Who is that masked man? Calvin Jubilee 2009 to celebrate Reformer’s 500th birthday

Commissioners and guests arriving at the PC(USA)‚s 218th General Assembly in San Jose, Calif., encountered John Calvin —— lots and lots of John Calvins.

Wandering around the San Jose Convention Center, participants greeted each other from behind cardboard John Calvin masks that were distributed by the Theology Worship and Education [] (TWE) booth in the GA exhibit hall. “We brought 1,500 cardboard masks to announce the 2009 Calvin Jubilee

[], a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformer’s birth,” said the Rev. Mark Hinds, general editor of Congregational Ministries Publishing [] and managing editor for Witherspoon Press[]. “We started passing out the masks on Friday (June 20) and by Tuesday they were all gone! People were so enthusiastic about the mask. It is encouraging that Calvin is not forgotten.”

Assembly participants were invited to share photos of themselves with their Calvin masks at various venues during the national meeting. Hinds hopes to extend this photo project well beyond the Assembly experience. “We want people to send us Calvin mask photos from their congregations, homes and travels,” Hinds said. TWE plans to link pictures on their Web site in celebration of Calvin’s worldwide theological influence.

The TWE staff also used the mask to announce the new Witherspoon Press DVD, “John Calvin: His Life and Legacy.” This 60-minute documentary covers the life, thought, and legacy of John Calvin. Regarded as a figure of singular importance in the history of the Christian church and in western civilization, Calvin made monumental contributions to theology, church government, education, language, music, and politics.