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Friday, September 18, 2009

2009 Belko Peace Lectures Feature Gustav Niebuhr

The images today, more from our time in the U.P. last week, are from the agate beach on Lake Superior at Grand Marais and from the road between Sault Ste. Marie and Seney. The text in between comes from Karen Kasebeer of Trinity Congregational Church and gives more background on this weekend's visiting peace lecturer, who will also be signing his book at Dog Ears--don't forget!--from 1-3 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday.
By now most of you know that the Social Action Committee and the Board of Christian Education have collaborated on a series of educational events to increase our understanding of interfaith issues. We saw the documentary "Beyond our Differences," read and discussed the book The Faith Club, and heard a panel discussion featuring one Christian, one Jew, and one Muslim. All three events were well-attended and received positive feedback from church members and the wider community as well. Individuals traveled from as far as Gaylord to attend these events.

In choosing Gustav Niebuhr as the 2009 Belko Peace Lecturer, the Social Action Committee selected a speaker who could continue our study theme of interfaith dialogue and understanding. Niebuhr currently serves as associate professor of religion and the media at Syracuse University. He also is director of the Religion & Society Program, and founding director of the Carnegie Religion and Media Program, an undergraduate minor focusing on courses in religion relevant to understanding contemporary events.

Prior to coming to Syracuse in 2004, Niebuhr spent two years as a visiting fellow and scholar-in-residence at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of Religion. From 1980 to 2001, he worked as a reporter for various newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. Viking Press published his book Beyond Tolerance: Searching for Interfaith Understanding in America in 2008. You’ll find copies of Niebuhr’s book in both the church and township libraries. [Bookseller's note: also available for purchase at Dog Ears Books.]

The Belko Peace Lectures will occur on the weekend of September 18-20. On Friday afternoon, September 18, Niebuhr will sign books at Horizon Books in Traverse City from 2-4 pm. He will do another book signing here in Northport at Dog Ears Books on Saturday, September 19 from 1-3 pm. Niebuhr’s first lecture will be here at Trinity at 7 pm Saturday evening, and his topic will be “Beyond Tolerance: Building Bridges of Religious Understanding in a Violent Time." A time for refreshments, and questions and answers will follow. Niebuhr’s second lecture will be Sunday morning during the 11 am worship service, and the topic will be “Making Peace is Hard Work." Time for questions and answers, and refreshments will follow the service.

Please make sure you mark your calendars for September 18-20 and join us for this exciting and educational weekend. If you have questions, contact Karen Casebeer at 386-7759.


Deborah said...

Wish I could be there - I know it will be very interesting.

P. J. Grath said...

I'd love to have you here, too, Deborah, but being in New York for Claire's wedding is great for you, too.

Gerry said...

Oh dear. While you've been reading Neibuhr on peace I've been holed up reading a William Gibson novel. I think that's his name. It's pure escapism. But keep in mind I'm determined to have my summer vacation now.

P. J. Grath said...

I'm going on vacation this coming week and just raced through a little novel, finishing it over morning coffee. But then, my vacation reading, as you already now, is all over the map.