Featured Stories, Lutherans in Minnesota

Taking initiative with the Bible

Luther Seminary will the second Book of Faith Jubilee April 29 to May 1. The conference, titled “Inspiring Everyday People to Engage the Bible,” is intended for pastors, lay people, and congregational leaders.

The jubilee offering will be a partnership of Luther, the ELCA Book of Faith Initiative, Augsburg College, and Augsburg Fortress Press. It is a follow-up to the 2009 event, “Equipping Everyday People to Read the Bible.”

“[This conference] is based on one extreme idea, that not enough Lutherans have been reading the Bible deeply enough,” said Diane Jacobson, director of the Book of Faith Initiative for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). “How can we help people learn scripture as their second language — their first language of faith?”

Jacobson said that people know they’ve learned a language when they dream in that language. She wonders, “What would it look like if we dreamed in scripture?”

“I really think the first Jubilee event helped people do that,” Jacobson said. The responses to that event were very strong. Participants said things like:

* “I am a Christian educator, and I really appreciated the emphasis on the Bible in the home. I also valued the opportunity to hear our speakers and workshop leaders speak about their personal struggles, joys, and practices with our Book of Faith.”

* “My heartfelt thanks to all who so beautifully planned the Jubilee. I was equipped in ways I am only beginning to realize. The event in its entirety was life-changing and affirming of what truly matters, of whose we are and the importance of sharing that good news.”

* “It was great! Very evident the Spirit was at work at this event, and I came away blessed and excited to go back to our congregation to get them excited.”

Keynote speakers for “Inspiring Everyday People” include the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, pastor at House for All Sinners and Saints, Denver, Colorado; Craig Koester, professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary; John Roberto, founder of LifelongFaith Associates; and Jessicah Duckworth, associate professor of Christian formation, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.

“This year’s workshop leaders and keynoters are, on average, a little younger [than 2009],” Jacobson said of the conference program. “So we can look forward to more from the emerging church, not just to talk to them, but also to hear from them.

“For instance, John Roberto is doing some of the most creative work at helping congregations to ask ‘Who are we trying to reach? What are we doing to try to reach them?’ These are essential questions for the church today.”

For more information or to register, go to www.luthersem.edu/jubilee or call 651/641-3416.

The Book of Faith Initiative kicked off in August 2007. The purpose of the initiative is to increase biblical literacy and fluency for the sake of the world.

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