By Jeni Miller
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation may be over, but the Reformation’s impact is not. God’s people in Christ continue to celebrate what was rediscovered through the Reformation — namely, joy and freedom in the Gospel.
As the LCMS prepares for the 2019 convention, LCMS churches and schools are encouraged to join the celebration by reflecting on St. Paul’s instruction in 1 Thess. 5:16–24 to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.”
To that end, the LCMS has created free materials for congregations and schools to keep the conversation going about what it means to be “Joy:fully Lutheran.”
A simple, user-friendly website, joyfullylutheran.org, serves as a hub for many of these resources, including:
These are available to be reproduced and placed in worship bulletins, school backpacks or mailboxes/cubbies.
The insert is designed to fit on half a page, while the blurbs are short enough to be copied and pasted into the announcement section of a church’s bulletin.
There are currently 13 bulletin blurbs, enough to include one each week through the end of the calendar year.
An article is provided for church and school newsletters, and pastors are encouraged to use it to launch the theme of “Joy:fully Lutheran” in their congregation.
The article is available both as a customizable Word document and as an easily printable PDF.
A Bible study on 1 Thess. 5:16–24, with guides for both leaders and participants, may be used in a single session or over several weeks to consider what it means to be “Joy:fully Lutheran.”
Flyers and posters
Multiple flyers and posters have been designed that not only introduce the theme of “Joy:fully Lutheran” but also teach about the centrality of Christ in the lives of Lutherans.
Individuals have the option to download one of several “Joy:fully Lutheran” backgrounds to use on a phone or other device.
Social media shareables
Numerous shareables are available for individuals, congregations and schools to post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. There is also a special shareable just for LWML members.
Ideas for schools
Lutheran schools can celebrate being “Joy:fully Lutheran” by:
- Planning a “Joy:fully Lutheran” school week that focuses on the unique aspects of Lutheran education.
- Offering “Joy:fully Lutheran” T-shirts as part of a school fundraiser.
- Using the “Joy:fully Lutheran” blog stories to talk with students about how Lutheran Christians are joyfully engaging in works of mercy throughout the world.
Churches and schools are encouraged to visit joyfully lutheran.org for updates and additional materials.
Links to the “Joy:fully Lutheran” blog (joyfullylutheran.org/blog) may also be shared on social media and in newsletters or other communication.
Deaconess Jeni Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance writer and member of Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Atlanta.
Posted Oct. 4, 2018