Archive for Recent Speakers with Video

Bishop John Shelby Spong


BISHOP JOHN SHELBY SPONG


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Bishop John Shelby Spong

 

John Shelby Spong, whose books have sold more than a million copies, was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2001. His admirers acclaim him as a teaching bishop who makes contemporary theology accessible to the ordinary layperson — he’s considered the champion of an inclusive faith by many, both inside and outside the Christian church. In one of his recent books, The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Discover the God of Love (San Francisco: Harper One, 2005), this visionary thinker seeks to introduce readers to a proper way to engage the holy book of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Why Christianity Must Change or Die

Bishop John Shelby Spong speaks on the topic, “Why Christianity Must Change or Die — The Old Paradigm is Not Working.” The lecture was hosted by the United Church of Norman (UCC) and was held at the Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma on the evening of April 20, 2012.


Bishop Spong at The United Church of Norman

Bishop John Shelby Spong’s Seminar for the United Church of Norman (UCC) at the United Ministry Center in Norman, OK on April 21, 2012. The seminar was on “Seeing Christ Not as the Savior, But as the Expander of Human Potential.


Questions and Answers with Bishop John Shelby Spong

Question and Answer Session with Bishop John Shelby Spong after his April 20, 2012 lecture on “Why Christianity Must Change or Die” at the University of Oklahoma. The lecture was sponsored by the United Church of Norman (UCC) and was held at OU’s Museum of Natural Science and History.


Q & A with Bishop Spong at The United Church of Norman


Question and Answer session with Bishop John Shelby Spong at the United Ministry Center in Norman, Oklahoma on April 21, 2012. Hosted by The United Church of Norman: UCC.


Bishop John S. Spong on Interfaith Relations and Religious Pluralism

Bishop John Shelby Spong answers a question about interfaith relations and religious pluralism during a question and answer session. The session was at the conclusion of Spongs lecture on “Why Christianity Must Change or Die” at the Museum of Natural History on the campus of the University of Oklahoma. Spong’s lecture was hosted by the United Church of Norman (UCC) on April 20, 2012.

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Dr. Bruce Prescott


DR. BRUCE PRESCOTT


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Dr. Bruce Prescott

 

 

Dr. Bruce Prescott, Executive Director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists, preaches a sermon entitled “Common Ground: An Interfaith Theology” at the United Church of Norman (UCC) in Norman, Oklahoma on May 5, 2013.

 

Common Ground: An Interfaith Theology

Dr. Barbara Boyd


DR. BARBARA BOYD


Barbara S. Boyd, D.Min.

Barbara S. Boyd, D.Min.

Dr. Barbara S. Boyd wears two hats in the Religious Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma. She is the Director of Outreach for Religious Studies as well as faculty in the Program. Her area of specialization and teaching is Christianity and Biblical Studies. Her teaching includes but is not limited to courses in Historical Jesus, Christian Scriptures, American Christianity, and others. Dr. Boyd received her graduate degrees from the consortium of seminaries linked to the University of Chicago Divinity School, with her degrees granted specifically from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. As an ordained Presbyterian (PCUSA) minister, she has served two churches, one in Oklahoma and one in Aurora, Colorado. She has published in the Reformed Journal. Her Outreach tasks include providing the Religious Studies Program with speaker events, interfaith dialogue forums, conferences with global impact, fund raising and travel abroad opportunities for Religious Studies students and faculty. She recently received the Educator’s Award granted by the Institute of Interfaith Dialogue for her with a Muslim community committed to world peace through ethical education.

Dr. Barbara Boyd’s
Unique Interpretation of the Book of Ruth

Dr. Barbara Boyd, an ordained Presbyterian minister and Professor of Religion at the University of Oklahoma, preaches a sermon on the book of Ruth at the United Church of Norman, UCC on January 17, 2013. Boyd’s sermon was part of a series of sermons by different ministers speaking at the United Church of Norman on the topic “The Sermon I Always Wanted to Preach but Never had a Chance.” Dr. Boyd’s unique interpretation of the Book of Ruth is thought-provoking and prophetic. It may prove challenging to feminist theologians and will certainly be controversial among fundamentalist Christians.

