Delegates view new Luther film

Delegates enjoyed a special screening of the popular Martin Luther film, A Return to Grace: Luther’s Life and Legacy, Wednesday evening.

Produced by Boettcher+Trinklein Television Inc., this full-length film explores the life of Martin Luther and his quest for truth, bringing to life the 16th-century events of the Reformation. Funding from Thrivent Financial made it possible to produce the movie. Since February, at least one thousand WELS churches and others around the country have hosted local screenings of the film, making A Return to Grace the #1 movie distributed by Tugg in 2017.

Mr. Danny Wehmeyer, a lay delegate from Good Shepherd, Deltona, Fla., appreciated seeing all the scholars share insights on Luther, as well as the strong emphasis on grace seen in the movie. “To understand the man [Luther] and how he literally changed Christianity and to understand that it really is grace from God—it’s like the biggest weight of the world off of everybody’s shoulders once they understand it,” he says.

A question and answer session with the film’s executive producer, Mr. Steve Boettcher, and author of the companion book Luther’s Protest, Rev. John Braun, followed the screening.

Boettcher shared how one mission congregation in Michigan that normally has 40 to 50 people in worship had more than 150 people come to the movie—providing a whole new set of prospects.

At the session, Boettcher also announced that a version of the film will be airing on PBS at 7 p.m. CT, Sept. 12. Three hundred sixty PBS stations across the United States will show the film. The film will also be shown throughout Canada by the Canadian Broadcasting Company. Marcus Cinemas also will be hosting screenings of the film in October at 50 theaters across eight states.

Congregations and WELS organizations are continuing to use the movie as an outreach tool. One hundred congregations have screenings planned in September and October. St. Paul and St. John, congregations in New Ulm, Minn., have already shown the film to a sold-out theater in New Ulm. The congregations plan to host another screening for their members and then partner with Martin Luther College (MLC) in New Ulm to host a screening on MLC’s campus for the local community.

Congregations still can host local screenings of the film. Find out how at wels.net/reformation500.