Starting in March, WELS congregations can host local theater screenings of the new Martin Luther film A Return to Grace: Luther’s Life and Legacy in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. 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 for Lutherans made it possible to produce the movie.
“Hosting a screening is a great way for your congregation to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation—simultaneously edifying your members and creating a memorable impression in the broader community,” says Lee Hitter, WELS director of communications. “Plus a movie screening is the perfect outreach opportunity—a chance to invite friends and neighbors to a fun event that also communicates Luther’s message.”
WELS has partnered with a company called Tugg that will work with local theaters to secure screening times and ensure the movie is ready to play on congregations’ chosen dates. Congregations then just need to promote the special event to members and friends; tickets can be purchased through a personalized event page for that specific screening. As “hosts” of a screening, the pastor or a congregation member also will have the opportunity to welcome guests and introduce the movie and have a question and answer period at the end of the screening.
“The process is simple, and there are tools available to guide you through it and help you promote the event in your congregation and community,” says Hitter.
Northwestern Publishing House is producing resources based on the movie that will help congregations and schools dig deeper into their Lutheran heritage as well as reach out in their communities.
● A Return to Grace four-week Bible study that will use film segments to help viewers explore the life, times, and importance of Martin Luther. Available early summer.
● “Reformation: Grace, Faith, Scripture” film vignettes and Bible study resources. These 12 three- to four-minute vignettes will highlight the important truths of the Reformation. Both a five-minute and a full-length Bible study will be available to use with these vignettes. Available early summer.
● A children’s version of A Return to Grace as well as a curriculum of classroom activities to go with the film. Available in fall.
Learn more about hosting a movie screening at wels.net/reformation500/luther-film/host-a-screening/. Discover other Reformation 500 products available at Northwestern Publishing House at wels.net/reformation500.
Community outreach events
The Commission on Evangelism and the Board for Home Missions are preparing materials for four Reformation 500 outreach events for congregations. The goal is for congregations to invite their prospects and neighbors to visit a worship service and learn the importance of the Bible’s teachings.
The suggested dates and emphases are: Nov. 5: Scripture Alone; Nov. 26: Christ Alone; Dec. 17: Grace Alone; and Jan. 7, 2018: Faith Alone.
Special worship resources as well as promotional and follow-up materials will be available early summer.
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Volume 104, Number 3
Issue: March 2017
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