With our world divided by deadly conflict and killing in God's name and to serve merciless, retributive justice, and with our own church in a state of impaired communion and in danger of schism as scapegoating accusations of 'uncleanness' and 'libertine sin' are hurled at baptized Christians, Trinity Institute is gathering four major voices this January -
James Alison, Author, Theologian Miroslav Volf, Author, Professor, Yale Divinity School Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, Professor, Islamic Studies, University of Florida Helen Prejean, CSJ, Author, Activist
for presentations and conversations from their practice of reconciliation and the theology that demands it.
James Alison is a notable Catholic theologian, a major interpreter of Rene Girard's work, and an out gay priest within the Roman Church. Miroslav Volf, a Croatian theologian, writes and speaks from the experience of Christian on Christian and Christian on Muslim violence in Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons is a black civil rights activist, a Sufi Muslim, and professor of Muslim Studies, and Sister Helen Prejean's work with condemned criminals on death row led her to work both with the condemned and with the families of victims. All four theologians and teachers push us beyond the question of 'who gets justice' to powerful understandings of scapegoating the enemy or unfamiliar other that invites us instead to the Gospel work of reconciliation.
At St. Gregory's we'll see and hear these presenters via high speed computer connection.
And for our local experience of this conference, our two liturgies will highlight lay preachers experienced in reconciliation work - - -
Sara Miles, freeplace War Journalist published in the New York Times Magazine, and activist during the War in El Salvador, poet, and founder of the St. Gregory's Food Pantry, and Bread of Life, a program for founding free food pantries around San Francisco. Lee Thorn, Viet Nam veteran, peace activist, and winner of the Stockholm prize for his work founding Jhai Foundation with its pioneering reconciliation activities in Southeast Asia, fair trade coffee program, clinics in Southeast Asia, and development of bicycle-driven Jhai computers to give rural poor web access for economic and political autonomy.
Our conference theological reflection groups (facilitated by EFM trained leaders) will take us from theology and scripture to our own questions of the day-to-day choices and practices of reconciliation.
Our West Coast Agenda is as follows:
Tuesday, January 31, 2006: 9:00 AM - Eucharist 10:15 AM - Registration & Continental Breakfast 11:00 AM - James Alison 12:30 PM - Theological Reflection with Lunch 2:30 PM - Gwendolyn Simmons 3:30 PM - Break 3:45 PM - Theological Reflection 4:45 PM _ Break 5:00 PM - Bishop Michael Curry's Sermon 5:15 PM - Closing Prayer and Blessing 5:30 PM - Depart
Wednesday, February 1, 2006: 9:00 AM - Panel Discussion from New York 10:00 AM - Break 10:15 AM - Theological Reflection 11:15 AM - Break 11:30 AM - Miroslav Volf 12:30 PM - Theological Reflection with Lunch 2:30 PM - Sister Helen Prejean 3:30 PM - Break 3:45 PM - Theological Reflection 4:45 PM - Break 5:00 PM - Panel Discussion from New York 6:00 PM - Eucharist 7:00 PM - Depart
This event is co-sponsored by St. Gregory's, Diocese of California Department of Education/Adult Christian Formation, and the Social Ministries Commission of the Diocese of California.