by Ms Mami Brunah BARO SANDANIAINA
Three weeks of activities bringing young Lutherans together to celebrate the 500th years of Dr. Martin Luther’s reformation.
Youth participation is one of the Lutheran World Federation Cross-Cutting priorities and the LWF Youth Desk is supporting youth from member churches by encouraging them to be more involved in the church life and activities. Initiative support is one of the best way to make that practical and the Malagasy Lutheran Church was one of the lucky chosen church which was been selected to benefit this support, in 2014.
Currently, the Reformation anniversary is one of the most important event for Lutheran churches around the word. Thus, the initiative consisted on bringing together young people to celebrate this event and know more about the Lutheran identity by different activities such as Sport (football and volleyball), verbal and writing expositions of Martin Luther and reformation’s stories and reformation song and literary work (poetry and book) competition.
The opening activities, started on Sunday August31st, 2014, which was also the Lutheran Communion in Central and Eastern Africa (LUCCEA) Youth Sunday which is celebrated each last sunday of August), with an opening worship in a Malagasy Lutheran Church in Boeny Mahajanga Synod, Mahajanga Parish, Tsaramandroso congregation, lead by the Synod vice president Rev. RAKOTO Andriamamonjimisainasoa.
On Tuesday, September 2nd 2014, the opening worship was lead by Rev. David ANDRIA MONGOLANDY T. and he explained the chosen theme of the celebration from Rom 1 :17 to focus on the justification by faith as the first light which marked the starting point of Martin Luther’s idea of church reformation. State representative from the Boeny Mahajanga region officially open the celebration activities with the Boeny Mahajanga Lutheran Church Synod President Rev. RAMARO.
During three weeks, from Thursday 4th to Saturday 20th of September, verbal exposition of the Martin Luther’s ninety five theses was explained by a pastor, devotions was been lead by young person, the scripture was shared by old person daily on between 3 football matches. The writing exposition was opened for everybody, T-shirt, small booklets summarizing the reformation and Martin Luther’s story and Lutheran identity was been sell. The “Martin Luther’s song competition” was done step by step each Sunday afternoon.up to the final phase The closing worship was on September 21st 2014 in the Antanimalandy Lutheran Church, Antanimalandy Parish, Boeny Mahajanga Synod. During these three weeks of holiday, more than 250 youths participated on the sport event (11 football and 2 volleyball teams), 200 youths on the song’s competition (5 groups of choirs), 2 youths participated on the Martin Luther and reformation’s story book competition and 3 youths for the poetry competition.
As one of the organizer, I can say that it was a successful event to bring together youth for activities that they are passionate about. That created good relationship between youth and church leaders and helped young people to understand their identity as a Lutheran. One young football participant, Mr Bernard RABEMAHAZO 19 years of age, says:
« I never heard about these ninety five theses of Martin Luther’s before this activity and now knowing them I am even more pride to be Lutheran »
and a woman theologian Ms Raharisoa MAMONJY thanked the organizer for the program that “opened theologians eyes to rethink more about reformation’s basis after five hundred years”
Mami Brunah BARO SANDANIAINA from Madagascar is a LWF Council member and organizer of the opening activities of reformation anniversary activities in Malagasy Lutheran Church.