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Women of the Reformation Print E-mail

Day 1

Depart North America for Berlin


Day 2, Berlin

Arrive in Berlin. After everything is settled, transfer to your hotel for check-in. This afternoon, an optional visit to Museum Island is planned. In the evening, meet your program planners for dinner and a welcome and orientation meeting.


Day 3, Berlin-Wittenberg

After breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of several of Berlin’s historical sites, with an emphasis on church history. We’ll visit the Berlin Cathedral, the Church of the Reconciliation and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Afterwards, travel to Wittenberg, where we will check in to our hotel, eat dinner, and meet with a representative of the ELCA Wittenberg Center for a welcome and introduction to the ministry of the Center. (Wittenberg, 3 nights)


Day 4, Wittenberg

Explore the city where Martin Luther lived and taught for 36 years. The first part of the tour this morning includes the City Church, where Luther preached thousands of times, and the Castle Church, where he hung his “95 Theses,” thus sparking the Reformation. Afterwards, you’ll have the chance to spend some time at either a German social service organization or a German vocational school. This afternoon we’ll resume our city tour with a visit to the Luther House, which was Luther’s wedding gift from his prince in 1525 and now houses one of the world’s largest Reformation archives. After dinner, a local Reformation scholar will give a presentation entitled “Subversive Princesses of the Reformation.” Overnight in Wittenberg.


Day 5, Torgau day trip

We’ll start our morning with a communion service at the Castle Church. Afterwards, our bus brings us to Torgau, where we will have lunch and tour a beautiful Renaissance castle, an early, prototypical Protestant church and the Katharina von Bora museum. We also visit and share devotions at the nearby St. Mary’s Church, where Luther’s lively wife “Katie” is buried. Afterwards, we will return to Wittenberg for a presentation entitled Katharina von Bora – Morning Star of the Reformation.


Day 6, Wittenberg and the Francke Foundations in Halle

This morning we will enjoy a unique Reformation-era theater piece staged by local Wittenberg women, - "Klatsch und Tratsch". This “gossip round” seeks to bring alive the lifestyle within women's circles in Wittenberg in the middle ages. Afterwards we head to Halle, where we’ll tour the “Francke Foundations,” a center of Lutheran Pietism that included an orphanage, a school and a Bible society. Missionaries from Halle, including Henry Melchior Muhlenburg, were largely responsible for spreading Lutheranism to India and North America. Francke’s foundations were also among the most influential diaconal institutions of their time. We continue to Eisleben and stay at Hotel Mansfelder Hof and Kloster Helfta, a Cistercian Monastery, where we are invited to share in the daily prayers of the sisters.


Day 7, Eisleben

This morning we worship with the local congregation at St. Andrews church, where Matin Luther held his last four sermons. After lunch and time on own, explore Eisleben in a walking tour of the city. We will see the homes where Luther was born and where he died, the Church of St. Peter and Paul, where he was baptized, and St. Andrew’s, where Luther preached his last four sermons. Afterwards, we meet with a local pastor, who will share her own experiences and talk to us about the role of women in the German church.


Day 8, Cloister Helfta and Leipzig

In the morning, a tour of the convent will get us oriented. Afterwards, hear an introduction to the three great medieval women mystics who made their homes at the convent in Helfta: Mechthild of Magdeburg, Mechthild of Hackeborn, and Gertrude of Helfta. Before lunch, we have to say good bye to Eisleben and Helfta and head to Leipzig. After lunch and time on own, we’ll meet with a local pastor to hear his eyewitness account of the Monday demonstrations that sparked the Peaceful Revolution. (Overnight Leipzig, 3 nights)


Day 9, Leipzig

We will enjoy a walking tour of the city, including the St. Thomas Church where Johann Sebastian Bach served as music director, and the St. Nikolas Church, which spearheaded the “Peaceful Revolution” of 1989. In the afternoon, we’ll meet with some members of a local congregation to share our experiences in contemporary church life in our respective countries. Dinner tonight is planned at the historic Auerbachs Keller, where, in a scene made famous in Goethe’s Faust, Mephistopheles and Faust drank with the local students before flying away on a barrel.


Day 10, Dresden

On our agenda for today is a daytrip to Dresden, “the Florence of the Elbe.” There we will spend time with the Diaconal Community of Dresden. Learn more about the foundation of Lutheran diaconal work and the various ministries that these women oversee and carry out. We will also have the chance to visit the spectacularly rebuilt Frauenkirche, which was heavily damaged by WWII bombing. Back to hotel in Leipzig.


Day 11, Nimbschen

We leave Leipzig this morning. A short drive will bring us to the Grimma area. We will visit the ruins of Kloster Nimbschen, convent where Katharina von Bora was a nun, and from which she fled before she married Martin Luther. We travel on to Erfurt this afternoon, where we will stay at the Augustinian Monastery and the nearby Radisson SAS Hotel. (Overnight Erfurt, 2 nights)


Day 12, Erfurt

Our city tour this morning will take us the University in Erfurt and to St. Mary’s Cathedral, where Luther was ordained. We will also tour the Augustinian Monastery where Martin Luther took his monastic vows and lived as a monk. We will celebrate noon prayer with the Lutheran Sisters of the Community of the Casteller Ring at the Augustinian Monastery and have lunch at the monastery. This afternoon, we will meet again for a conversation with a sister: Contemporary Lutheran Monastic Vocation. Enjoy free time in the evening to explore the city.


Day 13, Eisenach

This morning we travel to Eisenach, where we will enjoy a tour of the Wartburg Castle, where Luther lived under protective custody and took advantage of the seclusion to create one of the most important works of his life, the German translation of the New Testament. After lunch, we will visit the Bach house, an early-18th century home, including a demonstration of musical instruments from Bach’s time. In the afternoon, we will continue to the Frankfurt area and check in to our hotel. Evening activities include dinner, a Eucharist celebration and evaluation of the program.


Day 14, Auf Wiedersehen!

It’s time to say goodbye. Your coach will transfer you the Frankfurt’s Rhein-Main airport for your homebound flight.

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