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German youth keep the Reformation alive and global


Lena Lothring, a young reformer of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany, leads a workshop on “Geocaching and Luther trees” at an event in Wittenberg, Germany.


“LUTHER TREES”


are making a bit of a


comeback worldwide thanks to Lena Lothring and Julia Braband of Magdeburg, Germany. The members of the Evangelical Church in


Central Germany (ECCG) are putting Luther trees on the map as part of their involvement in the Global Young Reformers Network. Launched by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in 2014, the network encourages young people to contribute to the life of member churches and commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Through the network, young Lutherans


from all seven LWF regions developed 54 “Living Reformation” projects to facilitate the ongoing reformation of the church. After two years of online and face-to-face collaboration, they have reached more than


40 OCTOBER 2017


25,000 people with these initiatives. Projects range from a youth-oriented confirmation curriculum in Colombia to a drug awareness and intervention program in Zambia to the ECCG’s Luther tree project.


A tree-mendous legacy Legend says the first Luther tree was planted the day after Martin Luther burned his papal bull of excommunication on the same spot. Other oak, beech and lime trees were planted to mark his 400th birthday in 1883 and the 400th anniversary of the Reformation in 1917. Lothring and Braband led a team of 10


volunteers who reached out to more than 400 young Lutherans through the network. The group planted 153 trees, with the map on their website (lutherbaum.de/en) highlighting 167 in Europe, eight in Africa, six in Asia, five in


Photo: Courtesy of the LWF/Edgar Toclo


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