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2020 Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge

10/6/2020 1:15:00 PM

​CHICAGO — In an increasing polarized world, biblical citations do not always serve their primary intent of reflecting God's love. Under the theme "The Bible – Word, Not Weapon," the 2020 Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge will address how Bible verses taken out of context can become weapons that discredit others or justify cruel treatment of those portrayed as different.

Presented by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the annual Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge seeks to enliven the biblical engagement of the whole church by encouraging the development of faithful, innovative and effective ways to teach and learn Scripture. The event is sponsored by the seven ELCA seminaries, the Hein-Fry planning team and the ELCA Book of Faith Initiative. 

Every year, one student from each seminary is invited to develop and present a class or series for people both familiar and unfamiliar with biblical texts. In follow-up, the students are invited to report their findings.

This year the challenge will comprise four online events:

  • Jennifer Garcia from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, Calif., will present "Sharing Our Faith in a Time of Social Distancing" on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 2 p.m. Pacific time.
  • Taylor Berdahl from United Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg, Pa., will present "Biblical Responses to COVID-19: Lament, Bodies, Breath" on Monday, Oct. 26, at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time.
  • Karl Anliker from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago will present "Look for the Women: A Virtual Bible Study in Search of Hope" on Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 2:30 p.m. Central time.
  • Christopher Shealy from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Lenoir-Rhyne University, Columbia, S.C., will present "How Scripture Is Weaponized, and What We Can Do About It" on Friday, Oct. 30, 2 p.m. Eastern time.

The Rev. Susan R. Briehl will serve as online host.

The public is invited to attend these free online events, but registration is required for each of them. Registration information is available here.

The Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge is an endowed theological lecture series established after the American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) merged into the ELCA in 1988. The series combines the ALC's Dr. Carl Christian Hein Memorial Seminary Lectures and the LCA's Franklin Clark Fry Theological Lectures.
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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands.," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

For information contact:
Candice Hill Buchbinder


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