This Sunday at Oak Lawn we’ll begin a new sermon series, “Holy Conversations: Seeking Unity in a Divided World.” We’ll explore some of the moral issues we’ve been hearing about in the news recently—and how our faith speaks to them.Every Sunday as I stand before you to preach, I am aware of, and thankful for, the great trust you give to me. You trust that the words I speak are not merely my own, but are inspired by God, and have come about through faithful study and prayer.
This series will make folk uneasy. It should. But not talking about such issues in the context of a trusting, loving family of faith is worse. I preached two series like this in Prosper during 2008 and wrote my doctoral project on the experience. It will be very clear that the goal is not to endorse one party or the other, nor to accept the pastor’s conclusions as ultimate authority. Instead, we’ll encourage folk to examine what they believe—and why—and share it in community. Following each sermon there will be an opportunity to share food, thoughts and reflections, and hear a different perspective from a guest speaker. This could be a real opportunity for spiritual growth. If the church is silent—or only one perspective is offered, and therefore accepted as gospel—what message is sent to those beyond our walls? I covet your prayers, trust, and support. Thank you. Here is a list of topics we will consider during the sermon series:
· Separation of Church and Life?
· The Contraception Debate
· Capital Punishment
· Marriage Equality
Dr William K. McElvaney is a long time peace and justice advocate in both the local church and the academy. He served fifteen years as pastor of United Methodist congregations; twelve years as president of Saint Paul School of Theology (United Methodist) in Kansas City, Missouri; and eight years as LeVan Professor of Preaching and Worship, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.
Dr Sheri Locklear Kunovich is an assistant professor of Sociology at SMU. Her research and teaching interests include: Wealth and Inequality, Women and Politics, Research Methods, Sociology of Gender, Social Change in Eastern Europe, and Distributive Justice Attitudes. Her research focuses on understanding and identifying the structural mechanisms that produce social inequality.
Dr John Holbert, Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Preaching, Perkins School of Theology, SMU. His teaching specialties are preaching, the Hebrew Bible, and literature. Research interests also include fiction and religion and storytelling.
Dr Susanne Johnson, Associate Professor of Christian Education, Perkins School of Theology, SMU. In addition to her regular teaching and research specialties, she is currently teaching a new, experimental course this semester called "Immigration, Bible, and Practical Theology."
Rev Eric Folkerth is the pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church. Eric is an award-winning singer-songwriter, as well as a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk, which has raised more than $100,000 for the United Methodist Imagine No Malaria campaign.
Join us for these Holy Conversations!
Easter Peace and Joy!