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PreConference Pastor & Congregational Continuing Education Event:

“Sexuality and the Church: 2009-2019”


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

All events below 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 Student and Staff Panel on Bolz-Weber’s book Shameless with responses by Pastor Jen Rude, PLU Campus Ministry

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”


Contact Dr. Marit Trelstad at marit.trelstad@plu.edu or Cynthia Givens, Administrative Assistant to the Humanities Division at cynthia.givens@plu.edu.