Imagery of church-related people and places.

2019 Proclaim Gathering

Aug. 1st at 3pm – Aug. 4th at Noon

“Bound conscience” is a concept outlined in ELCA’s social statement Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust. It has been used as a theological tool to uphold discriminatory beliefs that manifest in discriminatory practices. There are lots of arguments that suggest this idea is rooted in the work of Martin Luther. Luther indeed referenced the conscience as bound; according to him, it was bound regardless of to what/to who. Luther also suggested that a conscience that was bound to God’s Word was also free and actualized. Yes, that’s right, it gets messy real quick.

(un) is in parentheses to suggest that messiness, that nuance. It isn’t as cut and dry as proclaiming that all binding is bad. In Proclaim, we recognize and celebrate that the act of binding can be a gender identity-affirming practice for many.

It is important and necessary to distinguish what is meant when we say that we are dreaming of a church unbound; that is unbound and free from racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, and transphobia. We are untangling ourselves from the embedded and messy nature of all discrimination every day, moment to moment. Gathered together in Milwaukee, we will acquire tools to disentangle ourselves, each other and our communities. You can rest and you can play. There will be opportunities to learn, think deeply, question, and share with one another.

As future and established LGBTQIA+ leaders in the church, let us boldly name that which must be changed in our midst. Let’s challenge what blocks the path of justice. Let’s claim our collective power as a community in Christ. The church (un)bound is a conversation that we want to have with you.

What does a church unbound mean to you?

Proclaim members, Click Here to Register!

Scholarships are available for seminarians and those who are not in a full time call. Click here to apply for a registration scholarship!