Luther’s Small Catechism
At the Churchwide Assembly and Grace Gathering this August, ELCA members and congregations were invited to engage Martin Luther’s catechisms in renewed study and conversation during the months leading up to October 31, 2017. As part of the anniversary observance and this churchwide invitation, Augsburg Fortress has developed two new print editions and a mobile app of Luther’s Small Catechism.
Two Ways to Have This:
Anniversary Study Edition
The English Small Catechism and Spanish El Catecismo Menor de Lutero are both included in a free mobile app. Content from the Study Edition is available as an in-app purchase. A translation of Luther’s explanations along with other catechetical study helps, such as prayers, worship rites, and Luther’s introduction. NRSV and Evangelical Lutheran Worship texts are used for the wording of the Ten Commandments, Lord’s Prayer, Apostles’ Creed, and the included worship rites. The Anniversary Study Edition features a new cover design, a letter from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, and new illustrations by Roman Catholic artist Gertrud Mueller Nelson. Available at AugusburgFortress.org
Luther’s Small Catechism and Spanish El Catecismo Menor de Lutero are both included in a free mobile app, available from the Apple iOS App Store and on Google Play. Content from the Study Edition is also available as an in-app purchase. Search “Catechism” in the Apple or Google app stores, or download through one of the app buttons below.
What is this Declaration on the Way?
This is a unique ecumenical text that draws on 50 years of Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in preparation for the 500th Reformation anniversary coming in 2017. Major sources are dialogues at the global level. But, as happened in the formation of the 1999 Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, there’s mutual reinforcement between global and more local conversations, including those in the U.S.
The heart of the Declaration is the Statement of Agreements. On church, ministry and Eucharist, the Declaration draws together a litany of 32 consensus statements, where Catholics and Lutherans already have said there are not church-dividing differences between them. An elaboration of these agreements grounds them in the dialogues’ work. Finally, a more tentative section identifies some “remaining differences” – not intending to be comprehensive but suggesting some ways forward.
In October 2015 the Statement of Agreements was unanimously affirmed by the ELCA Conference of Bishops, which requested the Church Council also accept them and forward the Declaration to the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly for reception. The text has been shared with The Lutheran World Federation.
We are liberated by God’s grace. These words go to the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to the soul of the Lutheran Reformation. They are linked to Luther’s key insight that helped trigger the Reformation – Christians attain salvation only by the grace of God. We call this justification by faith alone.
“Liberated by God’s Grace” is the main theme of our celebrations surrounding the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. It will also be the theme of the 2017 Assembly of The Lutheran World Federation in Windhoek, Namibia. All our celebrations, worship, study and engagement over the next three years will focus on how the gracious love of God, through the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, opens up opportunities for us as faithful Christians to reach out as healers and reconcilers to a world torn apart by strife and inequality.
We want to engage you in dialogue. We are asking – liberated by God’s grace, from what? For what? Your response will reflect the reality of life where you live, but we believe we are called to be responsible citizens in God’s world and good steward’s of God’s creation. We are freed by the grace of God to engage in this Christian ministry.– Lutheran World Federation
From Conflict to Communion, the report of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity, released in 2013, marks the first attempt by the two traditions to jointly trace the Reformation history. It will help start ecumenical discussions around the beginnings of the Reformation in local settings.