Reformation 500 – Service with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in St.Finian’s Lutheran Church

Sunday, 19 February 2017, 11am

Service in St.Finian’s Church: Guest Preacher is Archbichop Diarmuid Martin, Catholic Church of Ireland (second from left).


During the service the Volunteers from the EKD who are responsible for the “Truck” (Stories on the Road, European Roadmap) receive a farewell blessing. The Guests from the EKD, Dr. Stephanie Springer and Dr. Hans Ulrich Anke, are involved in the service as well.



We listen to a Song, performed by Anna and Fabiola and Johanna. The Opening and the End of the Service are marked by music for Trumpet and Organ (Wolfgang and Werner)

johannaannafabiola2   wernerwolfgang1

The service is followed by a reception in the Lutherhaus, prepared by Yvonne and her team. Lots of conversations, laughter and deep thoughts about Reformation and Churches today and finally Goodbyes conclude the Reformation Weekend.


Thanks be to God for a good weekend, for the people, for deep thoughts and for friendship between and across different denominations!

Reformation 500 – Music

Saturday 18 Feb 2017, 7pm

“Jesu meine Freude” by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed by the Resurgam Choir in the TCD Chapel as the last of three concerts in this special week, presented by the Goethe Institut Dublin: Listening to this beautiful Music it is unbelievable that in the same time when Europe had so many struggles and fights and even wars about religion and faith, such Music was created and sung. Maybe this music was a refuge for many who had the desire of heavenly peace among people!

The Choir consists of 13 singers, sitting in the first rows opposite.


Reformation 500 – Exhibition in the Old Library of TCD

Saturday 18 February 3pm

The Guest Professors, the Guests from EKD and members of the preparation committee get a very special guided tour through the Old Library: Prof Graeme Murdock from the Department of History was involved in creating this exhibition about original scriptures from the Reformation and Bible translations like the first one into Irish! It was exciting seeing a page of an English Bible from 1540 which shows on a picture who the king (!) brought God’s word to the people! This Bible is presented in the foreground of the picture, Graeme Murdock is at the right.


Reformation 500 – Stories on the Road

Eventually the Truck arrived in Trinity College Dublin, From Square: First Pic shows the difficulty to get it in from Pearse street, second one: Saturday morning, the Truck is there! Well, what’s about that truck? It is a multimedia exhibition sharing personal stories about Reformation. In 19 European Countries people visit the Exhibition and leave their stories.



Many people come into the Exhibition! Even the seal is attractive. Many adults are discussing: What is the link between a seal, Martin Luther and the Reformation? To explore more about the European Roadmap and the Truck, go to!




Reformation 500 – Symposium Part two

Saturday 18 February, 10am to 1pm

The second part of the Theological Symposium explores the Legacy of the Reformation: Three Professors explore this from different point of views. First Martin Meiser (Tübingen) speaks about Luther’s Legacy for Pauline Studies in modern debate and explores with us in many details how Luther’s scripture readings are still in use and others are out of date. Especially the fact that modern Theology isn’t mainly from German brings new contexts into the debate. – Ruth Whelan (Dublin) outlined how the Huguenots in France had to flee and some of them came to Ireland. These are challenging memories in our time where we are confronted with refugees as well. Challenging memories, because we are still searching freedom of conscience. It is a challenge to turn memories of persecution into an ethical engagement in the present. – John McCafferty (Dublin): What have the Reformations done for Ireland? The Reformation came from England by Henry VIII. It was a Reformation based on law, the people had no choice. In contradictory to Martin Luther the services weren’t held in the people’s language which was Irish, they were in English. Most ministers came from England and can’t speak the people’s language. So in Ireland it was the opposite to Germany: Here the Catholic Church was with the people and the priests were with the people!

I take four thoughts out of the discussion

  • Returning to the Bible is a main legacy of Reformation.
  • Original sin is not biblical.
  • Today we are able to share a Symposium about Reformation in a peaceful way even we are from different denominations and countries. Facing together modern time and secularism as brothers and sisters is a good development!
  • “Martin Luther was a Kelt” – one of the people from the audience asks about the influence of the early Irish Theology on Martin Luther, which is quite an interesting question!

