Thurber Lecture Archives

Thurber Lecture — Ralston Deffenbaugh

The Stranger: There once was a refugee family named Joseph, Mary and Jesus
The Refugee Crisis and How a Congregation Can Make a Difference

Wednesday 21 March in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Ralston DeffenbaughMr. Deffenbaugh will talk about the strong Biblical, theological, and historical foundation for Christian service with refugees and migrants. In fact, they are us. He will give an overview of the current global refugee situation and give examples of how individuals and congregations can respond to our Lord’s call to “welcome the stranger.”

Ralston Deffenbaugh (Ralie) is a human rights lawyer who has spent most of his career working for the church. He retired in June 2017 after seven years’ service as the Lutheran World Federation’s Assistant General Secretary for International Affairs and Human Rights. In that role, he coordinated the LWF’s international affairs and human rights advocacy and policy development, advised the General Secretary, and served as the LWF’s main representative to the United Nations offices in Geneva.

Mr. Deffenbaugh’s previous experience includes 18 years heading up the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (the U.S. Lutheran churches’ agency for resettling refugees and working with asylum seekers, unaccompanied refugee children, and persons in immigration detention), six years heading up the Lutheran Office for World Community (representing LWF at UN headquarters in New York), and four previous years at LWF Geneva (also handling international affairs advocacy). During Namibia’s transition to independence in 1989-90, Deffenbaugh served as legal adviser for the Namibian Lutheran bishops. A graduate of the University of Colorado (in Economics) and of the Harvard Law School, Deffenbaugh is licensed to practice law in Colorado. He is married to Miriam Boraas Deffenbaugh; they have two adult children.

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

 

Thurber Lecture — Rev. Dr. Greg Boyd

Cross Vision: Making Sense of the Old Testament’s Violent Portraits of God
Wednesday 25 October in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Rev. Dr. Greg Boyd

The kingdom of God revolution is most fundamentally predicated on people having a beautiful, Christ-like conception of God. One of the greatest challenges to this beautiful vision are the many violent portraits of God in the Old Testament. Boyd will, therefore, be offering his reflections on how as Christians we can reject violence as a divine characteristic and embrace the whole of the Bible as God’s inspired Word.

Rev. Dr. Greg Boyd received his Ph. D. from Princeton Theological Seminary (1988), his M.Div. from Yale Divinity School (1982), and his B.A. from the University of Minnesota (1979). He was a professor of theology for 16 years at Bethel University (St. Paul, MN) where he received the Teaching Excellence Award and Campus Leadership Award. He continues to teach as an adjunct professor at Bethel University as well as Fresno Pacific Mennonite Seminary (Fresno, CA). Greg is the founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church (Maplewood, MN) and the President of Reknew Ministries (Reknew.org).
 
Greg is an internationally recognized theologian, preacher, teacher, apologist, and author. He has authored or co-authored twenty-two books, including his best-selling and award-winning Letters From a Skeptic and his most recent books Crucifixion of the Warrior God and Cross Vision. Greg’s ministry has been featured on the front page of The New York Times, The Charlie Rose Show, CNN, National Public Radio, the BBC, and numerous other television and radio venues. His primary vision is to help the Church become the Kingdom of outrageously loving servants that God called it to be and to help non-believers discover the transforming power of Jesus Christ.
 
Greg is an avid drummer in a rock band (“Not Dead Yet”) as well as a competitive race walker. Greg and his wife Shelley have been married for 37 years. They have three children and five grandchildren and live in community with several other families in St. Paul, Minnesota.
 

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

Thurber Lecture — Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) France

Welcoming the Stranger
Thursday 14 September in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) FranceHave You Ever Wondered What You Could Do To Alleviate The Refugee Crisis?

Come to the Thurber lecture given by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) France and find out how you may help, even if ever so modestly.

Every night thousands of asylum seekers sleep on the streets of Paris. Faced with this situation, JRS France has put into place its Welcome Program, the heart of which is defined as “reciprocal hospitality”. In the course of 10 years, JRS France has learned what works and has come up with a practical framework to closely guide families who accept to host an asylum seeker between 4 and 6 weeks. Get to meet other families in the Welcome network and share best practices. Above all, get to know an asylum seeker. If you want guidance on the spiritual benefit you may draw from such an experience that too is available to you.

You can’t host? Find out how you can participate.

Père Antoine Paumard, S.J., Director of JRS France and Marcela Villalobos Cid, Coordinator of Welcome in France will explain how the program works and what they have learned over the years. Nicola Craig will tell you about her experience hosting asylum seekers, her motivation for doing so, what it was like and why she decided to do it four times.

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

Thurber Lecture — Prof. Keith Ward

Modern Cosmology and Jesus
Thursday 21 September in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15

Prof. Keith Ward Prof. Keith Ward (Emeritus Professor of Divinity, Oxford University; Professorial Research Fellow, Heythrop College)

Since 1922 our view of the universe has changed completely. Before then we knew nothing of other galaxies, of the 'Big Bang', or of the age of the universe. Does this affect the Gospel of Jesus. Dr. Ward thinks it does, and that it calls for a new Reformation, in which the cosmic status of Christ is fully affirmed, and in which the Gospel becomes relevant in new and unexpected ways.

The Rev. Professor Keith Ward is an Anglican priest, theologian, and philosopher. From 1991 to 2004, Dr. Ward was Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University in England, and is a Fellow of the British Academy. Among Dr. Ward's many interests are the dialogue between religions and the relationship between science and religion. The author of over 20 books on theology and philosophy, Dr. Ward's publications include: The Big Questions in Science and Religion (2008), The God Conclusion (2009), More than Matter (2010), Is Religion Irrational (2011), The Evidence for God (2014) and Christ and the Cosmos: a Reformulation of Trinitarian doctrine (2015). Forthcoming books: Love is His Meaning (2017) and The Christian Idea of God: a Philosophical Foundation for Faith (2017).
 

Read more about Keith Ward at www.keithward.org.uk

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

 

Thurber Lecture — Rabbi Tom Cohen

Wednesday 17 May in the Thurber Room – Meal at 19h; Presentation 19h45-21h15
Shalom: Judaism and Peace

Rabbi Tom Cohen Rabbi Tom Cohen serves Kehilat Gesher, the only progressive, bilingual synagogue in the Paris region, offering all services in English, French, and Hebrew. Founded over twenty years ago, the congregation includes over 170 families and welcomes some 450 individuals for its annual High Holy Day services.

Rabbi Tom Cohen was born in Portland, Oregon, in the United States. He became interested in religious philosophy and Judaism while he was studying at Portland State University and pursued his studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Jewish Studies, he decided to become a rabbi. For the next six years, he continued his education in Los Angeles where he received another degree in Hebrew Literature, in Jerusalem, and finally, in New York City, where he completed his Master in Hebrew Literature. In 1991 he was ordained under the auspices of the Jewish Theological Seminary and has been Rabbi of Kehilat Gesher since 1993.

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