November 22, 2010 – A wonderful and historic plan is in the works to encourage Lutheran congregations, elementary schools and Sunday schools to begin a countdown of the years to the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. A series of nine commemorative medallions are being planned by the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, but before this project is approved the assistance of Lutheran congregations, pastors, teachers and lay members is needed to indicate if there is enough interest in sufficient quantities of the medals for the project to proceed further. The nine medals would be 1 1/2 inches in size issued in gold anodized aluminum for distribution to children in Sunday and church schools and adult members and visitors. This medal, reasonably priced at $1.00 each or bags of 25 for $20.00 and bags of 100 at $75.00, would help to encourage interest and study of the life of Martin Luther and the Reformation among the children as well as adults. For collectors of medals of Luther and the Reformation there would also be a limited number of medals struck in antique bronze and .999 silver. The bronze medals would cost $18.00 and the price of the silver medals will be announced later. Orders for these would be needed by January 5, 2011 if the project is approved.
The obverse of each of the medals would be similar in design, focusing on Luther looking left (from a painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder) at an image related to the event depicted on the reverse side. Here are images of the two medals planned for release in 2011, Luther in the Lightening Storm (1505) and the Door to the Erfurt Monastery where Luther became a monk.
Other medals in the series to follow will be Luther Traveling to Rome (1510-1511), Luther Receiving the Doctor of Theology Degree (1512), Luther’s Tower Experience (1513), Frederick the Wise Blocks Tetzel from Saxony (1514), the 600th Anniversary of Jan Hus’s Martyrdom (1415), Charles V becomes King of Spain (1516) and the final medal issued in 2017, Luther Posting the 95 Theses on the Door of the Castle Church on the Eve of All Saints Day (1517) and the start of the Lutheran Reformation.
Informative pamphlets on each issue will accompany orders, and later a holder for the nine medals would be made available. Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod pastor and artist, Scott Blazek, is helping with the initial designs and production.
To express your interest in this project and give some indication of your personal order of the countdown medals and that of your congregations and church school print out the form “Martin Luther Medal Countdown Project” at ALPB.org or contact Pastor Frederick Schumacher, Executive Director of the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, at email@example.com or (914) 720-0178.