God talk, or practical theology, is at the heart of Lutheran education.
It is what we do. However, with the ever-increasing diversity and complexity of societal issues, Lutheran learning communities can often feel challenged in knowing how to talk about God or relate theology to practice.
Principals, directors, school pastors, congregation pastors and other ministry personnel were invited to Faith Lutheran College, Tanunda, for the biennial Lutheran Education Australia National Ministry Conference in May.
In the opening devotion, students from Faith encouraged participants, ‘to remember that the topics you wrestle with today are not theoretical for us, but are deeply personal and speak to the core of who we are.’
Beginning with the topic of human sexuality and in particular gender identification, Professor Wendy Mayer and Rev Dr Stephen Haar (from Adelaide Lutheran College) led participants in a theological action research framework where they had the opportunity to listen and dialogue with each other as they navigated their way through complex societal issues.
The conference also served as the launch for Connect – the new accreditation and formation program for staff in Lutheran learning communities.
The mood of the conference was extremely collegial. While there were no clear decisions or outcomes, it was certainly a timely opportunity for schools and church to work together in navigating how best to go about doing God talk in our Lutheran learning communities around complex issues.
Stuart Traeger is the Spiritual & Cultural Leader for Lutheran Education SA, NT & WA
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