Speakers on the picture (from left to right): John McCafferty, Kajsa Ahlstrand, Ruth Whelan, Martin Meiser and Maureen Junker-Kenny. Below: Dr. Gesa Thiessen, Chair




Reformation 500 – Reception by the German Embassy

Friday, 17 February 2017, 7pm

Nearly 150 people are in the Synge Theatre for Symposium Part One. At 7pm all of us go to the Dining Hall for a reception as guests of the German Embassy Dublin. Good time to reflect the lectures and to have chats with all the people! Deputy Ambassador Josef Reichhardt opens the reception and greets all, including the three official guests from Germany are among us: Dr. Stephanie Springer, member of the Council of the EKD (Protestant Church of Germany) Dr. Hans-Ulrich Anke, President of the Headquarter  (Kirchenamt) of the EKD and Pastor Susanne Erlecke, member of the EKD office for changes and reformation processes. The picture shows Dr. Springer speaking.


“Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” (A strong castle is our God), perfumed by the Goethe Institut Choir with conductor John Dexter closes this evening. Good to listen to music after hours of good words!


Reformation 500 – Symposium Part I

Friday 17 February, 5pm:

The first part of the Theological Symposium is headlined by “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free”. The picture shows the three Professors: Kajsa Ahlstrand, Volker Leppin and for Gunda Werner spoke Maureen Junker-Kenny. Chair: Prof. Graeme Murdock.


Volker Leppin (Tübingen, Germany) explores under the title “Mysticism, the Reformation and the Freedom of a Christian the relationship between Luther’s theology and the earlier scriptures of Johann Tauler. It is exciting to see that Martin Luther and Ignatius from Loyola shared same texts, same tradition, but then they went on different paths. – Gunda Werner (Tübingen, read by Maureen Junker-Kenny) explores the words “Love, Freedom and guilt” in the wider horizon of the debate in Luther’s time, including the famous scripture about the free will from Erasmus from Rotterdam. Still nowadays it is the question, how much of our decisions are done by our own will. – Kajsa Ahlstrand (Uppsala) speaks under the headline “It is not all about freedom” about Lutheranism in Sweden and we learn, how intolerant Lutheranism as a State Religion was! The saying “I have a little Luther in my shoulder” reminds us that even in families there were examinations to make sure everybody is following the Catechism of Luther. The doctrine of the two kingdoms led into obedience. Through Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life and Theology the Lutherans learned: the obedience is to God, not to human political structures. There can be a “status confessionis” where we are asked following the Gospel and not political leaders if we see us as true disciples of Jesus Christ. Today we see: Lutheran Theology can lead into resisting political power.

Reformation 500 – opening in Trinity College Dublin

Friday, 17 February 2017, 4pm:


Opening of the Reformation 500 Theological Symposium in Trinity College Dublin in the Chapel. The Symposium is prepared by the Lutheran Church in Ireland and a group of Professors from Trinity College. The opening was well attend: In the center you’ll see the Provost of TCD, Prof. Dr. Patrick Prendergast. Fourth from left: Archbishop Dr. Michael Jackson, Church of Ireland. The other people are members of the German Embassy, representatives of Churches, Professors, representatives of the German Embassy and some of the Speakers of the Symposium.


The exact date of the Quincentenary is 17 October. But for 17 to 18 February Dublin is one of the 67 stations in 19 European Countries visited by a mobile installation “Stories on the Road”, coming from Germany. However, the truck couldn’t get into TCD today, so you see a red tent. Great disappointment! But remember Abraham’s tent and the Ark displayed in a tent before the Temple of Salomon was built…

Retraite Irish Council of Churches Executive Committee


Luckily I had the opportunity taking part at this over night Retraite which took place in Larne, Northern Ireland: We were led by Jerry SJ to the wellsprings of our daily work as ministers and pastors in four steps. After each step there was time to reflect.

1 Come and see! Jesus and the disciples of John. How does Jesus meets us today?

2 Conversion: The woman and Jesus in the Pharisee’s house (Luke 7). Remember Noah and Jeremy and Rahab and Peter: all of them weren’t perfect. God chose theme to be messengers for him. We are not the message, we are messengers as well, with all our sins and failings.

3 Discipleship (Mark 3): In the western world God is missing, not be missed. Do we have the ability to find God in our life?

4 Mission (Matthew 28 and Acts 2): as Christians we are living in the world. There are two traditions: a) The wisdom tradition. Kept by institutional Churches. trying to be in a dialogue with the secular world. b) The prophetic tradition. Like Jesus, who kicked the money changers out of the temple or met dishonorable people as a sign for God’s coming kingdom. Having a sense for the time. Be a voice in society, independent. Interchurch activities can have a prophetic impact!

Pic shows a part of the group during a break.