Anniversary of the Reformation

Due to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, from October 2016 to October 2017 various events are going to be organized in Poland.

They will be of central, national, and local (parish) character. The head of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland, bishop Jerzy Samiec, appointed the Honorary Committee of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation which consists of: Abp Antje Jackelen, Bp Margot Käßmann, Bp Munib A. Younan, Bp Michael Bűnker, Abp Wojciech Polak, Abp Jeremiasz, Jerzy Buzek, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz and Krzysztof Penderecki.
 
The national celebrations will focus on few events. The jubilee will start on October 31, 2016, at 10.00 with a ceremonial service in the Jesus Church in Cieszyn. In June (15-18, 2017) in Ustroń, Wisła and Bielsko-Biała there will be held the Evangelical Church Days – the meeting of Lutherans from all over the country. This event will be accompanied by services, concerts, lectures, discussions, film screenings and fairs. The national celebrations of the Reformation jubilee will be ended with the service on October 31, 2017 in the church in Katowice.
 
The central celebrations will take place in October 26-29, 2017, in Warsaw. This is going to be a Reformation Weekend, and the program consists of e.g. scientific conference in the Christian Theology Academy, symposium in the Royal Castle in Warsaw, symphonic concert in the Warsaw Philharmonic, exhibition of antique books in the University of Warsaw Library and the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland prize giving ceremony. The Honorary Patronage of the central celebrations has been taken by the Polish President, Andrzej Duda. The celebrations in Warsaw will also have local ecumenical dimension, since they engage also the representatives of two Lutheran parishes, Evangelical Reformed parish and Evangelical Methodist parish who will prepare a common program for the citizens of Warsaw.
 
Celebrations in the Diocese of Cieszyn and Diocese of Katowice will have a special course, due to the fact that in September 2015, the Silesian Regional Assembly accepted the resolution of announcing the year of 2017 as the Year of the Reformation, and the resolution was passed unanimously. With reference to this resolution, on February 8, 2017, in Cieszyn a ceremonial session of the Silesian Regional Assembly, Poviat Council and the City Council of Cieszyn will take place. The following events will be organized in Katowice: 1st Evangelical Song Contest (June 10, 2017), 500 Years of the Reformation Conference in the Upper Silesia (September 26-30) and Reformation Gala with the concert of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, Zespół Pieśni i Tańca “Śląsk” with the Silesian Emeralds prizes giving (October 7, 2017). 
 
It should be also mentioned that two Polish cities, Cieszyn and Wrocław, have been mentioned among the European Cities of the Reformation. These cities will be visited by the Reformation bus (February 8 in Cieszyn and May 11 in Wrocław).
 
Celebrations in the Diocese of Masuria will be combined with the anniversary of the consecration of the church in Olsztyn (October 15, 2017) and in the Diocese of Pomerania and Greater Poland they will focus on the heritage of the Reformation in the Word, image and life. The following events are going to be organized: Reformation Congress in Gdańsk, Reformation concert in the Baltic Philharmonic, exhibition in the Sopot Museum and city game (May 18-21, 2017).  
 
In the Diocese of Warsaw, the main events will take place in Łódź and Lublin. The International Ecumenical Congress in the Catholic University of Lublin will be the culmination of celebrations (October 29-31, 2017).
 
Celebrations in the Diocese of Wrocław will consist of the exhibition of Lucas Cranach’s paintings in the National Museum, the Festival of Protestant Culture in the cooperation with the Evangelical School of Theology in Wrocław and music concerts (May 11-14, 2017). During these events, ceremonial services will also take place.
 
Moreover, the year 2017 will be the time of various jubilee initiatives, among which the following ones should be mentioned: Our History application (www.historia.luter2017.pl), three competitions – scientific, film and photography, emission of the collector coin by the Polish National Bank and occasional stamp of the Polish Post, publishing a guide about the Lutherans in Poland, creating the website with educational materials for schools, and youth project “I believe therefore I am”, participation in the international exhibition in Wittenberg.
 
More information concerning the jubilee can be found in the calendar on the website: luter2017.pl; they will be updated systematically. 

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