As the United States Supreme Court deliberates the legality of same-sex marriage, LCMS Lutherans now have an opportunity to participate in a conference on the same topic. DOXOLOGY: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel, a Recognized Service Organization of the LCMS, will host “Speaking the Truth in Love: A Compassionate Response to Same-Sex Attraction and Same-Sex Marriage” Aug. 14-15 in Mundelein, Ill.
The event is more than a “traditional conference,” explained Dr. Beverly Yahnke, DOXOLOGY’s executive director for Christian Counsel. Instead, it will “provide clear tools for pastors to catechize congregations. It will offer strategies and language for principals and teachers to talk with parents in the elementary and high schools. Laity will be provided with confidence to speak about these important matters with others in their church and
community. All will see the need for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be woven throughout each and every conversation we may have with those in the LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] community.”
Dr. Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and founder/director of Princeton’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, will serve as keynote speaker. A prolific writer and public speaker, George is a member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. He previously served on the President’s Council on Bioethics (2002-09) and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights (1993-98).
Other speakers include the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the LCMS Office of National Mission; Dr. Gregory P. Schulz, professor of Philosophy at Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wis.; and the Rev. Lucas Woodford, senior pastor at Zion Lutheran Church and School, Mayer, Minn.
“Christ’s people have a compelling need to speak His Word that frees souls not only from the guilt of sin, but also its addictive power,” said the Rev. Dr. Harold Senkbeil, DOXOLOGY’S executive director for Spiritual Care.
“This conference will equip pastors, church workers and laity to translate compassion into action that brings hope to our brothers and sisters who see themselves locked in a suffocating box of despair over their attraction to people of the same sex. Specifically, we will help pastors move beyond God’s clear prohibition of homosexual behavior to unfolding the immense power of His forgiveness, life and salvation — thus providing healing and wholeness to people who assume their lives are irretrievably broken. More than that, we will provide pastors with specific guidelines to teach congregations a comprehensive biblical vision for marriage and the family while assisting parents and grandparents to teach and model healthy sexuality to their children and grandchildren.”
The conference will be held at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein. For more information or to register, visit doxology.us.
Says Yahnke: “This is a conference of hope, faith and mission!”