CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Jan. 31, 2002
Lutheran Worship Director Speaks On Conflicts Over Sex, Worship
Issues of sexuality and modernization of worship have
many Christians lined up on opposite sides of a philosophical battlefield.
Michael Burk, director for worship in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America,
will speak about the disagreements and the potential for resolution in his
presentation, "Sex and Worship: The Relationship Between Two of the Church's
Battlegrounds," at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8 in Room 704, Jefferson Building.
His lecture is part of the Floating Friday lecture series organized by the
University of Iowa American studies department.
Issues of human sexuality -- particularly homosexuality
-- and changes in worship practices both stir strong emotions and opinions
in members of many faiths, not just his, Burk said. He will speak about cultural
shifts that have led to "perceptible movement" within the church on both issues.
"It's only recently that we've come to realize that
the focus of our energies on both issues has been misplaced," he said. "I'm
presently convinced that the juxtaposition of these two issues will move us
if not more rapidly, then at least more gracefully toward a resolution of
Burk, who earned his Ph.D. in American studies at
the UI in 1998, was appointed to his current position in June 2001. Before
that he had served parishes in Dysart, Iowa City, Newton, and Waverly since
earning his master of divinity degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary in
Dubuque in 1986.