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Plenary at Mid-Winter Convocation

Mid-Winter Convocation

Workshop Leaders

Keith Anderson, Click 2 Connect: The Art and Science of Digital Ministry

Keith is the author of “The Digital Cathedral: Networked Ministry in a Wireless World” (Morehouse, 2015) and co-author with Elizabeth Drescher of “Click2Save: The Digital Ministry Bible” (Morehouse, 2012).

Keith is a popular author, blogger and speaker on how our digitally-integrated and networked culture shapes faith and the practice of ministry.

Anthony Bateza, Between Derision and Detachment: Martin Luther and Social Criticism in a Fractured World

Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Bateza studied at Iowa State University and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. A Ph.D. candidate at Princeton Theological Seminary, he joined the faculty at St. Olaf in the fall of 2015. Before returning to graduate studies and higher education, he served as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniondale, N.Y., for four years. A specialist in Martin Luther and Christian ethics, Bateza’s research examines Luther’s understanding of human agency and his relationship with the virtue tradition. His other scholarly interests include the broader Augustinian tradition, the impact of Luther’s thought on 19th century philosophy, and questions of race, identity and social justice.

Dwight DuBois, The Unfinished Reformation: Fulfilling the Promise of Vocation

Dwight DuBois is the author of “The Scattering: Imagining a Church that Connects Faith and Life.” He is a parish pastor, congregational renewal professional and instructor at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. In recent years he has worked extensively on making the connection between faith and life, in congregations, with college students and at the seminary level.

Hollie Holt-Woehl, Reforming Perceptions, Theology, and Language about Mental Illness

Hollie holds a Ph.D. in Pastoral Care and Counseling with particular emphasis on the congregation. Her dissertation, “Congregations as Trinitarian Communities: Accepting, Welcoming and Supporting People with Chronic Mental Illness,” explores congregations that have welcomed people with mental illness into the life of the congregation. Ordained in 1993 in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, she has served congregations in rural, urban and suburban settings.

Rich Melheim, Luther the Rock Opera

Rich Melheim is an ELCA pastor with a specialized ministry call to the St. Paul Area Synod. His work engages and enlivens the church through the arts. Working on five continents to bring the faith alive, Melheim is the founder of,,, and curator of the Cross+Gen Movement’s

Jeremy Myers, Reforming in Public

Jeremy Myers teaches youth and family ministry at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minn. His current academic interests include articulating a vocational understanding of youth and a public understanding of church.

Kenneth Mtata, Religion for Social Transformation: Key Tools and Resources

Mtata studied theological education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. After ordination, he served as a pastor in Kwekwe Parish, Midlands, in Zimbabwe. He returned to KwaZulu-Natal, spending time at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Humboldt University in his Master and Doctoral studies. He specialized in biblical studies, writing his thesis on the concept of space and place in the Gospel of John. After his post-doctoral fellowship at the UKZN and the Fachhochschule für Interkulturelle Theologie Hermannsburg, Mtata held the position of study secretary for Lutheran Theology and Practice at the Lutheran World Federation. Mtata is widely published, especially from the two main LWF projects he is leading: the Lutheran Hermeneutics project and the Religion and Development project. His newly established project is on the Covenanting Nation, a Bible study process for the Zimbabwe Council of Churches designed to increase social cohesion, just relations and solidarity economic processes.  

Prairie Rose Seminole, God's Work, Our Hands—A Journey towards Witness and Reconciliation

Prairie Rose Seminole is program director of the American Indian Alaska Native Ministries of the ELCA and an enrolled tribal member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota, descendent of the Sahnish/Arikara, Northern Cheyenne and Lakota Nations and of German Russian heritage. Seminole serves on the Midwest Advisory Council to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, advising on labor, nonprofits and tribal government. In 2013 Seminole was named Arikara Woman of the Year, by the Sahnish Community of White Shield, N.D. In 2014 the Bush Foundation recognized Seminole as a Native Nations Rebuilder, a program that recognizes individuals who have a passion for learning about innovative tribal governance practices, and how they can take these ideas and approaches to their own Native nations to make a positive difference. In 2015 the North Dakota Center for Business and Technology recognized Seminole as one of 2015 Leading Ladies. She writes for the MHA Times and hosts a radio show on KMHA called the Voice that emphasizes community building and reconciliation efforts

Gordon Straw, Loving God With All Your Mind: Then and Now

Gordon (Gordy) Straw is an enrolled member of the Brothertown Indian Nation. He earned a Th.M. in systematic theology at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He is a board member of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. He currently serves as program director for Lay Schools for Ministry, ELCA, which focuses on theological education and skills training for ministry of all the baptized. He is liaison to the interim ministry, first-call theological education, and the synodically authorized ministry endeavors in the ELCA and formerly served as program director for American Indian and Alaska Native ministries, ELCA.

Debbie Streicher, Connecting the Reformation with All Ages through Milestones

Debbie Streicher has developed resources for congregations to involve all ages in faith formation, strengthen family relationships and empower God-given gifts to do ministry. She has coached and consulted leadership in congregations across the USA, Australia and in Canada. She is a lifelong Lutheran, past-president of the Christian Education Network of the ELCA and co-director of Milestones Ministry.

Roger Willer, ELCA Social Teaching and Overlooked Dimensions of the Reformation

Roger A. Willer is a pastor of the ELCA who serves as the director for Theological Ethics on the Theological Discernment Team in the ELCA Office of the Presiding Bishop. He has worked since 2005 as lead staff person with the respective task forces in the development of ELCA social teaching documents. His essay “Emerging Tapestry: An Evangelical Lutheran Social Ethic” will appear in Dialog: A Journal of Theology in spring or summer of 2017. It expresses the claim that ELCA social teaching documents are weaving a coherent evangelical Lutheran social responsibility ethic. He earned his Ph.D. in 2009 in theology at the University of Chicago.