Later: A Fresh Look at the Pastoral Ingenuity of the Reformation

Thursday, April 27, 7:00 pm
Location: Messiah Lutheran Church
Speaker: Joe Lenow, ABD
Doctoral candidate in Religion, University of Virginia

Topic: Counter Reformation: Five Myths about the Beginning of Protestantism

Thursday, May 25, 7:00 pm
Location: Church of Our Savior
Speaker: The Rev. Ben Shelton
Rector, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Culpeper, VA

Topic: The End of Scripture: Luther’s doctrine of scripture today


Thursday, September 7, 7:00 pm
Location: St Paul’s, Hanover
Speaker: The Rev. Dr Bob Prichard
The Arthur Lee Kinsolving Professor of Christianity in America and Instructor in Liturgy, Virginia Theological Seminary

Topic: What Luther Taught Us: His Influence on the English Reformation

Thursday, October 5, 7:00 pm
Location: Messiah Lutheran Church
Speaker: The Rev. Louis Florio
Pastor, Messiah Lutheran Church & Dean, Richmond Conference of the Virginia Synod, ELCA

Topic: Sinner-Saints All: The dark side of Martin Luther & the Reformation

Thursday, November 3 – Reformation Eucharist, 7:00 pm
Location: St. James the Less Episcopal Church
Preacher: The Rev. Nicholas Forti, Priest in Charge of the Fork Episcopal Church, Doswell

Beer & Hymns; Reformation Edition, August 31, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
A night of beer and hymns for the Richmond Conference of Virginia Synod, ELCA congregations at Strangeways Brewing in Richmond.

Reformation 500: The hymns of Martin Luther, September 10 at 3:00 pm
An organ and hymn festival sponsored by Epiphany Lutheran (Richmond)

Roanoke College Choir Concert, October 17 at 7:00 pm
A concert of choral music hosted by Epiphany Lutheran Church (Richmond)

Reformation 500 Festival Worship, October 29 at 10:00 am
All Souls Episcopal and Messiah Lutheran invite you to join them for a day 500 years in the making. Our special day will incorporate a combined choir, special activities, and festive worship. Pot luck luncheon follows.

Richmond Conference Sponsored Worship Event, November 1 at 7:00 pm
On All Saints Day, everyone is invited to Common Prayer: A Lutheran and Roman Catholic Worship Service, hosted at Epiphany Lutheran (Richmond) on behalf of the nine congregations in the Virginia Synod of the ELCA’s Richmond Conference. The service will be based upon the Lutheran World Federation/Roman Catholic Service in Malmo, Sweden. In addition, Lutheran and Roman Catholic youth are invited to gather for a pizza party and activities starting at 5:00 pm.

“With New Voices — The Small Catechism in the 21st Century.”
The following sermons were part of Messiah’s marking the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation (October 31, 1517). “With New Voices — The Small Catechism in the 21st Century” was an invitation to all congregations and members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to engage Luther’s Small Catechism in a new way. It was an invitation: 1) to hear the Lutheran witness of the Christian faith that we share from new voices — voices that perhaps we did not hear in our earlier faith experiences; and 2) to be renewed in our own voices as we join in the witness of the whole Christian community for the world.

June 18, 2017 – Baptism – Text: Acts 19:1-10

June 25, 2017 – the Lord’s Supper – Text: John 6:47-69

August 6, 2017 – First Article of the Creed (God, Our Father)

August 13, 2017 – Second Article of the Creed (God, the Son)

August 20, 2017 – Third Article of the Creed (God, the Spirit)

August 27, 2017 – The Lord’s Prayer

Lutheran – Anglican Lenten Reflections 
Consider using this new resource for Lent from the Anglican-Lutheran International Coordinating Committee. It was made to help commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation: Click here

The Lutheran Church in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia:
Where we’ve come from – Where we’re going
As we celebrate the 500th year Commemoration of the Reformation, our own Virginia Lutheran history can help us as we move forward as Christ’s Church in the 21st Century. Dr. Susan McArver, Professor of History and Educational Ministry Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, will help guide us to look for the ways God continues to Reform Christ’s Church.

You are invited! Saturday, March 18, 2017 from 1:30-3:00 PM at Grace Lutheran Church 500 S. Wayne Avenue Waynesboro, VA

500/300/175 Day of Celebration
Come celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the 300th anniversary of the oldest Lutheran congregation in Virginia, and the 175th anniversary of the Lutheran college of Virginia, Roanoke College. The Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, Bishop James Mauney of the Virginia Synod of the ELCA, and many rostered leaders of the Virginia Synod will be attending. Registration for lay people opens on Friday, April 7, on a first come basis. Space is limited. Cost: $20/person. Location: Mt. Hebron Lutheran, Madison, Virginia. Register at

What would Luther Do Today?
Elizabeth Eaton, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America applies Luther’s thoughts and writings to contemporary issues. Her video presentations are entitled:

  • Origins
  • Poverty and Ecumenism
  • Climate Change
  • Legacy

This course is ideal for those seeking to better understanding of how Lutheranism might address current affairs. This is an online class offered through

The European Reformation
Randolph-Macon College is pleased to present a five-part lecture series on the Reformation. The series kicked off on September 27, 2017 with “What We Owe to the Reformation.” The event is hosted at Brock Commons, Dollar Tree Community Room (304 Henry St.) starting at 7:00 pm each night. The series is free and open to the public. The Virginia Synod’s own, the Rev. David Delaney, speaks on October 30th! Learn more here.

