PSR announces Earl Lecture workshops

December 14, 2009

A full set of workshops are scheduled for the 109th annual Earl Lectures and Leadership Conference from January 26 to 28, 2010. The sessions will address a wide variety of topics and issues, all relating to the theme “Spiritual but not Religious: Chasing the Divine,” led by theologians, ministers, artists, and educators.

Speaker Matthew Fox will lead a workshop conversation discussing his work in reawakening the West to its own mystical tradition. The founder and president emeritus of Oakland’s Wisdom University will speak in a more intimate setting than his plenary address, and elaborate on the opportunities to embrace mystical practices in contemporary life.

Paul Fromberg, the rector of St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco, will lead the workshop “Liturgy in a Post-Religious Culture.” He will address how people of all spiritual identities can create meaningful rituals to mark life’s milestones, and how leaders can create liturgy that joins people’s contexts to the experience of God.

In a hands-on workshop, traditional Jewish storyteller and interfaith service leader Sara Nesson presents “Standing in the Shadow of God: The Sacred Path of the Artist.” Participants will explore how creativity in dance, music, and storytelling can illuminate one’s spiritual or religious path.

Roland Stringfellow, coordinator of the Coalition of Welcoming Congregations at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS), will bring together those who work passionately in activism and congregational outreach during the workshop “Faith Organizing and Spiritual Activism.” The session will explore varied approaches to instigating change and will provide a venue for networking with like-minded colleagues.

How can a bastion of conservative Christianity become a progressive home for people of all faiths or no faith? Ian Lawton, executive minister of Christ Community Church in Spring Lake, Michigan, explains how his house of worship adheres to values of spirituality rather than to rigid dogma. He will present examples of non-denominational community development work to spark conversation of practical application in a variety of settings.

Access to the workshops is open to the public, and people from all spiritual, religious, and educational backgrounds are welcome to register for the leadership conference. Continuing education units (CEUs) are available. The annual Earl Lectures series, which is free and open to the public, will explore the differences and similarities between “religious” and “spiritual” for those who chase the divine.

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