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The Bernhard M. Christensen Symposium

Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

September 21, 2017
Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Address by Bishop Eaton
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. #DecolonizeLutheranism Community Panel with Bishop Eaton

Bishop Elizabeth A EatonElected as the ELCA’s fourth presiding bishop at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton earned a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School and a Bachelor of Music Education from the College of Wooster. Eaton also represents the ELCA in a wide range of ecumenical and interfaith settings. She serves on the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA Governing Board and Development Committee, Religions for Peace USA Council of Presidents, and Lutheran World Federation Council. At gatherings, Bishop Eaton often shares her four emphases for the ELCA: We are church; We are Lutheran; We are church together; We are church for the sake of the world. These four emphases are fundamental to identifying who the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is.

Address by Bishop Eaton

Interfaith Friendships: How Difference Can Bring Us Together
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will speak at Augsburg University’s annual Christensen Symposium Thursday, September 21. Bishop Eaton’s address, “Interfaith Friendships: How Difference Can Bring Us Together,” will explore Lutheran identity and the ongoing Reformation in the 21st century.

To mark the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, Augsburg is hosting a series of events this fall. As the first event in this series, Bishop Eaton’s address will touch on how “interfaith friendships enrich learning.” This theme is one of five lessons tightly connected with the work of former Augsburg President Bernard M. Christensen. Each year, the Christensen Symposium provides the opportunity to explore and apply the lessons rooted in Christensen’s legacy, which include:

  • Christian faith liberates minds and lives.
  • Diversity strengthens vital communities.
  • Interfaith friendships enrich learning.
  • The love of Christ draws us to God.
  • We are called to service in the world.

#DecolonizeLutheranism Community Panel with Bishop Eaton

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Through a panel presentation and conversation, Bishop Eaton will join representatives of #DecolonizeLutheranism in exploring Christensen’s second lesson, “Diversity strengthens vital communities.” The #DecolonizeLutheranism grassroots movement challenges long-held patterns of white power and privilege in the ELCA and exclusivity associated with stereotypes regarding what it means to be Lutheran. This reforming movement has 11 specific goals for the ELCA.

The topic for Bishop Eaton’s address and the focus of the panel conversation speak to the rich and increasing diversity of the Augsburg community; the priorities reflected in Augsburg’s mission, vision, and values; the urban and global contexts that shape Augsburg’s vocation; and Augsburg’s deep grounding in, and vibrant relationship with, the Lutheran Church. Join us for this day of challenging conversations as together we envision what it means to be neighbor in a richly diverse world.

Panelists:

  • Jessica Davis, Christian Educator and #decolonizeLutheranism Chaplain
  • Rev. Lura Groen, Pastor and #decolonizeLutheranism Chaplain
  • Francisco Herrera, Ph. D candidate at LSTC and Convener of #decolonizeLutheranism
  • Rev. Angela Shannon, Dean of Student Life at Luther Seminary
  • Kelly Sherman-Conroy, Native American Theologian, Educator, Speaker, and Mentor