PreConference Pastor & Congregational Continuing Education Event:

“Sexuality and the Church: 2009-2019”

Scandianvian Center of the Anderson University Center


Focus of this time will be to review the content of ELCA Social Statements on Abortion (1991), Human Sexuality (2009) and Gender Justice (2019) and to discuss their implementation/impact and current issues congregations are facing in terms of gender and justice in their congregations. It is meant to have both presentations of the content and then provide questions and conversations and resources that allow our ELCA constituents to ask the questions and discuss the issues that are most pressing to their churches right now. We may also have representatives from Extraordinary Ministries and Reconciling Works present as ELCA-focused ministries. We welcome members of other denominations to join for this session – to see what has been happening in the ELCA and to discuss their own churches work on these same issues.

Lutheran Studies Conference Schedule

``Naked and Unashamed (Gen 2:25): Sex, Shame and Faith``

1 p.m. - 5 p.m. with Evening Lecture at 7 p.m.
Free and Open to the Public / Locations of events noted on schedule below

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Noon – 1 p.m. | Registration in the Anderson University Center Upper Lobby

Events between 1-5pm take place in the Scandinavian Cultural Center, Anderson University Center

1 - 1:15 p.m. | Welcome & Opening remarks: Sex, Shame and Faith

“Understanding and Implementing the new ELCA Social Statement “Faith, Sexism, and Justice”

Mary Elise Lowe and Mary J. Streufert both served on the task force and the writing team for the statement. In this session, they will briefly describe how ELCA social statements are made, why they matter, and how they are authoritative. Then they will introduce three themes in the statement: sexism as sin, intersectionality as an approach to the problem of sexism, and the ELCA’s ongoing effort to view sex and gender in non-binary ways. This presentation will also highlight how the social statement takes a distinctly Lutheran approach to the problem of sexism.

2:15 - 2:30 p.m. | Short break
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. | PLU Panel: Why Sex? Engaging religion and spirituality with the Why’s and What For’s of sex

Description: Religious traditions are known for teaching (and arguing about) rules for sex – who can have it and when and how.  Less attention is paid to why people have sex or what sex is for.   Panelists (including faculty, students, and community members) who identify religiously and spiritually in a variety of ways will share some of their reflections on sex and faith, in particular engaging the questions, Why sex? and What is sex for?


Facilitator: Rev. Jen Rude

3:45 - 5 p.m. | “Gender, Sexuality, and the Construction of American Christianity: A Brief History``

American Christians today grapple with issues like gay marriage, transgender rights, and nonbinary understandings of gender. But battles over gender and sexuality are nothing new. This lecture will trace a brief history of shifting understandings of gender and sexuality, highlighting earlier battles between traditionalists and progressives over the proper Christian understanding of sex. These stories reveal the interconnections linking race, gender, and sexuality, as well as the subtle evolution of “traditional” understandings of gender and sexuality. They also show how fundamental gender and sexuality are to Christian identity in the United States, and why these battles won’t be going away anytime soon.

5 - 7 p.m. | Dinner break
7 - 8:30 p.m. | Keynote lecture: “Shameless: A Sexual Reformation”
Keynote Lecture Location: Lagerquist Concert Hall, Mary Baker Russell Music Building


Contact Dr. Marit Trelstad at or Cynthia Givens, Administrative Assistant to the Humanities Division at

Nadia Bolz-Weber first hit the New York Times list with her 2013 memoir—the bitingly honest and inspiring Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint followed by the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller Accidental Saints in 2015. A former stand-up comic and a recovering alcoholic, Bolz-Weber is the founder and former pastor of a Lutheran congregation in Denver, House for All Sinners and Saints. She speaks at colleges and conferences around the globe.