At the 2016 Churchwide Assembly, Bishop Eaton called upon ELCA members to read Martin Luther’s Small Catechism together in time for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation on October 31, 2017.

Maybe you missed this information.  Or you planned to do something but life got in the way.  There is still plenty of time for a summer or even early fall adult Sunday school series on the catechism.

A good new resource coming in August is By Heart: Conversations with Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.

Whether you do that or not, or have already done some in-depth study of the Small Catechism you can still do some things this summer to get people looking at and thinking about their small catechism.

First, make sure everyone in your congregation has a Small Catechism.

Augsburg Fortress has an inexpensive Anniversary Pocket Edition.  There is also a Free Luther’s Small Catechism App on the App Store and Google Play.  For $1.99 you can upgrade to the Study Edition.

And here are some fun, easy ways to connect your folks to the small catechism this summer

  • Each Sunday take a few minutes before the service to quickly review a part of the catechism.  You could take the teaching on communion.  Have them repeat the explanation in a fun drill to learn to memorize a line or so.
  • Video different members of all ages reciting a part of the catechism and show that each week during the offering.  You can also share it on Facebook.
  • Have a photo a day on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  Pick a part of the Catechism each week and have people take photos during their day that illustrate.
  • Center the worship service on Trinity Sunday on the explanations of the Apostle’s Creed.
  • Center a worship service around the Small Catechism, using Martin Luther’s Hymns on the Small Catechism.  See pages 1113-120 of the Reformation 500 Sourcebook.

These are just a few ideas.  Use your imagination to come up with more ideas to help people know that the Small Catechism is not just for Confirmation!

For more resources and ideas see:


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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.


Digital Ministry


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