Luther: The Rock Opera

Before we know it, Reformation Day 2017 will be here.  Every year, it's a cause to stop and think about the transformation that began when a stormy monk uttered three words, "Here I Stand," and helped western society move from the Medieval to the Modern Age.  This year, the 500th Anniversary of the posting in Wittenberg of the 95 Theses by Martin Luther -- an act that preceded the three famous words but touched off the events that led to Luther's trial -- is one of the special 500's.  There are plenty more to come including the burning of the Papal Bull and of course the Diet of Worms, as in, Here I Stand.

In advance of Reformation Day this year, George and I completed work on Luther:The Rock Opera.  It's a series of 24 songs that can be sung back to back to tell the story of the start of the Reformation and the life of Martin Luther.  It's based on the graphic novel Luther, by Rich Melheim.  You can order a copy of the Rock Opera at www.luthertherockopera.com.  You can learn it in about three rehearsals, and with a friend or two, or a band, you can perform it for your congregation, camp, or community.  It's a memorable and enjoyable way to remember the highlights of the early years of the Reformation.  There are some more complicated versions of the Rock Opera(Stage Version and Small Stage Version) which include extra songs by the Faith Ink team in Minnesota for those who have a bit more time and want to make a real musical of it.

Once you try the Rock Opera and you know (and can sing by heart) all about Luther's frightening experience in the forest near Erfurt, his parents' opposition to his decision to enter the monastery, his time with the Augustinians, his travels to Rome, his teaching in Wittenberg, his posting of the 95 Theses, his back and forth with the Vatican, his theological breakthrough, his trial at Worms, his time at The Wartburg and so on, you can come see it all in person!

You've sung about The Wartburg, now come walk the halls.  You've sung about his posting the theses, now stand at the door and pray inside the Castle Church.  You've sung about his life in Wittenberg with Katie, now tour their home -- the largest Reformation museum in the world.  And while you are at it, have a ton of fun with your family and friends in and around the Luther sites of Germany.  And then, see the show at a historic location like the castle at Mansfeld.  All kinds of fun!  Let us know you are interested, and we will send details of the tour we call Luther For All The Ages, but you call also thin of as Luther:The Rock Opera Tour.

Check out the songs, music, background animations and slides along with ideas for promoting your show at www.luthertherockopera.com and look specifically for The Concert Version.

Luther500 Festival 2017 May and June

When my seven-year-old daughter turned to me while using modeling clay and said, "I am making a sculpture,  should I make Staupitz or Elector Frederick," I had the feeling that something about being around the City of the Reformation for a week was staying with her.  I knew that she and her four-year-old sister loved the Wittenberg zoo, the playgrounds, the treasure hunt through the home of Philip Melancthon, the period-clothes dressing up and role playing in Martin Luther's house, the printing-press practice, the Luther Rose creation, the Luther Rock Opera, the daily ice cream and the general Gemutlichkeit, but I was surprised that they'd also picked up on so many of the other players and the story in the Reformation drama.  And when I checked in with others at the Festival, they reported the same things: people had quite a lot of fun being blessed by a robot pastor (for real), with morning and evening prayers in the sacred and historic churches, music, museums, day trips, castles and Gemutlichkiet, but they also seemed to learn more about the Reformation than they'd remembered from catechism.  And that feels like a nice way to observe the 500th Anniversary of the start of the Reformation.  The work that Luther and his fellow reformers began, continues to this day as we are refreshed, revitalized and reformed. Plus, we made some cool bracelets, did a lot of bicycling, and enjoyed the Gemutlichkeit.

The 2017 Luther500 Festivals of May and June are in the history books. Three groups will join us in July and then another in October.  How fun.  Check out some of the photos, here if you like. And send your contact information if you'd like to learn about joining us for in 2018 or 2019 for Alpine Family Fun, for an all-ages Luther immersion based in Eisenach, The Luther500 Festival back in Wittenberg in 2020, or the rare and memorable Passion Plays of Sommersdorf (2018), Erl (2019) or Oberammergau (2020).

The Lutheran Backpackers Union

Be a part of the fastest growing union in the world of travel.  Get your rucksack, your ge-backe-pack, and get to Wittenberg in May of 2017 for the Luther500 Festival, "backpacker style."  Well, you don't really need a backpack, you just need to be willing to have a great time, soak in some history and fun, and make new friends.    You register as a single or a group of single traveler friends and stay in dormitory-style rooms.

It's super affordable as European trips go, but it's also jam packed with activities and chances to meet folks with similar interests.  The days are sandwiched by brief morning and evening prayer in the historic churches in Wittenberg, and throughout the days you can select from a wide variety of interest centers including recreation, history, art, lectures, service projects or day trips to The Wartburg Castle or Eisleben where Luther was born and died, or Erfurt where Luther was ordained at the Augustinian Monestery.

Spend time in Berlin as part of the Luther500 Festival.  Or, even better, keep that backpack on, get a train ticket and spend another week exploring since you've already crossed the ocean. When you get back to school in the fall or head out to work after your trip, you'll be changed. Your vision will be expanded, your horizon widened and your circle of friends enlarged.

Sign up on the Contact page and let me know you are interested in the Luther500 Festival "backpacker style" trip.  If we get enough folks signed up to fill a room, or fill a few rooms, we'll get your trip confirmed.  Hey, for that matter, recruit five friends, and fill one of the six-bed rooms with your own group of fellow travelers.

More to come....