The Four Loves of Jesus

Rev. Dr. Barbara Boyd, Outreach Director for the Religious Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma, preaches a sermon entitled “The Four Loves of Jesus” at the United Church of Norman (UCC) on February 10, 2013.

Dr. Tom Boyd


DR. TOM BOYD


Tom W. Boyd, Ph.D.

Tom W. Boyd, Ph.D.

Tom W. Boyd is the David Ross Boyd Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Oklahoma. After teaching philosophy of religion and ethics there for 28 years, he retired from fulltime teaching in 1997. Tom served as Kingfisher Chair of the Philosophy of Religion & Ethics before retiring. He also retired from the ordained ministry in the Presbyterian Church USA in the summer of 1998. Tom was talked out of retirement and enlisted for service in the new Religious Studies Program in 2002 by OU President David Boren (reports say he can be very persuasive!) . Tom teaches at the University of Oklahoma as part of the Retired Professor program and serves as a consultant to the Program. He teaches one large or two smaller courses per semester. Tom holds four earned degrees, including a Ph.D. in Religion from Vanderbilt University in 1973. His academic specialization is in philosophy of religion, and ethics. His current concentration is on the relation among world religions and the relation between religion and culture. He seeks through his studies and teaching to understand and appreciate religion in its contemporary setting and in light of an emerging planetary culture. Tom is actively involved in a current discussion of a Global Ethic.

Dr. Tom Boyd, Ph. D.
Speaks at the United Church of Norman

Dr. Tom Boyd, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Oklahoma, preaches a sermon entitled “The Progressive Sermon I Always Wanted to Preach” for the United Church of Norman on February 21, 2013.

Dialogue with Dr. Tom Boyd

Question and answer session with Dr. Tom Boyd, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oklahoma, after Boyd’s sermon on “The Progressive Sermon I always wanted about to preach.” The sermon and dialogue session were at the United Church of Norman on February 21, 2013.

Dr. Robin R Meyers


DR. ROBIN R. MEYERS


Robin R Meyers (124x150)

Rev. Dr. Robin R. Meyers

 

Rev. Dr. Robin R. Meyers is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, a tenured professor in the philosophy department at Oklahoma City University, an author, a syndicated columnist, and an award-winning commentator for National Public Radio. He has been the Senior Minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC church of Oklahoma City since 1985, the fastest growing UCC church in the Kansas Oklahoma conference

Dr. Robin Meyers, pastor of Mayflower Congregational Church in Oklahoma City and author of several bestselling religious books, speaks about his religious experience and convictions at the Raindrop Turkish House in Oklahoma City on April 24, 2012.

Fr. John Dear

Fr. John Dear Spoke in Norman, Oklahoma

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From left to right: Ruth & Monte Blake, Sally Church, Dana & Mike Cantwell, Rev. Warren Jensen, John Dear, Jeanette Bishop and Don Holladay

We were very honored to have Fr. John Dear speak on: Nonviolent Life and Civil Disobedience Friday, April 4, 2014, Norman, Oklahoma at OU Sam Noble Museum of Natural History & A free seminar was held on Saturday, April 5th at The United Church of Norman, UCC. (Events Organized & Hosted by: United Church of Norman: UCC)

John Dear J.P.

