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Liberated by grace, encouraged


Seminars inspire a new generation of international women reformers Text and photos by Kristen Opalinski


The bells of All Saints’ Church—known as


Castle Church—in Wittenberg, Germany, ring out as dozens of churchgoers file into its neo-Gothic sanctuary. Reformation pilgrims from across the globe are gathering for regular Sunday worship. Among them are 22 Lutheran women from nine nations who have come here to study and reflect on the historic contributions of Reformation women, such as Katharina von Bora, Argula von Grumbach and Katharina Schütz Zell, while adding to their reformation narratives in the process.


32 OCTOBER 2017 As participants of the ELCA’s International


Women Leaders seminar, they are spending a week in the historic city learning from the past—and each other. Funded by gifts to Always Being Made New: The


Campaign for the ELCA (elca.org/campaign), the July International Women Leaders seminar in Wittenberg was the sixth of its kind and the only one taking place in 2017, the year of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The seminars are part of a broader initiative to help cultivate a


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