Synod Assembly Art Competition: Bold & Hopeful

Date posted: Friday 29 January 2016

Perhaps one of the best-known symbols of Lutheranism is the Luther Rose, or Luther Seal. The Rose both symbolizes and summarizes Martin Luther’s theology, and has been associated with him as far back as 1520. As part of the 2016 Synod Assembly, and as we near the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation with boldness and hope, the Saint Paul Area Synod is calling for creative minds to reinterpret the Luther Rose.


Calling all painters, sculptors, quilters, graphic designers, and crafters! Artists of all kinds and all ages! What does your artistic interpretation of the Luther Rose look like? Be bold, be hopeful, be daringly creative!


The winning design(s) will be used in Synod Assembly print materials and promotions. Entries will be collected through March 31, 2016. For more details on entering, please email Chloe Ahlf at or call the synod office at 651.224.4313.



Martin Luther’s explanation of the Rose’s imagery:
“The first should be a black cross in a heart, which retains its natural color, so that I myself would be reminded that faith in the Crucified saves us, ‘For one who believes from the heart will be justified’ (Romans 10:10). Although it is indeed a black cross, which mortifies and which should also cause pain, it leaves the heart in its natural color. It does not corrupt nature, that is, it does not kill but keeps alive. ‘The just shall live by faith’ (Romans 1:17) but by faith in the crucified. Such a heart should stand in the middle of a white rose, to show that faith gives joy, comfort, and peace. In other words, it places the believer into a white, joyous rose, for this faith does not give peace and joy like the world gives (John 14:27). That is why the rose should be white and not red, for white is the color of the spirits and the angels (cf. Matthew 28:3; John 20:12). Such a rose should stand in a sky-blue field, symbolizing that such joy in spirit and faith is a beginning of the heavenly future joy, which begins already, but is grasped in hope, not yet revealed. And around this field is a golden ring, symbolizing that such blessedness in Heaven lasts forever and has no end. Such blessedness is exquisite, beyond all joy and goods, just as gold is the most valuable, most precious and best metal.”


A PDF of the announcement is available here! Please distribute to those in your congregation or ministry setting who might be interested in competing.