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Jan  2014 13
Listening to the Laity

Listening to the Laity: Closing the Sunday-Monday Gap 

While clergy and laity attest to the importance of listening to each other, there remains a significant gap between the way clergy and laity understand what faithful living in the world means. The annual Re-Mind & Re-New Conference at Phillips Theological Seminary (PTS), January 22-23, 2014, will address the topic: “Closing the Sunday-Monday Gap.” The event is open to both clergy and laity.

After receiving 20 proposals from lay speakers regarding how clergy might help them with their Christian practice in their everyday lives, PTS accepted 7 talks on: doubt, the way clergy view laity, creating respectful spaces for discussing faith and public issues, addressing climate change and sustainable living, faith and gender, calling laity to connect the local and the global, and appreciation for the innkeeper’s (administrative assistant) role to keeping the Good Samaritan (pastor) on the road. The Wednesday night lecture, which is free and open to the public, will feature Dr. David Miller, director of the Faith & Work Initiative at Princeton University and author of God at Work. A panel of 3 clergy will kick off the audience response at the end of the conference. 

“There is a gap between Sunday and Monday, and clergy and laity tend to disagree on the description of that gap,” commented PTS President Gary Peluso-Verdend, who is also Associate Professor of Practical Theology. “God is not calling laity to be only the pastor’s helper or a volunteer within the walls of a congregation. When it comes to the need to live our faith in the world with passion, intelligence, and compassion, there is no difference between the expectations of clergy and laity. The human race in the 21st century is facing an unprecedented set of global challenges, from climate change to being a good neighbor. It is imperative that clergy leaders help the laity fulfill their calling to work with God to complete and mend the world. It seemed fitting to organize a conference that would provide a rich opportunity for laity to hear from each other and for clergy to overhear their conversations.” 

The conference begins at 1 p.m. on Wednesday the 22nd and concludes at 4 p.m. on the 23rd. Registration is $75 before December 20 and $90 thereafter. To register or for more information, go to visit ptstulsa.edu/remindrenew




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