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).