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Enriching January Seminars: Denominational Discussion Groups, Live Tweeting

by Lifelong Learning Staff

Diana Butler Bass

Whether you are Presbyterian, Lutheran, Baptist, Episcopal, AME, CME, United Methodist, Christian Church(Disciples of Christ), the January Seminars 2012 program offers a meaningful discussion group designed for you.

Enriching Diana Butler Bass’ keynote lectures will be a team of clergy and church professionals who will facilitate on-site and cyber discussions among denominational or otherwise associated groups of colleagues.

Bass will present a series of lectures on “Christianity After Religion:  The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening” January 24-26, 2012 on the seminary campus.

Following the first two lectures – “Endings” and “New Beginnings” - participants will be invited to “Imagine” together in denominational or associated groups the implications of what they are hearing for their particular congregations and denominations.

“We are assembling a group of individuals who will serve as true facilitators,” says Sarah Erickson, director of Lifelong Learning and conference coordinator. “They will encourage discussion among all. They will not be here to push a particular denominational or theological perspective or agenda. PLUS – each group will have someone who will “tweet” the small group discussion, to share conversation beyond the confines of the seminary campus.” 

The facilitators – assisted by their team tweeter -  will report on their group sessions on Thursday morning prior to Bass’ final lecture.  Bass will respond to these reports as she leads the conference to consider what “Awakenings” may be in store for faithful people and their communities.

The tweet team will live tweet the plenary sessions as well. Be watching for announcements of the conference hasthtags.

Among the facilitators and tweeters enlisted so far:

For Christian Church(Disciples of Christ) participants:  Dr. James Brewer Calvert (senior pastor at First Christian Church of Decatur, GA, and ordained in the UCC. Depending on the mix of participants, UCC folks will be invited to join this group.

For Episcopal participants: Dr. Bill Harkins, CTS senior lecturer in pastoral theology and care and ordained Episcopal priest serving in the Diocese of Atlanta at the Cathedral of St. Philip.

For African Methodist Episcopal (AME), African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) and Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) participants: Rev. David B. Rhone (facilitator) and Karma Johnson (tweeter). Rhone is presiding elder of the North Atlanta District of the AME church. Both are students in the Doctor of Educational ministry degree program at CTS.

For Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) participants: Revs. David Lewicki and Jill Patterson Tolbert. Lewicki is co-pastor at North Decatur Presbyterian Church in Decatur, GA. Tolbert is campus minister for Presbyterian Campus Ministry at Emory University and minister associate at Oglethorpe Presbyterian in Atlanta.

For United Methodist Church participants: Mark Westmoreland and Mandy Sloan Flemming. Westmoreland is senior pastor at Fayetteville First UMC. Flemming is associate pastor at St. Mark’s UMC in Atlanta.

For the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA) participants:  Rev. Bradley Schmeling, pastor at St. John’s Lutheran in Atlanta and adjunct faculty at the Candler School of Theology.

For Baptist participants: Rev. Deedra Rich, interim associate director for Spirituality and Lifelong Learning.

As registration grows, additional discussion groups may be added or will be assembled at the conference, as needed.

For details and to register, click HERE.