Thurber Lecture Archives

Thurber Lecture — Pastor Eugene Cho

No Longer Strangers.
Thursday 16 May in the Thurber Room – Presentation 20h-21h30;
Note: No meal will be served at this event.

Pastor Eugene Cho

Rev. Eugene Cho’s many passions involve leadership, justice, the whole Gospel, and the pursuit of God’s Kingdom here on this earth. He travels throughout the world to encourage churches, non-profits, pastors, leaders, missionaries, and justice workers – whether this happens in churches, arenas, conferences, universities, or as a guest in underground churches, villages, or refugee camps.

Eugene Cho is the founder and former Senior Pastor of Quest Church – an urban, multi-cultural and multi-generational church in Seattle, Washington. After 18 years, Eugene stepped aside at Quest in 2018. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the Q Café, an innovative non-profit community café and music venue which closed due to relocation in 2015.

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.

The vision of ODW is to create a collaborative movement that promotes awareness, invites simple giving (one day’s wages) and supports sustainable relief through partnerships, especially with smaller organizations in developing regions. Since its launch in October 2009, ODW has raised over $7 million dollars for projects to empower those living in extreme global poverty. ODW has been featured in the New York Times, The Seattle Times, NPR, Christianity Today and numerous other media outlets. For his entrepreneurial work and spirit, Eugene was recently honored as one of 50 Everyday American Heroes and a recipient of the Frederick Douglass 200 – included in a list of 200 people around the world who best embody the spirit and work of Frederick Douglass, one of the most influential figures in history. Eugene was also the recipient of the 2017 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? He is currently writing his second book which is set to release in February 2020.

Eugene and Minhee have been married for 22 years and have three children. Together, they live in Seattle, Washington.

You can view Eugene's previous Thurber Lecture at ACP here.

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

Thurber Lecture — Reggie Williams

Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus.
Tuesday 19 March in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Reggie WilliamsDietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor, theologian and activist who publicly confronted Nazism and anti-Semitic racism in Hitler’s Germany. The Reich's political ideology, when mixed with theology of the German Christian movement, turned Jesus into a divine representation of the ideal, racially pure Aryan and allowed race-hate to become part of Germany's religious life. Bonhoeffer provided a Christian response to Nazi atrocities that was sparked by his experiences in Harlem in 1930.

What Bonhoeffer learned about Jesus in Harlem's churches featured a black Christ who suffered with African Americans in their struggle against systemic injustice and racial violence—and then resisted. In the pews of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, under the leadership of Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., Bonhoeffer absorbed the Christianity of the Harlem Renaissance. This Christianity included a Jesus who stands with the oppressed rather than joins the oppressors and a theology that challenges the way God can be used to underwrite a union of race and religion.

Dr. Reggie L. Williams is associate professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. His book Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance (Baylor University Press, 2014) was selected as a Choice Outstanding Title in 2015, in the field of religion. The book is an analysis of exposure to Harlem Renaissance intellectuals, and worship at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist on the German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, during his year of post-doctoral study at Union Seminary in New York, 1930-31.

Dr. Williams’ research interests include Christological ethics, theological anthropology, Christian social ethics, the Harlem Renaissance, race, politics and black church life. His current book project includes a religious critique of whiteness in the Harlem Renaissance. In addition, he is working on a book analyzing the reception of Bonhoeffer by liberation activists in apartheid South Africa.

Dr. Williams received his Ph.D. in Christian ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary in 2011. He earned a Master’s degree in Theology from Fuller in 2006 and a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from Westmont College in 1995. He is a member of the board of directors for the Society for Christian Ethics, as well as the International Dietrich Bonhoeffer Society. He is also a member of the American Academy of Religion and Society for the Study of Black Religion.

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



Thurber Lecture — Joanne Burke

Paris Noir - African Americans in the City of Light
Wednesday 13 February in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Paris Noir - African Americans in the City of LightParis Noir: African Americans in the City of Light is the most comprehensive and compelling documentary existing on the remarkable migration of pioneering African Americans to France and the impact both cultures had on each other.

View film trailer here:

Weaving stories and themes from World War I, the Jazz Age of the 1920s up to the German occupation of WWII, Paris Noir is thought-provoking storytelling that resonates in today's social and political climate. ​

More than a historical documentary, Paris Noir reveals the beginning of worldwide assertion of African American culture. Directed, written and edited by critically-acclaimed documentary filmmakers Joanne Burke and David Burke, Paris Noir blends rare photographs and archival footage, exciting period music, and insightful commentary by leading scholars and experts. ​

Joanne Burke was a top documentary film editor for CBS, NBC, and PBS in New York for twenty years, editor also of feature films for Sidney Lumet, and co-editor of Gimme Shelter, the Maysles Brothers’ classic documentary about the Rolling Stones, as well as over 20 documentaries. ​

David Burke was a longtime writer/producer for CBS News 60 Minutes and other CBS and NBC programs. He is the author of several travel books. His Writers In Paris evolved into the highly praised David Burke's Writers in Paris Walking Tours, listed as one of Lonely Planet's Top Ten literary walks worldwide. ​

Since moving to Paris in 1986, the Burkes have produced, written and edited independent films together: an award-winning biopic on jazz genius Mary Lou Williams and several documentaries focussing on innovative women in developing countries.

Their African Americans in Paris series, a groundbreaking 2-DVD set of mini documentaries, chronicles the experiences of pioneering Black Americans. The series received the award of Best Director from the prestigious Berlin Black International Cinema Film Festival in 2015.

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


Thurber Lecture — Bob and Gracie Ekblad

Redemptive Presence Amongst Today's Excluded.
Wednesday 16 January in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Bob and Gracie EkbladBob and Gracie Ekblad are founders and co-directors of Tierra Nueva (New Earth) in Burlington, Washington. Together they minister at Tierra Nueva and at their home-based retreat center New Earth Refuge in the Skagit Valley. They have three adult children. Bob is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He holds a ThD in Old Testament and is known internationally for his courses and workshops on reading the Bible. Gracie is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) and holds a Masters in Theology. She pastors and teaches at Tierra Nueva and beyond, emphasizing discipleship, holistic healing and liberation.

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


Thurber Lecture — Dr. Medi Ann Volpe

Who is Normal?: Disability and the Image of God.
Wednesday 5 December in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Dr. Medi Ann VolpeDr. Medi (“Meeda”) Ann Volpe teaches theology and ethics at Durham University (UK). Her research draws contemporary themes in Christian formation, theological anthropology, spirituality and ethics into conversation with voices from the classical Christian tradition, and is particularly attentive to the gifts those with intellectual disabilities bring to the Church. Her first book, Rethinking Christian Identity: Doctrine and Discipleship, was published in the Challenges in Contemporary Theology series and her essays have appeared in numerous journals..

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