One advantage of having this J-term off is that I’ve been able to accept and prepare for a few more speaking engagements than usual for this time of year. Remarkably, they all cover different topics:
• This Sunday morning (Jan. 17, 10am), I’ll be at Presbyterian Church of the Way (Shoreview, MN) to address their “Third Sunday Forum” on the significance of World War I for the history of Christianity — borrowing my title from Philip Jenkins’ excellent book on that subject.
(I’m also due to have an article on WWI published online by Books & Culture later this month. Stay tuned…)
What does Pietism have to do with youth ministry, you ask?
Um, check back a week from Thursday…
(One way or another, it will probably have something to do with the particular influence of Pietism on the Covenant, a theme I’ve blogged about before and will speak to again on the next two episodes of The Pietist Schoolman Podcast.)
• Before the month ends (Sunday, Jan. 31st, 9:15am), I’ll have the chance to teach a combined session of the “LIFE Groups” at Oak Haven Church (Ham Lake, MN). As part of their “Make a Difference” series on Christian engagement beyond the church, I’ll be drawing on church history to suggest different ways that followers of Christ might participate in American society. (Expect some talk of the “Benedict Option,” but also, of historically-inspired alternatives to it.)
• Then on February 10 (6pm) I’ll return to Mounds Park Academy (Maplewood, MN), where I spent grades 3-12, to be part of that night’s MPA Talks event. The series features alumni and other members of the MPA community giving TED talk-like reflections on a variety of topics. I’ll be doing 10-15 minutes on the question, “Can Hope and History Rhyme?” (per the famous line from the late Irish poet Seamus Heaney), and trying hard to praise a certain, recently retired MPA teacher without getting too emotional.
I might have one more church talk before Minnesota’s version of spring finally sets in, but those plans are still in the works. Again, stay tuned.
And as always, if you’re interested in having me speak to your church, school, college, or other group, send me an email. Just know that I’ll be living in another part of the country this fall… One more “stay tuned.” 🙂