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Dec  2012 06
Conference on Faith & Civil Discourse

Upcoming Conference at PTS to Address Faith and Civil Discourse

Tulsa, Okla., December 6, 2012 – Two days after the U.S. inaugurates its president, elected after a bruising campaign season peppered with laments about the lack of civility, Phillips Theological Seminary (PTS) will host a conference featuring 9 speakers and 2 preachers who will address the question: “What contributions should people of religious faith make to civil discourse in the United States?” 

The PTS Re-Mind & Re-New Conference will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma on January 23-24, 2013, at the PTS campus, 901 North Mingo, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74116. 

“The seminary wrote a new identity statement recently. In it, we express the desire to cultivate vital communities, vital conversations, and the public good. This conference is designed to contribute to all three,” said PTS President Gary Peluso-Verdend. “A community is only as healthy as its conversations. Through a crowd-sourced approach, we've identified speakers who have been working to raise the quality of civil, meaningful conversation about issues that often divide.” 

The diverse group of speakers, clergy and laity, includes a state conference of churches director, public policy advocates (professionals and ordinary citizens who decided to get involved), a youth minister, a college professor, a community volunteer, a disaster relief specialist, a city councilwoman, and an architect.

Registration opens at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, with worship at 1:00 p.m. and the first two presentations beginning at 2:00 p.m.  A registration fee of $90 includes the program presentations, coffee breaks, and dinner on Wednesday evening.  The registration deadline is Friday, January 18, 2013.  Registrations received after Friday, January 18, 2013 will be accepted, but attendance at the Wednesday evening dinner cannot be guaranteed.

The speakers scheduled for Wednesday, January 23, 2013 include:  Josh Linton, Youth Minister for the Skiatook Church of Christ, Skiatook, Okla.; The Rev. Mary Hughes Gaudreau, Consultant with US Disaster Response Office of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Kaci Starr Triplett, Alderwoman, 6th Ward, St. Louis, Mo.; and The Rev. Scott Anderson, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council of Churches, Sun Prairie, Wis.

On Thursday, January 24, worship begins at 9:00 a.m., with presentations beginning at 10:00 a.m.  The speakers scheduled for Thursday, January 24, 2013 include: Regina Shands Stolzfus, Associate Professor of Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies, Goshen College, Goshen, Ind.; Atlee Breland, Parents Against MS 26: Personhood Amendment, Jackson, Miss.; David Harland, Intern architect, a Christian interfaith advocate, and white anti-racist activist, Tulsa, Okla.; David Blatt, Director, Oklahoma Policy Institute, Tulsa, Okla.; and Moises Echeverria, Community volunteer and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Tulsa, Okla.

The Rev. Kelli Driscoll, Pastor, Bethany Christian Church, Tulsa, Okla. will preach on Wednesday, January 23, and The Rev. Dr. Stephen Butler Murray, Dean of the College and Associate Professor of Theology, Barrytown College; Senior Pastor, The First Baptist Church of Boston, Mass.; and American Baptist Chaplain to Harvard University will preach on Thursday, January 24, 2013.  The Worship Leader will be The Rev. Emily Bowen, Associate Minister, Brentwood Christian Church, Springfield, Mo.

The purpose of Re-Mind & Re-New conference is to gather religious professionals and interested publics for thought-provoking and spirit-renewing presentations, conversations and worship.  More than 200 participants from diverse disciplines are expected to attend.   PTS is committed to hearing diverse points of view; the hope is that presentations are informative, inspiring, thought-provoking, and delivered with intelligence, passion, and humor.

To register, view the full schedule and find additional information visit the Re-Mind & Re-New Conference pages on the PTS website:  www.ptstulsa.edu/remindrenew

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