Thurber Lectures

Thurber Lectures is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.

Meal at 19h00; Presentation 19h45-21h15.

 

Video recordings of selected past Thurber Lectures available here.

 

Thurber Lecture — Prof. Mark Burrows

Heart-Work of Love: Meister Eckhart’s Vision of Wholeness in a Time of Fragmentation
Wednesday 24 January in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Prof. Mark Burrows“The eye with which I see God is exactly the same eye with which God sees me. My eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowledge, one love.” One seeing: this is the key to faithful living. One knowledge: this is a theme central to the writings of Meister Eckhart (d. 1328), which speaks prophetically to a hurried culture like ours, riddled with brokenness and burdened with anxiety. One love: if we could find a way to live into this, personally and as a society, we would be healthier and happier. The challenge is putting such a depth-vision into practice. This talk offers the opportunity to do just this: to drink deeply from the wellspring of a vision like Eckhart’s that invites us to “make all things new,” beginning with our own lives. Courageous and even audacious, Eckhart’s language was well ahead of his times, offering us the kind of wisdom we need to live into the “new” life that faith promises. Such a vision, anticipating the reformers’ later emphasis on radical grace, embodies Jesus’ sense that “eternal life” invites us to live into ever deeper love—here and now. Come to taste the fruit of this bold visionary. Expect the stirrings of transformation.

Prof. Mark Burrows, Ph.D. is well-known internationally for his writings and as a lecturer and retreat leader. A published poet with a doctorate in historical theology, he has devoted his energies as teacher and scholar to the intersection of theology and the arts, above all as mediated by the mystics. These offer us what he describes as “the most practical and life-changing sources” in our tradition. Currently professor of theology and literature at the University of Applied Sciences in Bochum, Germany, he is the author (with Jon Sweeney) of a recent book of poems inspired by Meister Eckhart, Meister Eckhart’s Book of the Heart. Meditations for the Restless Soul (Hampton House, 2017), a title one reviewer recently described as “brimming with passion, originality, and depth”.

 Thurber Lectures is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.

Thurber Lecture — Rev. Greg Millikan

God is in the Room: The Biblical Theme of God’s Presence with us in Everyday Life.
Tuesday 13 February in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Rev. Greg MillikanIn his early twenties, after looking into different religions, traveling to different parts of the world and questioning many of his assumptions about life, Greg had an encounter with hearing Jesus' voice that he couldn’t intellectually deny and led him to rethink everything. God was in the room, now what? This led to a season of God significantly softening Greg’s heart and began a growing awareness of God’s presence physically. As these tangible encounters with God’s love and power intensified Greg began a gradual process of sharing this with others in multiple ministry roles as an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA). What initially was a ‘Peter getting out the boat and standing on water’ type of experience became a more abiding reality as Greg learned to share what was in him with others, not just in church settings, but in everyday life. This pursuit has led to in-depth biblical and theological study and spending time with different Christian communities around the world to learn about others' experience of God's presence and power.

Rev. Greg Millikan is a PhD candidate in practical theology at Durham University in the UK. He has studied Scripture and theology at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland; received his Masters of Divinity from Regent College in Vancouver, BC; and his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington. Greg is ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA. He, his wife, Alison, and their four kids are currently living in Bend, Oregon.

Rev. Millikan is also preaching at ACP on Sunday 11 February.

Thurber Lectures is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.

 

Thurber Lecture — Ralston Deffenbaugh

The Stranger: There once was a refugee family named Joseph, Mary and Jesus
Wednesday 21 March in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Ralston DeffenbaughMr. Deffenbaugh will talk about the strong Biblical, theological, and historical foundation for Christian service with refugees and migrants. In fact, they are us. He will give an overview of the current global refugee situation and give examples of how individuals and congregations can respond to our Lord’s call to “welcome the stranger.”

Ralston Deffenbaugh (Ralie) is a human rights lawyer who has spent most of his career working for the church. He retired in June 2017 after seven years’ service as the Lutheran World Federation’s Assistant General Secretary for International Affairs and Human Rights. In that role, he coordinated the LWF’s international affairs and human rights advocacy and policy development, advised the General Secretary, and served as the LWF’s main representative to the United Nations offices in Geneva.

Mr. Deffenbaugh’s previous experience includes 18 years heading up the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (the U.S. Lutheran churches’ agency for resettling refugees and working with asylum seekers, unaccompanied refugee children, and persons in immigration detention), six years heading up the Lutheran Office for World Community (representing LWF at UN headquarters in New York), and four previous years at LWF Geneva (also handling international affairs advocacy). During Namibia’s transition to independence in 1989-90, Deffenbaugh served as legal adviser for the Namibian Lutheran bishops. A graduate of the University of Colorado (in Economics) and of the Harvard Law School, Deffenbaugh is licensed to practice law in Colorado. He is married to Miriam Boraas Deffenbaugh; they have two adult children.

Thurber Lectures is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.

 

Thurber Lecture — Pastor Eugene Cho

The Whole Gospel.
Thursday 12 April in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Pastor Eugene ChoWhat does it mean to teach, live, and embody a faith that reflects both the Great Commandment and the Great Commission? Evangelism and Justice are not competing agendas but rather, equally important to our discipleship.

Eugene Cho is the founder and Lead Pastor of Quest Church – an urban, multi-cultural and multi-generational church in Seattle, Washington. He is also the founder and visionary of One Day’s Wages (ODW) – a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty.

For his entrepreneurial work and spirit, Eugene was recently honored as one of 50 Everyday American Heroes and the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Eugene recently released his first book, Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?

