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Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

Join us for Pray and Break Bread: LGBTQIA Advocacy (Saturday March 28)!

One of the most fun and deeply meaningful things I've been part of at seminary is facilitating Contextual Learning's "Pray and Break Bread" project. This series of urban multicultural trips seeks to bring the Luther Seminary community off-campus to meet and listen to our neighbors.

Why is this important? Most of us have many opportunities to connect with other members of the Lutheran tradition (especially people of our own race, socioeconomic status, or gender or sexual identity), but fewer opportunities to connect with our neighbors of other traditions or other cultural groups in this diverse city. What does it mean to seek justice and love kindness if we are not paying attention to what is happening in our community and our political and economic systems?

We can't do this by ourselves. As a public Christian leader, I need to listen to my neighbors,and more than just the ones who seem to look or think like me.  I've come to believe that it is only by doing the hard work of listening and building relationships in community that I can learn what it means to seek justice.

In order to prepare our trips, I came up with an initial list of over 100 local faith-based communities, non-profits and arts groups deeply engaged in community-building and justice work. As I've reached out to each site on the list, religious leaders and activists have consistently responded with a little bit of astonishment and a lot of enthusiasm that seminary students would be interested in connecting and listening to their work. Our hosts have been generous and gracious in welcoming us, sharing stories and answering questions. I have learned so much about the history and ongoing life of the Twin Cities from these stories. Our two Pray and Break Bread trips in Fall 2014 brought us into relationship with diverse faith communities around the Twin Cities and illuminated the intersections between our faith lives and community struggles for racial, economic and housing justice.

This March, you're invited to another Pray and Break Bread adventure with Contextual Learning. On Saturday March 28th, consider joining us for Twin Cities LGBTQIA Advocacy Day, a day of visiting and learning from key actors in the rich local history of faith-based LGBTQIA advocacy.

We chose the theme for March 28th because Luther Seminary is surrounded by a wealth of organizations with decades of experience in LGBTQIA advocacy, and this is one way many of our students are already engaged in local community justice work. We'd like to learn from those organizations and lift up our rich connections. We'll visit three sites: ReconcilingWorks, OutFront, and All God's Children Metropolitan Community Church. It will be a great time to meet people, ask questions, learn polity and legislative advocacy methods, and reflect on our personal and community relationships. We'll also spend time together, reflect, and pray and break bread together. It will be a good time and an important way to respond to the gospel in our context. I hope you can join us! Please register by finding Pray and Break Bread on Facebook or email kparent001ce@luthersem.edu.

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