Registration for the 2017 Harpers Ferry Ministerial Study Group is now open (http://hfmsg.org) This year’s presenter is the Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, theologian, educator, social activist, minister, and musician. She is also President Emerita of the Starr King School for the ministry.
An ordained United Methodist minister who holds dual ministerial fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association, her publications include A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the 21st Century, co-authored with John Buehrens (Beacon, 2010); and Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, co-authored with Rita Nakashima Brock (Beacon, 2008) among others.
On her work as a theologian and minister, Parker says "Legacies of violence, terror and trauma continue to bring anguish into the world. Now more than ever, people of conscience and love need to do the hard work of theological thinking that deconstructs religion that sanctions violence. We need to re-dedicate ourselves to the creation of life-giving theologies, justice-making religious communities, and joy-infusing spiritual practices. This is the calling to which my life is devoted."
Dr. Parker’s topic this year is Spiritual Grounding for Dangerous Times. We will come together to strengthen the spiritual depth, love for life, and solidarity we need to live our faith in these times that challenge our deepest values.
Over the course of our time together we will:
- Reflect together theologically and personally on the crises confronting our nation
- Develop skills for non-violent resistance, compassion and community building
- Explore Unitarian Universalist theological foundations for social justice activism
- Learn and practice methods for spiritual grounding from a variety of religious traditions
- Deepen our understanding of the intersections among the critical justice issues that call for our response—from racial justice work to climate change
We are also excited to announce that our colleague, Don Garrett, will be presenting his Odyssey. Don Garrett describes himself as “a child of the 1960's.” Those of us who know Don chiefly through HFMSG think his chief claim to fame is Joseph Priestley, Unitarian Pioneer, his original composition which he sings for us each year at the Harpers Ferry variety show. Don has followed a unique path through life. His careers prior to ministry include music, typography, and printing industry management. After receiving preliminary fellowship in 2000, he served congregations in Greensboro, Durham, Wilmington, and Raleigh, NC; Indianapolis, IN; Newport News, VA; and is in his eighth year of settlement with the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley in Bethlehem, PA. He'll recall the long and winding road that kept leading him to unexpected places, wrenching reversals, and confounding revelations.
The reading list for this conference is now up on the HFMSG website so you can get a head start on the reading over the rest of the summer.
Here is some good news about registration. Due to our solid financial shape, we have reduced our registration fees from last year by $ 20.00 to $ 380 per person for a shared room and by $ 40 to $480 for a single room. We encourage both donations for scholarship assistance as well as applications for scholarship assistance. Our policy is that we will offer scholarships up to 50% of the registration fee based upon available resources from our reserves as well as any donations received. Please note that you need to log in before you can register.
The deadline for registration is November 5. All registrations this year need to be done on-line. Please contact, Richard Speck if you have questions concerning the website or registration.
We look forward to seeing you in November.
Rev. Phyllis Hubbell
Rev. Dr. Richard Speck
Cell – 302-528-3762
Home – 302-239-6286
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