Communications - "from Gutenberg to Google" - will be an important factor in 2017 when churches celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, according to a committee that is guiding the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in marking the event.
At its first meeting in Budapest, Hungary from Nov. 14/15, the "Luther 2017: 500 Years of Reformation" group also identified leadership formation and the central role of worship as crucial issues, according to a news release from the Geneva-based LWF.
The committee said the use of new information technology will be essential, especially in engaging young people in the different activities planned by LWF member churches throughout the world.
Reviewing plans already underway in member churches and theological institutions, the committee affirmed the wide range of activities and noted that these ideas would help to inspire others. Hungarian animator Zsolt Richly introduced his project on the life and witness of Martin Luther, which may become available in other languages, the LWF said.
The committee reflected on the marks already identified in planning 2017: to attend to the Reformation movement as a global citizen; to be ecumenically engaged and accountable; and to look forward to ways in which churches of the Reformation are still "in reformation."
In terms of ecumenical relations, the group asked the LWF general secretary to confer with a range of ecumenical partners about the meaning of 2017 in their own contexts and to make recommendations for ways they could collaborate in planning for 2017.
The committee will continue its work electronically, and will meet again in 2013.
--Nov. 21, 2011