Fall Theological Conference
The Way of Jesus and the Reign of God.
New Eyes to see what is central to the Christian Faith.
A Bonhoeffer Moment
Jesus’ first sermon was “repent and believe in the good news for the reign of God has come near.” Repenting is about turning around, changing the direction of one’s life. What direction were those first hearers of Jesus’ going that they needed to “repent”? They were Galilean peasants living under the oppressive rule of Rome, under the reality that Rome defined their existence.
Jesus’ call was to turn around and see that this was God’s reign, not Rome’s. Jesus' call was to live in that reality. That reality of God’s reign, how radically different it is from the “status quo” or “the way things just are” was described in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount – the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes were the way of Jesus which called people to live in the reign of God.
These past several months of dealing with a pandemic have uprooted the “status quo” of our lives, exposing the deep fractures and fissions in our society. The blinders have been removed, giving us new eyes to see what our faith means, what is central to traveling the way of Jesus and participating in God’s reign. Our Fall Theological Conference will be an opportunity (in this Bonhoeffer Moment) to come together and explore the meaning of faith as we participate in God’s mission of radical love and justice.
Dr. Raj Nadella
Samuel A. Cartledge Associate Professor of New Testament,
Columbia Theological Seminary
Fall Theological Conference:
October 12-14, 2021
The Way of Jesus and the Reign of God.
Resources and Follow Up:
Forgotten Luther, volumes 1, 2, and 3 are available from:
Videos are on the ELCA World Hunger site:
Williams, Reggie. L. Bonhoeffer's Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance. Waco, Tx: Baylor University Press, 2014. available from:
Kai Munk quote:
ELCA Advocacy Introductory Resources:
Advocacy 101 for Young Adults (and others)
Other resources for discussion and discernment:
National Issues Forum - Deliberative Dialogue is a facilitated discussion model to decrease polarization and seek solutions.
Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion – A ministry of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Milwaukee Wi.
Braver Angels work on decreasing political polarization.
Kansas has a state coordinator
Missouri does not have one listed.
Rev. Amy Reumann
Director of Advocacy,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Raj Nadella is the Samuel A. Cartledge Associate Professor of New Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. His research and teaching interests include postcolonial biblical interpretation, migration, and New Testament perspectives on economic justice and their ethical implications for the Church and society. He is the author of Dialogue Not Dogma: Many Voices in the Gospel of Luke (T&T Clark, 2011) and an area editor for Oxford Bibliographies Online: Biblical Studies. He is the co-author of Postcolonialism and the Bible and co-editor of Christianity and the Law of Migration, both forthcoming in 2021. He has written for publications such as the Huffington Post, Christian Century, and Working Preacher.
Nadella is actively involved in the academy and the Church on issues such as race, economic justice, and immigration. He serves on the National Council of Churches USA’s Faith and Order Commission and chairs the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)’s Committee on Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession (CUREMP).
Rev. Amy Reumann serves the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) as Senior Director for Witnessing in Society. She is based in Washington DC, leading ELCA federal public policy advocacy, the ELCA network of state public policy offices, the ELCA presence at United Nations headquarters, and the Corporate Social Responsibility program. She is an ELCA pastor who has served ministries in urban, rural, and suburban settings in New Jersey and Wisconsin. She serves on the board of Bread for the World and chairs the Policy Committee. She has contributed to numerous publications on matters of faith and public policy, spiritual formation, and public witness. Amy is currently enjoying a Louisville Institute Pastoral Studies Grant on the topic, “The Church As Mouth House: Public Testimony as a Faith Practice.” She is the mother of two daughters. Amy is a Master Gardener and enjoys educating others about native plants and sustainable agriculture practices. She is a farm manager at the Koiner Urban Farm in Silver Spring Md. She enjoys a good mystery, strong coffee, curried anything, long hikes, and her two cats.
2021 FALL THEOLOGICAL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE (download here)
Monday – October 11
1:00 – 5:00 p.m. First Call Rostered Leaders Meeting
Tuesday – October 12
9:00 – 11:00 a.m. First Call Rostered Leaders Meeting
9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Conference Deans Meeting with Bishop Candea
11:00 a.m. Registration Opens
1:00 p.m. Plenary I
Welcome and guided conversation with one another
Presentation by Bishop Candea
Presentation 1 by Dr. Nadella
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. Worship
Wednesday– October 13
9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer
9:30 a.m. Plenary II
Presentation 2 – Dr. Nadella
Presentation 3 – Rev. Reumann
Noon Lunch –
Ministries, Tables, & Teams invited to host discussions
1:30 p.m. free time
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. Listening Session
7:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. Fellowship & Game Time with snacks
(You are invited to bring a favorite game)
Thursday – October 14
9:00 a.m. Plenary III
Presentation 4 - Rev. Reumann
Panel Discussion/Questions and Answers
10:45 a.m. Closing worship
11:30 a.m. Conference Concludes