Vicar Lenny Duncan brings conversation about race, intersectionality and faith to Luther College

DECORAH, Iowa—During his visit to Luther College March 2-4, Vicar Lenny Duncan will share his story—of being called to ministry after being formerly incarcerated, homeless and unchurched—and raise questions for the community to consider together.

“Will we bring good news to oppressed? Feed the grace-famished? Welcome our LGBTQ siblings? Finally offer repentance and reparations to People Of Color communities? Or will we allow the North American Church to be defined by the voices that clothe hatred as community, and fear as the Gospel? Can this generation be the one that finally starts to decolonize the cross and create the beloved community the world is groaning for? I’m looking forward to wrestling with these questions with new friends and faces,” said Duncan

Duncan will preach in chapel at Luther’s Center for Faith and Life Main Hall at
10:30 a.m. Friday, March 2, as part of a chapel series that connects with the ways the college is exploring the theme of Hope over Hate.

A screening, with discussion, of Duncan’s film, “Do Black Churches Matter in the ELCA?” will take place at 5 p.m. March 2, on campus in Valders Hall of Science Room 206.

Vicar Duncan will also preach in worship at Luther at 10 a.m. Sunday, March 4, in the Main Hall of Luther’s Center for Faith and Life. Worship on Sunday morning features Luther’s Gospel Choir, directed by Brendon Adams and Luther Alumnus Sam Simataa, with guest musicians from the Minnesota Chorale and Luther’s Collegiate Chorale, directed by Jennaya Robison, Luther assistant professor of music.

All events associated with Vicar Duncan’s visit are open to the public with no charge for admission. The Friday chapel service will be streamed online at https://stream.luther.edu, and the Sunday morning service can be heard live on KWLC AM 1240.

“Vicar Duncan brings a prophetic word, particularly for his denomination, the ELCA, but also for all people wondering if faith offers genuine responses to the real lives of real people.” said the Reverend Anne Edison-Albright, college pastor at Luther. “This is a wonderful opportunity for students, staff, faculty and community members to take part in a conversation that is challenging and vitally important.”

Finishing his Master of Divinity studies at United Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia and serving as a vicar at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, Duncan has been approved for ordination as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He’s been assigned to the Metro New York Synod to serve as a mission developer, which means that his work when he graduates from seminary will be to start a new ministry or reach out to a community that hasn’t been served by existing ministries.

Duncan’s work—in articles, film and as a leader in the ELCA—focuses on the Black Lives Matter movement and intersections with other marginalized groups. He is raising funds to start work on his second film, a follow up to “Do Black Churches Matter in the ELCA?” More information about “Young, Gifted and Black in the ELCA,” and how to support it, is available here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2087307671/young-gifted-and-black-in-the-elca.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website: http://www.luther.edu.


Feb. 23, 2018              For immediate release

Contact: Anne Edison-Albright, Luther College pastor

Telephone: (563) 387-1042

E-mail: edisan01@luther.edu