Eugene and Minhee have been married for 21 years and have three children. Together, they live in Seattle, Washington.

Pastor Cho is also preaching at ACP on Sunday 8 April.

Thurber Lectures is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.

 

Thurber Lecture — Rev. Dr. Charles Amjad-Ali

Exorcising Prejudice: The Reformation and the Other (Jews & Turks).
Thursday 24 May in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Tragic Pasts and Ambiguous Futures: Our Inter-religious World.
Thursday 31 May in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Rev. Dr. Charles Amjad-AliRev. Prof. Charles Amjad-Ali, Ph.D., Th.D., was the inaugural Martin Luther King, Jr., Professor of Justice and Christian Community, and the Director of Islamic Studies (Emeritus) at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota. He was also the first Archbishop Desmond Tutu Professor of Ecumenical Theology and Social Transformation in Africa at the University of Western Cape in South Africa in 2013. He thus had the honor of occupying two prestigious academic chairs named after two Nobel Laureates of African-American and African descent.

He was the Academic Dean at the SCUPE Consortium for Urban Education, in Chicago, IL in 2014. He is currently working on Christian Muslim relations at the Christian Study Centre in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, as well as labor issues and worker’s rights at the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research in Karachi, Pakistan.

He is an ordained presbyter of the Church of Pakistan, and was the director of the Christian Study Center in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, which focused on Christian-Muslim dialogue, peace advocacy, and human rights work, from 1985 till 1995, the director of political education at the Aurat (Women) Foundation in Pakistan, in 1995-96, and was a founding member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. He was chair of the Urban Rural Mission (URM) of the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in 1992 and was a core member URM/CWME from 1989-1993. He was also one of the Commissioners of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches from 1989-1993 and for the Christian Conference of Asia from 1993-1996.

He has a M.Div. and Ph.D. (magna cum laude) from Princeton Theological Seminary in Theology and Political Philosophy, a post-doctoral certificate in Islamic Law and History from Columbia University, and did Ph.D. studies in Philosophy and Social Thought at Bonn and Berlin Universities in Germany. He also received an honorary doctorate in Theology from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, on its five-hundred-year anniversary celebrations in 1995.

Among his many publications, the most recent publications are:
• “Jews and Muslims in Europe: Exorcising Prejudice Against the Other,” in Dale Irwin, ed., The Protestant Reformation and World Christianity: Global Perspectives (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2017)
• "Deconstructing Historical Prejudice: Luther's Treatment of the Turks (Muslims)", in Tikkun vol. 32. no. 3 (Summer 2017), 39-43
• "Prejudice and Its Historical Application: A Radical Hermeneutic of Luther's Treatment of the Turks (Muslims) and the Jews" in Liberation from Violence for Life in Peace, 4th volume of a 6 volume work entitled Radicalizing Reformation commemorating the 500 year anniversary of Luther and the Reformation, ed. by Ulrich Duchrow and Craig Nessan, (Berlin, Germany: Lit verlag Dr. Hopf, 2015), pp. 105-142. Published also in the US in Radicalizing Reformation: North American Perspectives, ed., Karen Bloomquist, Craig Nessan and Hans G. Ulrich (Zurich, Switzerland: LIT Verlag, 2016) 204-242, and translated into Spanish, “El Prejuicio y su Aplicacion Historica: Una Hermeneutica Radical del Trato de Lutero a los Turcos (Musulmanes) y a los Judios,” in Radicalizando La Reforma: Otra Teologia para Otro Mundo (San Jose, Costa Rica: Ediciones la Aurora, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2016), pp. 233-376.
• “Challenges of Diversity and Migration in Islamic Political Theory and Theology” in Elaine Padilla and Peter C. Phan, eds., Theology of Migration in the Abrahamic Religions (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014), 187-208
Dreaming A Different World: Globalisation and Justice for Humanity and the Earth, The Challenge of the Accra Confession for the Churches, ed., with Allan Boesak and Johan Weusmann (2010);
Leaving the Shadows? Pakistani Christians and the Search for Orientation in an Overwhelmingly Muslim Society, with Theodor Hanf, (2008); and
Islamophobia or Restorative Justice: Tearing the Veil of Ignorance (2006).

Rev. Dr. Amjad-Ali is also preaching at ACP on Sunday 27 May.

Thurber Lectures is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.

 

Thurber Lecture — Rev. Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim

Embracing the Other: The Transformative Spirit of Love.
Wednesday 20 June in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Rev. Dr. Grace Ji-Sun KimWe live in a time of great racial strife and global conflict. How do we work toward healing, reconciliation, and justice among all people, regardless of race or gender? Dr. Kim will draw on concepts from Asian and indigenous cultures to reimagine the divine as "Spirit God" who is restoring shalom in the world. Through the power of Spirit God our brokenness is healed and we can truly love and embrace the Other.

Grace Ji-Sun Kim is an Associate Professor of Theology at Earlham School of Religion. Kim is the author or editor of 12 books, most recently, Planetary Solidarity; Intercultural Ministry; and Embracing the Other. She is a co-editor of the Palgrave Macmillan Book Series, Asian Christianity in Diaspora. Kim is on the American Academy of Religion's Board of Directors as an At-Large Director. She writes for The Huffington Post, Sojourners, TIME, and more of her writing can be found on her own website. Englewood Review of Book’s included her in the list of “Ten Important Women Theologians That You Should Be Reading.” Kim is an ordained minister within the PC (USA) denomination. .

Rev. Dr. Kim is also preaching at ACP on Sunday 17 June.

Thurber Lectures is an adult community gathering and growth time that is open to all.