PLU 500th anniversary of the Reformation events

February 2017

Friday, Feb. 10 – 10:30 a.m. – Lower campus (corner of Park Ave. S. & 125th St. S.)

Throughout the world, Lutheran colleges and churches are planting Luthergartens (“Gardens”) with seeds or saplings from Wittenberg, Germany, or saplings native to one’s region in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran reform movement that gave birth to Lutheran education. PLU is opting to plant five trees native to our region, one for each of the four ELCA Pacific Northwest Synods that sponsor PLU, and one in honor of the university. Lutheran bishops from the Pacific Northwest synods will join university faculty, administrators and students in the planting.

The image of the Tree of Life appears in African, Christian, Jewish and Muslim artwork, as well as in the spiritual ethos of Western Washington native tribes who honor the yellow and red cedar. Follow this link to the Lutheran Studies lecture given by Dr. Gail Ramshaw, in which she discusses the Tree of Life in Jewish and Christian spirituality.

Sunday, Feb. 12 (Opening) – Scandinavian Cultural Center

Elisabeth Ward, director of the center, has prepared a narrative exhibit that traces the establishment of Lutheran schools from the Midwest to the West: the challenges educators faced, the cooperation they offered each other,and the distinctive dimensions of Lutheran education they provided. The exhibit can be viewed during regular hours when the center is open to the public.

Hours: Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 23 – 6 p.m. – Ingram 100

PLU Lecturer in Art Mare Blocker will use selected pages from the Saint John’s Bible to lead a workshop in practicing Visio Divina, a contemplative, repetitive, prayerful viewing of the illuminations on the page. This technique invites the participant to slow down and see the entire image. Workshop participants will identify symbols that represent the divine within themselves and use them to make collages, drawings and poems.

More information on this workshop is on the SOAC website.

March 2017

Wednesday, March 15 – 4 p.m. – Hauge 101

Fr. Eric Hollas, O.S.B, of Saint John’s Abbey, former director of the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library and first promoter of the Saint John’s Bible, will speak on the role of the artist as interpreter of Scripture: the artist as visual preacher of the Word of God. Fr. Hollas’ knowledge of the Saint John’s Bible and his engaging manner of discussing the illuminations’ interpretations of the text will provide an excellent opportunity for teachers, musicians, artists, and preachers to engage the Saint John’s Bible and use its images in their own settings. This event is free and open to the university and to the public.

Wednesday, March 15 – 8 p.m. – Lagerquist Concert Hall in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center

Members of the university’s choral and jazz groups will present Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Concerts.” Dr. Doug Oakman (PLU Religion as well as an expert in the music of Duke Ellington) will offer comments during the musical presentation. Illuminations from the Saint John’s Bible will be featured throughout the concert.

More information is available on the SOAC website.

April 2017

Sunday, April 2 (Opening) – Scandinavian Cultural Center

This exhibit, prepared by Dr. Elisabeth Ward (Scandinavian Cultural Center) and Dr. Michael Halvorson (PLU History) chronicles the emergence of the Lutheran reform movement in Germany and its expansion into the Nordic countries during the 16th and 17th centuries. The exhibit can be viewed during regular hours when the center is open to the public.

Hours: Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wednesday, April 19 – 7 p.m. – Scandinavian Cultural Center

Dr. Samuel Torvend, Professor of Religion, will complete his term as University Chair in Lutheran Studies in summer 2017. This presentation serves as his farewell lecture as University Chair (though he will continue to teach in the Department of Religion). His lecture will focus on the rarely researched topic of Nazi persecution of gay men from 1933 to 1945. Robert Oelbermann was a Lutheran naturalist; his imprisonment, torture, and death at the hands of the Nazi regime signifies the brutal repression of a sexual minority that once enjoyed considerable freedom throughout Germany. The lecture is free and open to the public.

June 2017

Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17 – Pacific Lutheran University

For the first time in many years, the Southwestern Washington Synod will hold its annual assembly at PLU. In addition to conducting its normal business, the assembly will feature PLU professors discussing the future of the Lutheran reform movement in the Pacific Northwest. And synod delegates will be able to search the campus for Marty’s Reformation Station with their smart phones.

August 2017

The Saint John’s Bible arrived at PLU in August 2016, to mark the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. In late summer 2017, we bid farewell to this extraordinary work of art. At the same time, we look forward to a new exhibit in the Mortvedt Library focused on the Luther Bible and other artifacts from the Library’s Archives and Special Collections and the University Art Collection.

September 2017

Monday, Sept. 11-Monday, Nov. 5 – Mortvedt Library

This exhibit will feature Luther’s German Bible, published in 1522 at the beginning of the Lutheran reformation, as well as other books, manuscripts, and artwork of the period. As The Economist and The New York Times have noted, Luther was a media pioneer who used every form of communication available and every art medium to promote a new vision of Christianity and its radical commitment to education for all persons. For more go to The New York Times’ “Long Before Twitter, Martin Luther Was a Media Pioneer.”

Thursday, Sept. 28 – Scandinavian Cultural Center

 Stay tuned for updates on this calendar for more information.

Thursday, Sept. 28 – 7 p.m. – Lagerquist Concert Hall in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center

Under the direction of Dr. David Cherwien, the National Lutheran Choir has become one of the top-ranked choral ensembles in North America. A center of musical excellence, PLU welcomes this distinguished choir as they present a concert marking the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. While tickets are free, they must be secured on the campus prior to the concert. Look for more information on the PLU website in August 2017.

October 2017

Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6 and 7 – Trinity Lutheran Church

This theatrical production, sponsored by the PLU German Department and Trinity Church Parkland, features the Holger Teschke play set in 16th century Germany. Teschke, of the Ernst Büsch School of the Theater Arts in Berlin, is the playwright and will be directing the acting ensemble. Look for more information on the overview of the play, the time, and ticket sales at the PLU website in September.

Tuesday, October 31

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther distributed a document to his faculty colleagues at the University of Wittenberg, a document with 95 theses that called into question the spiritual economy of the late medieval church and criticized the pope who sanctioned the sale of spiritual favors of dubious repute. For 500 years, Lutherans and other Protestant Christians have celebrated the beginning of the Reformation on this date.

PLU will mark this significant day in the history of Lutheran education with a variety of events on campus. Stay tuned for updates on this calendar for more information.

November 2017

Tuesday, Nov. 7 – Lagerquist Concert Hall in Mary Baker Russell

The PLU Religion Department sponsors this lecture in honor of two alumni, David and Marilyn Knutson. We welcome Dr. Ulrich Duchrow, Professor of Theology at the University of Heidelberg and leader of the international Radicalizing Reformation Project. The lecture is free and open to the public.