Looking Back and Called Forward: ELCA 500
This special day-long event is being offered to help commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation on October 31, 2017. It will be a public witness to Christ, who frees us to love and serve our neighbor. We will commemorate 500 years of the Reformation and look to the future to which God is calling us. There is no charge to attend. Registration includes lunch and a short reception following worship. Online registration deadline: October 6, 2017 as space allows. There are plans to broadcast sections of the event over the internet.

Lutheran Church of the Reformation
212 East Capitol St NE
Washington, DC 20003

For more information or to register, visit here.

Lutheran World Federation (LWF) – Roman Catholic Dialog:

Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification by Faith (1999) – Find it here

From Conflict to Communion (2013)  – Download here

Declaration on the Way (2015)  – Download here

Joint statement on the occasion of the Joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration
of the Reformation (31 October 2016) – Find it here


Luther (2003)

Martin Luther (1953)

Additional “Reformation 500” Resources:

Best Lutheran Related Book List on – Find a good book, rate some, or add your own favorite(s) to the list: Find it here

Evangelical Church of Germany commemorative website (English version) –

Augsburg Fortress Publishers – Reformation 500 page

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) commemorative website –

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) commemorative website –

Wisconson Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) –

Luther Reading Challenge –

Lutheran World Federation 12th Assembly – Runs from May 10-May 16, 2017. Visit to learn all about it and follow its progress. They also have a Facebook page and Twitter account.

Road to the Reformation Facebook Page sponsored by Fortress press – Find it here

Luther 500 Festival (Germany) – Check out

PlayMobil Martin Luther – The fastest selling PlayMobil figure in history is available from Concordia Publishing and other sellers for $9.99.

Lutheran publishing houses – (sponsored by the ELCA) or (sponsored by the LCMS)

Shows/Videos of Interest:

Coming to PBS in 2017! – Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World

A Stephen McCaskell Film – Available April 21, 2017 at

From German Tourism: Martin Luther – 500 years of the Reformation (2017)

Rick Steve’s Martin Luther & the Reformation (2017)

PBS travel guru and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) member, Rick Steves, created a wonderful special for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. You can view this PBS special for free at Rick Steve’s website. Messiah will also offer several viewing parties in 2017, or catch it on your local PBS station.

From Christian History Institute: This Changed Everything (unk. date)

Available on Amazon video:

Torchlighters: The Martin Luther Story (2016; animated for youth)

Available on Amazon video:

From Lutheran Hour Ministries (2015) – A Man Named Martin Luther: The Man

From Lutheran Hour Ministries (2015) – A Man Named Martin Luther: The Moment

Reformation The Individual Before God – BBC’s History of Christianity Series (2009)

In the Footsteps of Martin Luther (2009, travel oriented video)

Available on Amazon video:

Martin Luther – PBS Empire Series, parts 1 & 2 (2002)

Opening the Doors to Luther with Rick Steves – ELCA’s Mosaic Productions (2001)

Katie Luther: The Morning Star of Wittenberg – ELCA’s Mosaic Productions (2001)

Academic Lectures & Miscelaneous Posts

From Northwestern University – Luther and the West (2017)

Watch the lectures here:

From Lutheran Quarterly – The Reformation 500 Years later (2016)

Dr. Timothy Wengert leads this discussion here:

Ecumenical Witness on the Eve of the Reformation Anniversary (2016)

Lecture series by R.C. Sproul from Ligonier Ministries (unk. yr.; Calvinist approach)

Available on Amazon video:

Women of the Reformation – 500 Jahre Reformation (2016) – Entire Playlist

Lecture 3.4: The Social Impact of the Protestant Reformation – Kelsey Johnson (2016)

“The Insanity of Luther” – R.C. Sproul

“Martin Luther a Racist Anti-Semite” – The Theology Q&A (2016)

Related to this topic, see: Declaration of the ELCA to Jewish Community (1994)

Ryan M. Reeves (PhD Cambridge) is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Less Orthodox Takes on Martin Luther:

Martin Luther and You! – Sparkhouse’s Colaborate curriculum (See Video 1 in playlist.)

What if the Reformation Never Happened – AlternateHistoryHub (2015)

Luther and the Protestant Reformation – Crash Course World History (2014)

Lutheran – Sparkhouse’s Re:Form curriculum (2011)

Luther Rap (2011)

95 Theses Rap – a Yale student project (2008)

The Reformation Polka (2007)