Bible Study Sessions

July Churchwide Assembly Bible Study Sessions

Recordings of the Bible studies will be viewable here.

Date Bio

July 10, 2022

Rev. Jay Alanís

Rev. Jay AlanĂ­s

The Rev. Dr. Javier Alanís is pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in San Juan, in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas. He was formerly the executive director of the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest (LSPS), an extension program of Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). He also served as the associate professor of theology, culture and mission at LSPS for over 20 years. Alanís continues to take ELCA students to the U.S.-Mexico border to learn pastoral care and global justice issues of immigrants and asylum-seekers. Prior to his academic appointment, he served as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in San Antonio from 1992-1996. He chaired the Southwestern Texas Synod’s Multicultural and Anti-Racism Committee during those years.

His academic interests include contextual borderland and diaspora theology, Latiné spirituality, and the social justice ethics of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King Jr. His doctoral dissertation focused on the Hebrew doctrine of the imago Dei (image of God) as a theological lens for welcoming the displaced and exiled stranger. In 2006 and 2019, Alanís was part of a panel that examined the subject of border walls at an international conference held in Berlin and at the Lutheran Center in Wittenberg, Germany. He is a frequent keynote speaker and is a contributor to the Lutheran devotional Christ in our Home, Lutheran Preaching Helps, and the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest’s Advent devotions. His theological reflections are featured in the July 2018 issue of Living Lutheran magazine and in the January 2019 theological publication Currents in Theology and Mission.

Alanís holds a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Madrid, Spain; a Master of International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management, Glendale, Ariz.; a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law, Austin; a Master of Divinity from LSPS; and a Master of Theology and Doctor of Philosophy from LSTC. In 2013, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award by LSTC.

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July 17, 2022

Sally Azar

Sally Azar

Sally Azar was born in Jerusalem and grew up in a bilingual family. She learned Arabic from her mother and German from her father, the Rev. Sani Ibrahim Azar, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). Her father, who learned German when he studied in Germany, continued to practice the language by passing it on to his children.

Growing up as a pastor’s child, Azar says the church has always been her second home. She received her Bachelor of Theology at the Near East School of Theology (N.E.S.T.) in Beirut, Lebanon. Azar studied in Germany for two years working on a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies. In 2017 she was elected as a young Council member representing Asia in the Lutheran World Federation, and in 2021 she was elected as a board member of Act Alliance, representing the Middle East as a youth. Currently, Azar is working on her Vikariat (pastoral training) in Germany. After finishing her studies, she plans to join the ELCJHL, where she will serve as the first woman pastor in the church and in the country.

Azar says it has always been her dream to serve the church and to work for it, and she will do everything in her power to see it flourish and further develop.

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July 24, 2022

Man-Hei Yip

Man Hei Yip

Dr. Man-Hei Yip is assistant professor of systematic theology at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. She holds a Doctorate in Theology of Mission from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (now United Lutheran Seminary). Her appointments have included visiting researcher at Boston University School of Theology in connection with the Center for Global Christianity and Mission, and work for the offices of the Lutheran World Federation in Geneva, Switzerland, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She is author of Interrogating the Language of “Self” and “Other” in the History of Modern Christian Mission: Contestation, Subversion, and Re-imagination (2020). She is also a contributor to Global Lutheranism: Vitality and Challenges (2018) and Luther’s Small Catechism: An Exposition of the Christian Faith in Asian Contexts and Cultures (2019).

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July 31, 2022

Denise Rector

Denise Rector

Denise Rector is a doctoral student at the Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) in the fields of womanist theology, race and history. Her dissertation explores the feedback loop between historiography and epistemology concerning the construction of African American racial identities throughout U.S. history and in the church. Rector earned her Master of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, in 2018, and her Master of Theology from LSTC in 2021. Beginning this fall, Rector will be the first doctoral scholar-in-residence at Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.

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