Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bethany Seminary's third Presidential Forum takes place in April.

Bethany Theological Seminary's third Presidential Forum will take place on April 9-10. Titled "When Strangers Are Angels: The Spiritual and Social Movements of Brethren, Friends, and Mennonites in a New Century)," this forum will bring persons from all three Historic Peace Church traditions together to explore this historical inheritance for the 21st century church and the world.

The event will explore a number of questions, including, "What have been and are each movement’s understandings of the relationship between Christ and culture?" and "How do our understandings of scripture and our spiritual practices address social concerns of today and extend hospitality in a blessed and broken world?"

Martin Marty, distinguished service professor emeritus at the University of Chicago and columnist for the "Christian Century," will be the keynote speaker. Other leadership will include representatives from each of the Historic Peace Churches. The forum also will feature a play titled "Man from Magdalena," written by Earlham School of Religion student Patty Willis and including musical compositions by Mary Lou Prince, music director and composer in residence at the Unitarian Universalist congregation of Green Valley, Ariz.

Scott Holland, Bethany Seminary professor of theology and culture and director of Peace Studies and Cross-Cultural Studies, will give a presentation titled "Intertextual Interpretation: When Jesus Is a Stranger." In addition, the forum will include worship and small group discussions.

Bethany alumni/ae and friends are invited to a Pre-Forum Gathering beginning with dinner on April 8, to explore the forum theme especially as it relates to the Church of the Brethren. Five Bethany faculty members will lead plenary sessions: academic dean Steven Schweitzer will focus on the Old Testament; professor of New Testament studies Dan Ulrich will compare the Matthew 25 and 28 passages; associate professor of preaching and worship Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm will lead a session on "Preaching Our Legacy from the Pulpit"; Tara Hornbacker, associate professor of ministry formation Tara Hornbacker and Russell Haitch, associate professor of Christian education Russell Haitch will lead a session exploring the topic, "How Is the Church Today Living out Church of the Brethren values?"

Continuing education units will be available: .5 for either the pre-forum gathering or the forum, or 1 unit for attending both events. Registration for the forum costs $75, or $25 for students; registration for the pre-forum gathering is $25. Meals are available for an additional charge. Questions may be directed to or 765-983-1823. Register for the forum at

Source: 1/28/2010 Newsline Extra

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