Between Rome and Wittenberg
An Ecumenical Journey to Rome and Germany
Ecumenical relations between Roman Catholics and Lutherans have improved in recent years with several important agreements which respect the theological traditions of each community. This program offers participants a concrete way to bridge the gap between Roman Catholics and Lutherans by visiting sites which contextualize Luther’s reform. The program includes consideration of the similarities and differences of religious art and architecture, theology, worship and leadership/institutional structure.
This program envisions bringing people to places of important historical change to inspire transformation amongst participants. Ideally this program includes Lutherans and Roman Catholics who are interested in learning more about each other's beliefs, practices and history with the hope that this will lead to greater understanding and mutual respect.
All ecumenical programs are tailored to the unique needs and objectives of group organizers. Successful ecumenical programs include visits to historical sites accompanied by activities that encourage dialogue, discussion and conversation about the historical context of important events in Church history.
Illume will help facilitate the arrangment of ecumenical worship services in historical venues, meeting the local groups involved in ecumenical work, or entrance into restricted sites.
Visit to Rome
Rome preserves some of the most tangible evidence of early Christian life and makes a great venue for ecumenical events. Visit sites such as the Basilicia of S. Clemente with early Christian meeting space in a 1st century warehouse, the catacombs, and great historical places such as the burial place of St. Paul (St. Paul Outside the Walls) and St. Peter (St. Peter's Basilica).
Visit places where Luther stayed and trace his steps through the streets of Rome. This affords a great opportunity to better understand Luther's call for reform and how it paralleled others efforts to reform Christianity. See sites such as the Vatican Museums, S. Maria del Popolo, the Augustinian headquarters and much more.
Travel to Germany
Travel to Germany to visit sites associated with Luther's early life and later ministry. Visit Wittenberg and Eisleben to explore the famous Schlosskirche, Melanchthon-Haus, Lutherhalle (with Reformation Museum) Collegium Augusteum, and Luther's birthplace.
Travel to Lepizig to visit Thomaskirche where Luther's sermon launched the Reformation.
Travel to Erfurt and the Augustinerkloster where Luther was an Augustinian student.
Travel to Eisenach where Luther lived as a student and where at the nearby Wartburg Castle, he translated the New Testament into German.
Theological and historical activities will be combined with cultural activities and leisure so that participants have a change to enjoy each other's company in a relaxed and stimulating setting. This too, enhances mutual respect and understanding.