Home > Pastors’ Conference 2023

Reclaiming Christian Anthropology:
Gender Ideology and Our Pastoral Response

January 31-February 2, 2023, Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk, San Antonio, Texas

“Male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27b

It has become clear that NALC pastors are seeking deep and meaningful theological content, while also being provided with “on the ground — real life” application.

Is there a timelier topic requiring in-depth biblical and theological reflection — as well as reasoned, faithful pastoral response — than the current issues relating to biblical/Christian anthropology? The current confusion related to gender ideology has raised questions and challenges for parents, youth and children, as well as for pastors and congregations ministering to these persons.

The speaker for the 2023 NALC Pastors’ Conference will first present a clear understanding of Christian anthropology and then discuss the current attack on such anthropology from the gender ideology advocates. Following the presentation will be small and large group discussions, and engagement related to real-life situations and scenarios.

The keynote presenter will be Dr. John S. Grabowski, Ordinary Professor of Moral Theology and Ethics, Catholic University of America and author of the recent book, Unraveling Gender. A native of Wisconsin, Dr. Grabowski is a graduate of the University of Steubenville and Marquette. He has been on the faculty of CUA for thirty years. His expertise includes fundamental moral theology, marriage, sexual ethics, theological anthropology, virtue theory and gender issues. He and his wife served on the Pontifical Council for the Family, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 and has served two terms as a theological advisor on the USCCB Council on Laity, Marriage Family and Youth. In 2015, he was appointed by Pope Francis to serve as an expert at the Synod of Bishops on the Family. Dr. Grabowski has published widely in the areas of moral theology, marriage, sexuality and bioethics.

Again, this year, several of our pastors and theologians will present a response to the presentations, followed by panel discussions.

In addition to plenary sessions on the theme, there will be opportunities for one-on-one meetings with NALC staff, a presentation by Hahn Financial Group, private confession and absolution and the annual meeting of the NALC Ministerium. The NALC Ministerium will include a Holy Communion service, the renewal of ordination vows and a blessing of oil which will be distributed to pastors for use in local NALC congregations.

All NALC pastors are invited to participate in the 2023 Pastors’ Conference!

The 2023 NALC Pastors’ Conference will be January 31-February 2, at the Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX.

Pastoral Development Days & the Spouse's Gathering

Friday, January 27-30, 2023, Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

“See that you fulfill the ministry which you have received from the Lord.” Colossians 4:17

For the first time ever, the NALC will be offering Pastoral Development Days. As a part of the Today, Tomorrow and Forever initiative, this continuing education event for NALC pastors will be offered prior to the NALC Pastors’ Conference. The development days will begin Friday evening, January 27 and will conclude Monday, January 30 at noon.

To celebrate the launch of Pastoral Development Days, registration and meals are covered by the NALC, but currently spots are limited to 20 participants. Participants are responsible for their hotel. 

NALC Pastoral Development Days are open to any NALC pastor wishing to improve and develop pastoral skills, understanding and excellence! It will be especially helpful for newly ordained pastors, those ordained only a few years and those mid-career who wish to sharpen skills and abilities.

Topics to be addressed include faithfulness and excellence in ministry; pastoral and personal self-reflection and assessment (including goal setting and accountability); the pastor as leader and member of a team; best practices for building a functional church leadership team; a deep dive into the DNA of the NALC. The sessions on Sunday will be directed toward excellence in preaching, with preaching practicums and small group discussion/evaluation. The Development Days conclude Monday morning with presentations on “best practices,” in ministry.

At the conclusion of the Pastoral Development Days, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Registration & Hotel: Indicate on your Pastors’ Conference registration that you intend to participate and make hotel reservations on your own. All sessions will take place at the Pastors’ Conference hotel, the Drury Plaza Riverwalk Hotel, San Antonio, Texas. For questions or more information, contact Pastor David Wendel, [email protected].

See the Pastoral Development Days Agenda

Monday, January 30, 2023, 6:30-9 p.m., Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

All pastors’ spouses are invited to participate in this second gathering, Monday, January 30, 6:30-9 p.m., prior to the opening of the annual NALC Pastors’ Conference (Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2023). Topics raised at the 2022 gathering, to be highlighted in 2023 are: the difference between being married before a pastor enters ordained ministry vs. a spouse being called to ordained ministry after years of marriage; how to handle confidentiality; how close can/should relationships be with parishioners; the importance of clergy/spouse friends; how the NALC can help congregational leadership to understand the dynamics of pastor/spouse within the congregation; how to keep one’s own identity; how to set and keep boundaries; how to be a healthy pastor/spouse couple.

Registration: To register for the NALC Pastor’s Spouse Gathering, check the box on the pastors’ conference registration form online, providing spouse’s name and email address. There is no cost to participate. Spouses are encouraged to spread the word to other pastor’s spouses who may not be aware of this important gathering! For questions or more information, please contact Pastor David Wendel, [email protected]

Registration & Hotel Information

Scholarships are available to NALC seminarians and NALC multinational clergy and congregations. To request a scholarship, please contact Anne Gleason at [email protected]

Registration Fee: $100

Deadline to register is January 20, 2023.

Hotel: Drury Plaza Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk

(Please note: we have a room block. You can click the link below for the room block information.) The final day to secure a room with our room block is December 28, 2022. Reservations made after this date will be subject to prevailing rate and availability.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. John S. Grabowski

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