Giving Testimony to Our Unity in Christ
Just as the fall football season launches, we at The Colossian Forum will be hosting our first annual conference at the Haworth Conference Center in Holland, MI, September 20-22. Can a theologically rich conference compete with our national obsession? We believe It can, especially when its theme—Moving from Fear to Hope—addresses the mounting cynicism and despair within our shared public life, overflowing into our closest relationships and faith communities. Scripture speaks of “the hope we have within us” (I Peter 3:15), but at times hope’s pulse is faint amid cultural wrangling and confusion and difficult personal interactions.
So, let’s stir up the hope within us. We invite you to join us for two days as we engage together in the practices of our faith that fuel hope and enable us as Christians to live beautifully and faithfully together. Let’s rediscover a simpler, more profound, discipleship that recreates a Spirit-empowered community that acts like Jesus in the face of post-Christian complexity and conflict. Consider the following reasons to attend our Colossian Forum Conference in September.
- Grow a deeper understanding of “conflict as opportunity for spiritual growth and witness”
- Discover a fresh approach for engaging divisive issues within your church or faith community
- Learn practical skills from others following this new mode of discipleship
- Engage in joint worship that returns you to the heart of the gospel
- Renew your vision of hope—a vision built on Jesus Christ alone
- Take part in a two-hour Politics Forum, where Christian thought leaders will guide our reflections on current political divisions
Perhaps the most compelling reason to attend is the conviction that, as believers, we must be of all things, “reconciling people.” Stanley Hauerwas says it so well: “That conflict is part and parcel of Christian unity means that the unity of the church is not a unity based on agreements, but rather one that assumes disagreements should not lead to division but rather should be a testimony to the existence of a reconciling people.”*
While September 20th seems a summer away, our early registration discount will disappear, June 30th. Venue size limits attendance, so we encourage you to commit now before seasonal activities intervene. Register now for a discounted $125 fee for this two-day experience that includes four meals and an opening reception. Student discounts (50%) and scholarships are available.
Our speaker lineup—including workshop presenters—is not to be missed. Dr. Richard Mouw, President Emeritus of Fuller Seminary will be both speaking from his personal commitment to pursue peace and the unity we have in Christ. Dr. Mouw emphasizes the “spirituality” that must undergird our efforts toward unity—spiritual traits such as empathy, curiosity, teachability, and humility. How we cultivate these traits through Christian practices is a significant focus of content provided by our gifted cadre of speakers: Jenell Paris, Messiah College; Mwenda Ntarangwi, Nairobi, Kenya; Michael Gulker and Rob Barrett, The Colossian Forum. Workshop presenters include Rebecca DeYoung, Calvin College; James Calvin Davis, Middlebury College; Chris DeVos, The Colossian Forum; Joe Liechty, Goshen College; Trisha Taylor, Counselor; Parisa Parsa, Essential Partners.
Centered strategically within the conference is our Public Forum, Political Division: Moving Toward Hope held nearby at 14th Street Christian Reformed Church. For two hours, the public will join us for this timely conversation.
You will enjoy Michigan in the fall. Haworth Conference Center is on the campus of Hope College and within a winning football pass to fantastic dining and shopping in Downtown Holland. If you need lodging, we’ve arranged special rates at three local hotels, including Haworth. We look forward to welcoming you in September!
Questions? Please email or call 616-328-6016.