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PRESS RELEASE NO. 07
Debuts at Lutheran Gathering
Luther: The Reformer" to Tour North America
WINNIPEG, Canada, 22 July 2003 - From the
modern halls of the Winnipeg Convention Centre into the German
Reformation world of Martin and Katherine Luther, one steps back in
time 500 years upon entering a remarkable traveling exhibition of
Martin Luther memorabilia that was unveiled July 22 at the Tenth
Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). The exhibit is titled,
"Martin Luther: The Reformer."
representative of the German Ambassador to Canada, officially opened
the exhibition from the floor of the assembly, welcoming
participants to "Lutherís front door" in Wittenberg. She
spoke of Lutherís conviction that Christians should be empowered
by the gospel to bring about healing in the world through political
as well as religious institutions.
The 820 participants in
the Assembly will have a full ten days to browse through more than
100 books, manuscripts, illustrations, paintings and other documents
recording the life and work of the man whom "Life"
magazine ranked third among the most influential people of the past
Dr Cornelia Doemer,
executive director of the Luther Center in Wittenberg Germany,
stated that the exhibition is organized in a circle representing
"the twelve chapters of Lutherís life." It contains the
first Gutenberg Bible, paintings and illustrations by Albrecht Durer
and Lucas Cranach, manuscripts by Luther and a letter by his wife.
Astoundingly all the
pieces in the exhibit are painstaking replicas and facsimiles of the
originals, which reside in the towns of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt
that were central to Lutherís life. Dr. Doemer stated that the
replicas were created during the years of the former German
Democratic Republic by German craftsmen and artists who had no
Luther exhibitions to mount and therefore no challenges besides
artistic and historic integrity.
The exhibitís creators
have succeeded in creating an environment Ė complete with actors
in period dress portraying Martin and Katherine Luther Ė that
affords the viewer an atmospheric as well as authentic taste of life
at the dawn of the Reformation.
The exhibit portrays
Martin Luther, monk, spiritual seeker, courageous reformer, eloquent
preacher, brilliant teacher, and loving family man, as the
theologian who not only transformed western Christianity but also
reformed German language and culture. The Protestant Reformation
took root in Germany and then spread across Europe and the world.
Since the collapse of
communism, Doemer said, it has been a joy once again to invite the
people of the world to Wittenberg to visit the Luther sites in
person. She added that this tour offers the opportunity to take
Luther to North America to be more fully appreciated by North Americans of
German heritage, by Lutherans and by the public in general.
It is the ultimate tribute
to Luther that the church that bears his name honors him at its
world gathering, over 450 years after his death in 1546.
The Luther exhibit will be
open at no charge to the public on the main floor of the Winnipeg
Convention Center from July 22 Ė 30, during the LWF Assembly. Following the
Assembly, "Martin Luther: The Reformer" will
tour 12 sites in the United States, beginning at Luther Seminary in
Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is taking place
21-31 July 2003 in Winnipeg, Canada, under the theme "For the
Healing of the World." It is being hosted by the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC).
There are around 820 men, women and youth participants in the Tenth
Assembly including 380 delegates from the
133 churches with full membership and three associate members. The Assembly is the highest
decision-making body of the LWF, and meets normally every six years.
Between Assemblies, the LWF is governed by its Council that meets
annually, and by its Executive Committee.
To order photographs, please contact
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