Lutheran and Mennonite Reconciliation

Confessing in Faith:

Healing Between

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Washing with the Mennonites

A Personal Reflection by Bishop Michael J. Pryse, Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

"Most moving to me was our participation in the ritual of footwashing - to share such a tender and holy moment with my father-in-law who I have come to love so deeply. How humbling to see him drop to his 81 year old knees before me..."

Read more of Bishop Pryse's experience with his father-in-law at Floradale Mennonite Church.

Response to Bishop Pryse

by David T. Martin, MCEC Executive Minister

Bishop Pryse’s moving story is a symbol of the profound healing that is taking place in the relationship between the Mennonites and Lutherans.

The Lutheran World Federation’s gracious gesture of asking forgiveness for the historic persecution of Mennonites is a significant step in ecumenical relationships with the Anabaptist faith communion. I would like to express my personal appreciation for that gesture of Christian reconciliation.

Read Full Response...


  • 1517 - Martin Luther challenges church authorities on the sale of indulgences and the sacrament of penance.
  • 1525 - First adult "re-baptisms" in Zurich.
  • 1528 - Imperial goverment declares all rebaptizers be put to death. First generation of Anabaptist leaders wiped out by 1530. Luther equates Anabaptist growth with the work of the Devil.
  • 1534 - Persecution of Anabaptists intensifies following attempted violent takeover of Munster by followers of Anabaptist Melchior Hoffman.
  • 1534 - Menno Simons emerges as leader, condeming all violence.
  • 1536 - Luther and Melanchthon defend capital punishment against Anabaptists.
  • 1980 - Lutheran-Mennonite dialogues begin
  • 2005 - Lutheran-Mennonite Study Commission begins work
  • July 2010 - Lutherans apology for supporting the persecution of Anabaptists during the Reformation.
  • November 2010 - Release of study guide for Lutheran and Mennonite congregations prepared by Allen G. Jorgenson (Lutheran pastor and seminary professor) and Margaret Loewen Reimer (Mennonite editor and writer)
  • November 2010 - Service of Reconciliation hosted by Waterloo Lutheran Seminary and Conrad Grebel University College

Taken in part from Healing Memories, Reconciling in Christ: A Lutheran-Mennonite Study Guide For Congregations