John Dear SJ

Fr. John Dear, a leader of the Christian nonviolence peace movement, columnist, and the author of 28 books on peace and creative nonviolence, most recently ‘The Nonviolent Life’

He has traveled the war zones of the world, been arrested 75 times for civil disobedience, and gives lectures on peace across the country. Dear formerly served as the executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest interfaith peace organization in the U.S. He lives in New Mexico, and has been nominated by Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Rev. Warren Jensen’s Comments

Rev. John Dear, author, activist, retreat leader, theologian and a true role model for peace, left Norman Saturday afternoon after a challenging lecture at the Sam Noble Museum Friday evening and an enlightening and motivating seminar at our church on Saturday morning. His own life style and personal commitment to peace shined brightly in everything he said and did. More than 100 people listened intently Friday night as he shared his formula for following the three fundamental dimensions of the nonviolent journey leading to peace: practicing nonviolence toward ourselves; practicing nonviolence toward others; and by joining the global movement to abolish war, end poverty, stop the destruction of the earth and to foster the well-being of all. These three ingredients are all interrelated. “The nonviolent life is personal, interpersonal and totally global with (the successful achievement) of each ingredient depending on the others.” WOW! That should give us something to think about. More than 50 people listened intently to his seminar message of peace and intervention on Saturday morning.

Everyone who heard John Dear speak will probably take away something different from the experience. One of our members shared with us Sunday morning his assessment of John Dear: “I think I might have met my first Christian!” Many expressed appreciation for the personal sharing of his own simple life style and life of faith and trust. Another person commented that he does not fly around the country to his speaking engagements, or seem to care about owning the “stuff,” which is our current measurement of success. I really appreciated that. He also demonstrated a high level of intelligence and total commitment to the nonviolent way of living. Often challenged during his presentations to soften his nonviolent message, he never wavered. “Violence must end and a new understanding of nonviolence must take root in the lives of all those who claim to follow Jesus.” He spent much time reinforcing our understanding of Jesus as a nonviolent person. Throughout his presentations he referenced the growing numbers of theologians and scholars who are currently promoting the nonviolent stance and message of Jesus. I truly believe that we should all be proud of the fact that we were able to bring this outstanding person with his message of peace to share with our community. We are making a difference.

Leaving the Jesuits after 32 years

By John Dear / Jan. 7, 2014

This week, with a heavy heart, I am officially leaving the Jesuits after 32 years. After three years of discernment, I’m leaving because the Society of Jesus in the U.S. has changed so much since I entered in 1982 and because my Jesuit superiors have tried so hard over the decades to stop my work for peace — most recently, when my provincial ordered me to Baltimore but gave me no assignment and, I felt, encouraged me to leave, as many other superiors have done in the past.

Complete Story HERE

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VIDEO COMING SOON:

 

Rev. Dr. Welton Gaddy


DR. WELTON GADDY


Dr. Welton Gaddy (123x150)

Dr. Welton Gaddy

Author of more than 20 books, including First Freedom First: A Citizen’s Guide to Protecting Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State, the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy leads the national non-partisan grassroots and educational organization Interfaith Alliance and serves as Pastor for Preaching and Worship at Northminster (Baptist) Church in Monroe, Louisiana.

In addition to being a prolific writer, Dr. Gaddy hosts the weekly State of Belief radio program, where he explores the role of religion in the life of the nation by illustrating the vast diversity of beliefs in America, while exposing and critiquing both the political manipulation of religion for partisan purposes and the religious manipulation of government for sectarian purposes.

Christianity in the Balance

Dr. Welton Gaddy, President of the national Interfaith Alliance, speaks about “Christianity in the Balance: Integrity and Diversity (Let’s Get Over It and On With It). He spoke at the University of Oklahoma’s Sam Noble Museum of Natural History on March 1, 2013. His speech was sponsored by the United Church of Norman (UCC).

Urgent: A Call for Progressive Religion Part 1

Dr. Welton Gaddy, President of the national Interfaith Alliance, leads a seminar on the topic “Urgent: A Call for Progressive Faith,” at the United Church of Norman (UCC) in Norman, Oklahoma on March 2, 2013. This video records the first half of the seminar.

Urgent: A Call for Progressive Religion Part 2

Dr. Welton Gaddy, President of the national Interfaith Alliance, leads a seminar on the topic “Urgent: A Call for Progressive Faith,” at the United Church of Norman (UCC) in Norman, Oklahoma on March 2, 2013.
This video records the second half of the seminar.

Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, host on the State of Belief Radio

Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, host of State of Belief Radio, urges the preservation of Church-State separation, as mandated by the US Constitution, even in the case of natural disasters. This after the US House of Representatives took the unprecedented step of voting to require FEMA to fund repairs to houses of worship damaged by Hurricane Sandy. – See more at State of Belief.

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Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder

Dr. Yvette Flunder (Thumb)

Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder

Bishop Flunder founded the City of Refuge UCC in 1991 in order to unite a gospel ministry with a social ministry. City of Refuge is a thriving inner-city congregation that celebrates the radically inclusive love of Jesus Christ. Preaching a message of action, the church has experienced steady numerical and spiritual growth and is now located in the South of Market Area of San Francisco at 1025 Howard Street.

A native San Franciscan, Bishop Flunder is a third generation preacher with roots in the Church of God in Christ. She was licensed in the COGIC and later ordained by the Bishop Walter Hawkins of Love Center Ministries where she served as Associate Pastor and administrator for the Oakland-based Love Center Church. In 1984 Bishop Flunder began performing and recording with “Walter Hawkins and the Family” and the Love Center Choir. Other gospel music recordings include “There’s Power “with the City of Refuge Praise Ensemble, “We Won’t Be Silent Anymore” with The Fellowship Mass Choir, and “How Sweet the Sound”, with the Grammy Award winning Chanticleer.

Bishop Flunder is also an ordained Minister of the United Church of Christ and a graduate of the Ministry Studies and Master of Arts programs at the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California. She received a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo California.

In June 2003 Bishop Flunder was consecrated Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship a multi-denominational fellowship of 110 primarily African American Christian leaders and laity representing 56 churches and faith-based organizations from all parts of the United States Mexico and Africa.

Yvette Flunder: A Theology of Relentless Hospitality

Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder speaks on “My Mama’s Kitchen: A Theology of Relentless Hospitality” at St. Stephens United Methodist Church in Norman, Oklahoma on October 9, 2013. Dr. Flunder was hosted by the United Church of Norman (UCC).

Rev. Phil J. Fenn


REV. PHIL J. FENN


Dr. Phil Fenn on Motivated Belief

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Dr. Phil Fenn

 

Dr. Phil Fenn, retired pastor emeritus at McFarland United Methodist Church in Norman, OK, speaks about “Motivated Belief” for the United Church of Norman (UCC) on May 23, 2013. Dr. Fenn’s speech is the conclusion of a series of speeches sponsored by United Church on the topic, “The Progressive Sermon I Always Wanted to Preach.”

 

Rilla Askew (Author)

Author Rilla Askew Spoke at
The United Church of Norman, UCC

February 16th, 2014

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Rilla Askew
(Author)

Rilla Askew received a 2009 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in a variety of journals, and her story “The Killing Blanket” was selected for Prize Stories 1993: The O. Henry Awards. Askew’s first novel, THE MERCY SEAT, was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Dublin IMPAC Prize, was a Boston Globe Notable Book, and received the Oklahoma Book Award and the Western Heritage Award in 1998. FIRE IN BEULAH, her novel about the Tulsa Race Riot, received the American Book Award and the Myers Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. She was a 2004 fellow at Civiella Ranieri in Umbertide, Italy, and in 2008 her novel HARPSONG received the Oklahoma Book Award, the Western Heritage Award, the WILLA Award from Women Writing the West, and the Violet Crown Award from the Writers League of Texas. Askew received the 2011 Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. Her new novel KIND OF KIN will be published by Ecco Press in January 2013 and in the UK by Atlantic Books in August.

The Cost

Presentation and Discussion

Author Rilla Askew will spoke about the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, America’s school-to-prison pipeline, and the effect these conditions have on families. She will offer personal witness to incidents of racial profiling which have affected people close to her.

Rilla Askew, renowned novelist, speaks about “The Cost of Racial Disparities in Our Justice System” at the United Church of Norman, Oklahoma on February 16, 2014.