What is “Faithful to His Word: Celebrate 1517 in 2017”?

It is our name for a project that encourages our Reformed church members to celebrate the Reformation throughout 2017. We are praying for a renewed and deepened appreciation of the Lord’s rich blessings in bringing his church back to himself as we together celebrate his faithfulness. Five hundred years ago the Lord began a wonderful work of grace when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the doors of Wittenberg’s churches.

Our Strategy

We have created a number of opportunities in the arts. Anyone can participate. By finding out more about the Reformation and reflecting your renewed appreciation in an art form, both you and others—for generations, Lord willing—will have a tangible way of remembering the Lord’s faithfulness. Specifically,

  1. we have commissioned music and drama which can be performed;
  2. we have drawn up guidelines for entries in various art forms.

Thereby, opportunities have been created for:

  1. local bands to perform some newly-commissioned variations of key Reformation music;
  2. local drama clubs to perform five newly-commissioned Reformation plays;
  3. individuals of all ages and expertise levels to reflect on the Reformation in
    1. essays
    2. poetry
    3. song
    4. story and storytelling
    5. visual arts

Our Goals

Participants will stimulate their local community’s Reformation celebrations at the end of October by preparing entries in the various art forms for display (visual arts, essay boards, poetry) and performance (music, drama, storytelling, and poetry).

Please note that our committee itself is not planning local Reformation rallies. Rather, we seek to encourage existing forums and stimulate new ones by creating a forum for good quality reflections in various art forms.

All of these entries and performances will go through a selection process that will be completed in the last two months of 2017. After this, the most edifying results will be published in a commemorative coffee table book.

Overall, we pray that our communities will never slacken in zeal, but will commit themselves all the more to living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. In the Reformation God’s Spirit renewed his people in true doctrine, shining witness, and ardent love. Let us continue in this, by the grace of God! 

Who We Are

We are a committee with representatives from the Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers College (CCRTC) and the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary (CRTS), working together to commemorate the faithfulness of our God who brings reformation to his church.

Our names are Inge de Visser, school teacher at John Calvin Christian School in Smithville; Jason Heemskerk, coordinator for the League of Canadian Reformed School Societies; Keith Sikkema, lecturer at CCRTC; Christine van Halen-Faber, principal of CCRTC; Ted Van Raalte, professor of ecclesiology at CRTS.

Our Structure

Our committee members report to CRTS and CCRTC. We have also formed five subcommittees, made up of members from across Canada and the USA. These subcommittees have served us by drawing up guidelines for entries in the five art forms. They will also assist in the selection process that will occur with a view to publication. Their help has been indispensable.

Support this Project

If you wish to support us, we have a modest need that falls outside of our respective institutions’ budgets. Please see our support letter.

Communicate with Us

We are available for consultation at Celebrate1517@gmail.com. All arts entries should be sent to this email address, but please consult our guidelines first. If you would like us to advertise your local Reformation Rally, please send us the details, and we will publish a list online.

I'm a Teacher. How Can You Help Me?

Your principal is already familiar with our plans and has probably mentioned them to you. Please take some time to view our pages online and download the particular guidelines that you need for your class by clicking the appropriate category in the chart below or by downloading all of the guidelines at once.

To which category does my art belong?

Clicking the coordinates below should bring you to the guidelines for submissions in that particular category.
You can also download all of our guidelines as one pdf (66 pages) by clicking here.

Art Forms
Category Essays Poetry Song Story


Primary (Grades K-3) * *
Junior (Grades 4-6) * * *
Intermediate (Grades 7-10) * * *
High School Senior (Grades 11-12) * * * *
Post-Secondary * * * * *
Advanced Open * * * * *