Pleased to have one resource shared by all
Bishop Susan Johnson, vice-president for the North American region of the Lutheran World Federation suggests numerous ways in which member churches can use the four Reformation booklets - Liberated by God’s Grace, Salvation - not for sale, Human Beings - not for sale, and Creation - not for sale.
I was very excited to receive the four booklets developed by the Lutheran World Federation that help explicate the theme and sub-themes of the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation and the upcoming LWF assembly.
The booklets help us reflect on core Lutheran theology while at the same time expressing the breadth of the contextual reality we experience within our communion of churches.
The booklets are organized as a series of essays, each essay ending with three questions for reflection. The booklets each conclude with a Bible study based on the theme. I can see these being useful for member churches in a variety of ways. As well as providing a ready-made resource for a variety of study groups, they could be used as the basis for clergy study conferences, provide content for presentations at church conventions, be used for dialogue with ecumenical partners, be the basis for a course at a school or seminary, provide theme and content for a youth gathering or retreat, or be used at regional or sub-regional gatherings.
The Bible studies could be used separately in a variety of settings.
With so many other different resources to choose from, why should we use these resources? For smaller churches, the booklets provide content for reflecting on the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation that they may not have the capacity to produce on their own. For all member churches, regardless of size, these resources help connect us across the LWF to all member churches. They help us develop a common understanding of our shared history and of our different contexts.
There is something exciting about thinking that while I use these resources in Canada they are being used in other churches around the world. Finally, using the same study resources will help us come together in assembly in Namibia in 2017 with more of a shared context. Please join me.
Bishop Susan Johnson is the national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and vice-president for the North American region of the Lutheran World Federation.