In this synodical term, 2016-2018, Lutherans across Australia and New Zealand are being encouraged to focus creative energy on the church God is building.
This is the vision of 50.500 faith.freedom.future, a church-wide campaign launched at General Convention of Synod last year. The 50.500 initiative points back with thanks to God for his past blessings to us and to generations past, and also looks forward to how he will bless us in the future.
This year the LCA will recognise the 50th anniversary of church union, with celebrations likely to include worship events, a focus on the Longest Lutheran Lunch, as well as remembering local dates of significance. In 2017 the worldwide church will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, while 2018 will be a year for focusing on the future, with the 19th General Convention of Synod being held in that year. International, national and local events and initiatives are being planned, and LCA/NZ congregations and communities are invited to add more.
The 50.500 website will be launched in early May. Congregations and communities will be able to register events and activities, and use the ideas of others to inspire their own.
Major national 50.500 projects include a leadership program for young people; development of resources for congregations; and plans to ‘hear Indigenous voices’ as a way of increasing awareness and understanding among non-Indigenous Lutherans.
Watch out for the 50.500 logo, which identifies activities and events associated with the campaign. The first is the international Luther@500 Conference, organised and hosted by the Australian Lutheran Institute for Theology and Ethics (ALITE) to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.