The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), will host a commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation on Oct. 31 at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington, D.C.

Eaton will be joined by the Rev. William O. Gafkjen, bishop of the ELCA Indiana-Kentucky Synod and chair of the ELCA Conference of Bishops; the Rev. Richard H. Graham, bishop of the ELCA Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod; and ELCA Vice President Bill Horne.

The event, which will meet under the theme “Looking Back and Called Forward,” will be available online via livestream for all to watch.

The event will be open to the public and available online via livestream. All are invited to participate and honor the Reformation anniversary as the ELCA bears public witness to Christ, who frees us to love and serve our neighbor, and as we look to the future to which God is calling us.

Additional details will follow as they become available. For more information, contact Rob Campbell at 773.380.2986 or

Read more about the ELCA’s observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.7 million members in more than 9,300 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

About the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

Martin Luther posted the Ninety-Five Theses in Wittenberg, Germany, on Oct. 31, 1517, and the resulting debate about Christian teaching and practice led to changes that have shaped the course of Western Christianity for almost 500 years. The Reformation offers to Christians everywhere a liberating way of listening to and sharing the word of God. It teaches that Christ’s life flows through faith into a life of service to the neighbor and offers the promise of God’s love that makes possible a life of “living, daring confidence in God’s grace.”

ELCA congregations, members, synods and affiliated institutions are observing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in a variety of events and activities. Many of the local activities reflect the magnitude of work being done on a national and international scale. In all the activities, the ELCA seeks to find in this historic milestone an occasion to give a confident and joyful witness of the life and freedom in Jesus Christ that is for all.