Events to mark Reformation’s 500th anniversary

MWC's Renewal 2027 decade begins in Germany

Dec 27, 2016 by

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The Reformation rocked the Western church 500 years ago as successive groups discovered new things about God through Scripture and separated from the Roman Catholic church.

Martin Luther: He shook the foundations of Christendom in 1517. — Religion News Service

Martin Luther: He shook the foundations of Christendom in 1517. — Religion News Service

The Mennonite World Conference global family will commemorate Anabaptism’s role in that period of cultural and religious change with a 10-year series of events, beginning next month, called Renewal 2027.

“Renewal 2027 will be a celebration of a historical tradition that has now found expression in many different cultural settings around the world,” said John Roth, secretary of the MWC Faith and Life Commission and Renewal 2027 organizer.

“We hope that the events will strengthen our identity by engaging conversations — especially with young people, lay church members and ecumenical friends — that reflect on what it means to be Anabaptist today in the global church, while also being in fellowship with the broader Christian church.”

Each year, an event will take place in a different region, following the locations of MWC executive committee and General Council meetings and assemblies. A theme will be chosen in conversation with global partners.

Local planning committees will infuse each event with their own their culture, tradition and history. Speakers from all five regions and ecumenical guests will represent the global nature of Anabaptist belief and Christian witness in the world today.

The first event, “Transformed by the Word: Reading the Bible in Anabaptist Perspectives,” is set for Feb. 12 in Augsburg, Germany, coinciding with the year and country of the start of the Reformation.

The 2018 event, focused on the Holy Spirit, will take place in Kenya alongside the MWC General Council meeting.

Renewal 2027 commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Schleitheim Confession and the first Anabaptist mission conference — the Martyrs’ Synod in Augsburg — and celebrates the globalization of the Anabaptist-Mennonite movement by culminating with the 2027 MWC assembly.

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