Augustana Welcomes Speaker and Author Rev. Lenny Duncan to Sioux Falls, University’s Campus

Augustana, in partnership with Our Savior's Lutheran Church, will welcome Rev. Lenny Duncan to Sioux Falls and the university campus on Sunday, September 27, through Tuesday, September 29.

Pr. Duncan is a national speaker on topics of faith and anti-racism. His book Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S. is a compelling plea to the church — specifically the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the denomination in which Duncan is ordained — to critically examine its theology and practices, to renounce white privilege and white supremacy, and pursue racial justice as holy work.

Augustana Campus Pastor Rev. Ann Rosendale ‘04 said, "We are very fortunate to have Rev. Duncan come to our campus. Following the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, his visit could not be more timely or more important. As a university of the ELCA, and as a place that prepares students for living and serving in a diverse world, Pastor Duncan's word is one that speaks to the mission and core values of Augustana."

Last winter, Pr. Ann collaborated with Willette Capers, assistant dean of students for diversity, equity and inclusion, to lead a campus-wide book discussion on Dear Church. What came out of the conversation was a clearer call for our campus to respond to racial oppression and examine our own privilege and part in systems of injustice.

"Duncan's book has made me more aware of the way in which my own religious rituals and traditions may contribute to inequity. In the church we often talk about "light" as good and of God, but darkness as "bad" and devoid of God. Pastors wear white robes as symbols of cleanliness and purity. But to a person of color, a white robe has a very different (often violent) connotation. I've become inspired to do all I can to help worship at Augustana reflect the splendid diversity of our campus and the world God made."

All events featuring Duncan are free, in-person and open to the public — minding physical distancing guidelines. Masks are required and seating will be limited. Augustana University events featuring Duncan will also be live-streamed on the Augustana (SD) Campus Ministry Facebook page. Sunday morning worship will be live-streamed on the Our Savior's Lutheran Church Facebook page.

Please find below Duncan’s schedule of events:

Sunday, September 27

Worship Featuring Rev. Duncan Preaching

Our Savior's Lutheran Church

8:45 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.

Dear Church Book Reading and Q&A Session

Our Savior's Lutheran Church

2-4 p.m.

Monday, September 28 

"The Church, White Privilege, and God's Justice": A conversation with Rev. Duncan moderated by Willette Capers and Rev. Ann Rosendale

Augustana Chapel of Reconciliation

3-4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 29

Campus Worship Featuring Rev. Duncan Preaching

Augustana Chapel of Reconciliation

10-10:30 a.m.


Event Questions: Contact Rev. Ann Rosendale, campus pastor, or Willette Capers, assistant dean of students for diversity, equity and inclusion.

Media Inquiries: Contact Jill Wilson, public relations and communications strategist.