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Engaging our Story

Welcome to the Rocky Mountain Synod resource page for the first phase of our synod’s celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation: Re•Formation: Engaging Our Story.

The following resources are presented so that the congregations and conferences of our synod can, in the Fall of 2016, focus on the honest telling of our heritage: the story of the Reformation, the story of the ELCA, and the story of each congregation.

Rather than present dry history exercises, our aim is to provide a variety of resources that offer a real engagement with our story – local, synodical, Churchwide, and global – that can be used in intergenerational settings with an eye toward faith formation.

This resource page will grow during the months leading up to Fall 2016 heritage events.  We invite you to help us grow the list!  If you have great ideas for others to know about, email them to Pastor Michael Tassler at pastormichaeltassler@gmail.com.

  • New! Consider using Select Learning's "Reformation Roots" video-and-discussion curriculum for your congregation's engagement with Lutheran and wider-Reformation heritage this fall.

select_learnings_reformation_roots.pdf

  • New! Use Appreciative Inquiry to have your congregation or conference "Engage Our Story." Do you like to listen to and tell stories? Stories that convey strengths, resources, and capabilities?  Would you like to share stories that help your congregation or conference realize new dreams and designs for the future?  Then check out:

appreciative_inquiry_for_engaging_our_story.pdf

  • New! Check out the faith formation work of Milestones Ministry (https://milestonesministry.org/) and download and share their free Reformation Anniversary Milestones Moment.

From Milestones Ministry: "As the church observes 500 years of the Reformation, the goal is not to remember an honored and distant past but to live the message of the Reformation in the present. The power of the word of God to save and transform lives is as important today as in Luther’s time. The intent of the Reformation Anniversary Milestone Moment is to assist congregations and homes to participate in the ongoing reformation of the church and outreach to a world still in need of God’s grace and mercy and peace."

Here's the Reformation Anniversary Milestones Moment: https://vfmmilestonesministry.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/07-reformation...

  • New!  Looking for a great way for your congregation to tell its story?  Check out:

telling_our_congregations_story.pdf

  • New! Spiritual Practice Activities for Congregations and Conferences 

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re-formation_spiritual_practice_activities.pdf

  • New! Pr. Kent Mueller reviews Augsburg Fortress' Reformation 500 Sourcebook:

The 500 Reformation Anniversary provides us the opportunity and framework to engage our history. All of us have our own story of family and "roots." The Reformation story is one to be told and treasured as Lutherans, but not necessarily celebrated.
 
As this resource says on the opening page, "No one will be giving congregations a blueprint for how they should observe this anniversary. Those choices will vary, depending on your context."
 
I attended the Churchwide Assembly and in the packet was included a copy of Reformation 500: Sourcebook. I had seen it advertised but hadn't had a copy in my hands. In the three parishes I served, I remember seeking new, relevant resources that translated well into the parish setting, and this resource is exactly that! Along with the book is a CD so you have easy access to use the resources. Here are a few of the highlights:
  • Worship ideas and alternate texts
  • Hymn and Song suggestions
  • Midweek Lenten Series based on Luther's small catechism
  • Resources, studies, and activities for children and adults
  • A Reformation Timeline
  • A series of "About the Lutherans" bulletin inserts
  • Resources for an eco-justice Reformation    

The book asks, "How will Lutherans observe this anniversary in ways that are forward-looking, outward-directed, and focused on the amazing mercy of God in Jesus Christ?"  That's a question for YOU to ask in your congregation, and this is an excellent resource for conversation and dialog.

--Kent Mueller

  • New! Do You Like to Color?

The North Carolina Synod of the ELCA is sharing a wonderful resource for celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation--“Ever-Reforming: A Reformation 500 Cross-Generational Study” with a great companion Coloring Book. People of all ages will love to color in these fun pages!

  • New! "Reformation: Nailed It!" Senior High Gathering at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp Coming!

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Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp will be hosting a Senior High Gathering the weekend of November 18-20, 2016. We have a theme and speaker selected. Daniel Bock will be leading us through the weekend, focusing on the theme of "Reformation: Nailed It!" Registration fees and details will be coming out by the first week in September. It will be a simple registration process with an online group form, and the weekend will consist of study, service, fun, and camp activities. More details coming.

  • New!  The RMS Youth Discipleship Team is planning a "Reformation on the Road" trip in the summer of 2017 for Senior Highs!  Hit the link for further information and to spread the word!   reformation_on_the_road.pdf
  • THESE ARE GREAT! 2016 Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly Videos

Members of the 2016 Synod Assembly in Loveland received a presentation from the Engaging Our Story Team. Videos were recorded at the assembly and edited to spur guided conversations at the tables. 

You can use these videos in the very same way they were used at the assembly. Watch the videos together and then engage your group in the questions regarding Lutheran identity and heritage.

To view the videos, click here.

  • Lutheran World Federation Resources

The LWF is a global communion of 145 churches in the Lutheran tradition, representing over 72 million Christians in 98 countries, striving to put faith into action within and beyond the communion, and seek God’s Word and Spirit to guide us.

As a communion, LWF is journeying towards the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in 2017.

LWF has developed a website devoted to the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  Explore myriad resources offered by LWF.

Here’s the link: Liberated By God's Grace: 500 Years of Reformation

  • ELCA Resources

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has created a website to help our wider church connect, discover, and share information about the 500th anniversary observance of the Lutheran Reformation.

To access a Calendar of Events, News Releases, various Featured Resources, and Social Media posts, visit the ELCA’s website, Freed and Renewed in Christ: 500 Years of God’s Grace in Action.

  • Augsburg Fortress Resources

Augsburg Fortress is launching a set of anniversary resources under the title: Reformation 500.With a release date set for June 15, 2016, Augsburg Fortress offers the Reformation 500 Sourcebook: Anniversary Resources for Congregations. In addition to this sourcebook, AF is offering another 124 resources in Reformation 500.You can pre-order the sourcebook now.

Here’s the link to the Reformation 500 page: Reformation 500

  • Companion Synod Resources

The Engaging Our Story Team is working in concert with the Companion Synod Committee to realize a fantastic engagement with our partners in the four companion synods in the Malagasy Lutheran Church of Madagascar.

In partnership with these companion synods, we will create resources that will enable folks in the Rocky Mountain Synod to better understand what it means to be Lutheran in Madagascar and to wonder and explore our common heritage.

Our vision is to create a “video catalogue” of various witnesses to being Lutheran in Madagascar and, we hope, create a real-time, face-to-face web-based conversation with our ministry partners in Madagascar.

Stay tuned for updates on this exciting endeavor!

 

 

 

Summary .pdf with links

Re•Formation in the Rocky Mountain Synod

Our theme is intended to highlight the 500th commemoration of the Reformation while also reminding us that the church is a place where we are formed (and re-formed) in faith, both as individuals, and as a community of disciples.  We will not only highlight the heritage by which our Lutheran perspective on the gospel has been shaped, but also focus on our commitment to church unity, especially with the Roman Catholic branch of the Christian family. Finally, we will explore what our Lutheran contribution to the life of the whole Body of Christ might be in this new century. Go to the Re•Formation home page.