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Regent College, Making Peace with Creation, and Loving the World

Dear Ascension Family,

I hope you, Resurrection People, are bringing life to wherever you are this wet week.  I am writing to share with you about our weekend with Regent College in a couple weeks.

Regent Weekend:  Who and What?

By now most if not all of you have heard me share either on Sundays or in our Weekly email about our hosting of the East Coast premiere of a movie in early May.  I wanted to share in more detail why we are excited to be hosting Iwan Russell-Jones and Loren Wilkinson for this ‘Regent Weekend’ May 7 and 8, which will crescendo into the movie we’ve been announcing, “Making Peace with Creation”.

Regent College is where I went to seminary and am presently on the board.  As a school Regent is dedicated to a Jesus-infused theology for all of life and creation, one that embraces a full seven-day gospel of good news for all our lives, vocations, relationships, etc… where what you do as a hill staffer, nurse, teacher, banker, musician, IT specialist, contractor, stay-at-home parent, or child is as significant as anything I do as a priest.  This core theology of Regent’s is also a core theology of Anglicanism (which we’ll touch on in our coming sermon series), and for us as a church.

We will have two professors from Regent with us on May 7 and 8.  Iwan Russell-Jones is a former BBC producer and director who is the head of Regent’s Christianity and the Arts Program.  Loren Wilkinson is an Emeritus Professor who specializes in Interdisciplinary studies, Christianity and the Arts, and Earthkeeping.  Loren will preach on May 7th and then share after worship in the Rivendell chapel for an hour on literature, children, and story-telling.  Iwan will speak before worship in the Rivendell chapel on “Hidden Creeds: Sacred Themes we see in Popular Culture,” from 9 to 9:45, and then speak and lead a Q and A Sunday evening around the theme of “A History of Documentary Film and It’s Importance in a Post-Modern, Alternative Facts World.”  The location for the latter is TBD.

Both men will then be a part of the screening and Q & A of the film they made together called “Making Peace with Creation” on May 8th.

You can read more about the film AND purchase tickets here:

makingpeacewithcreation.eventbrite.com

Regent Weekend:  Why?

The Parish Council and I took some time in early April to talk through why we think bringing these men and this particular movie are important for us to do as a church, and I wanted to share with you some of our thinking.

We believe very strongly as Ascension leadership that it is our responsibility to model the gospel in our world.  Tothat end we believe that having civil, honest, gracious dialogues around   important issues is an especially clear witness to our communities right now.  Communicating in a way that honors someone’s God-infused imageo dei, even if we disagree, should be   something we can do and demonstrate to a fallen world.  Demonstrating an active, intelligent, and loving dialogue on a important issue like the conversation around our environment is an apologetic for Jesus.  These two men are scholars who are our brothers, and who agree with us on the fundamentals about our faith; who is Jesus, the Trinity, the historicity of the resurrection, etc…

Therefore, we are hosting them so they can help us become intelligent, vigorous, and creative thinkers to love Jesus and his world (the Regent mission statement).  And we are hosting this movie as an example of what theological engagement on a critical issue looks like from an orthodox Christian perspective.

We are also hosting this movie because we want to be a church that can hold an event for our larger community around a very important issue because we are for the common good in our cities.  A major goal of having these men come is to create a weekend that is an easy invite to our friends and neighbors.  I have had a ton of fun inviting our neighbors to this night to great enthusiasm.

And on a personal note, for me this is introducing two communities I love to one another for mutual blessing.

All that to say … we have an exciting weekend ahead in early May, and as I mentioned last Sunday in church, PLEASE purchase your tickets now.  Over 12,000 other people are about to be invited to this event in the next week and we want to make sure Ascensionites get tickets in time.

makingpeacewithcreation.eventbrite.com

God’s blessings on you all this week and see you Sunday,

Dean

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