“She Is Equal” is the topic of this year’s Kindschi Faith and Justice Symposium at Houghton College, which runs from Wednesday, January 23, through Friday, January 25, and will explore gender roles and gender equality as they relate to books, movies, music, the Bible and the church. Please refer to the symposium schedule for a detailed listing of events. Symposium events are free and open to the public.
Reverend Dr. Joy Moore, lead pastor and ecclesial storyteller at Bethel United Methodist Church in Flint, MI, kicks off the symposium with her chapel keynote on Wednesday. A much sought-after preacher, teacher and Bible study leader, Moore uses Biblical narratives to help us understand the critical issues influencing our world today. A native of Chicago, Ill., Moore holds a Master of Divinity from Garrett Evangelical Seminary and a doctorate in practical theology from London School of Theological/Brunel University in London, England.
Moore has contributed articles to Sojourners magazine, Christian Century, WorkingPreacher.org and Good News magazine. She has focused on cross-racial ministry in urban, rural and suburban congregations. She calls local congregations to recognize their calling to glorify God as a peaceable community with the traits of hospitality, hope and humility as their trademarks. In 2001, she became a John Wesley Fellow and is the president of the Christian Theological Research Fellowship and second vice president of the Wesleyan Theological Society.
Before coming to Bethel UMC, Moore served as associate professor of practical theology at Wesley Seminary. She also taught at Fuller Theological Seminary, where she established the William E. Pannelli Center for African-American Church Studies, and at Duke University, where she was associate dean for church relations, associate dean for black church studies and visiting professor of preaching.
Following her chapel presentation and lunch, she will offer a lecture on “Mediating Gender: Books, Movies and the Bible.” A Q&A session will conclude first-day symposium events.
On Thursday, symposium offerings include a recital sampling of women composers by students and faculty; a Tedx talk discussion on “We Should all be Feminists”; a panel discussion of married couples, “Who Wears the Pants?”; and a showing and discussion of the film Wonder Woman.
Harriett Jane Olson, chief executive officer of the United Methodist Women’s (UMW) national administrative and policymaking arm since 2007, brings the address “On the Road to Gender Equality” to Wesley Chapel on Friday. With more than 800,000 members, the UMW engages in work with women, children and youth in the United States and in more than 100 countries. The UMW owns and operates the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City, which they make available to the UN-NGO community.
A Harvard Law School graduate, Olsen practiced real estate and environmental law for 13 years in New Jersey. From 1996 to 2007, she was senior vice president for publishing and editorial director of the United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville, Tenn., whose imprints include Abingdon Press and Cokesbury. Olsen earned a bachelor’s degree from Houghton and serves on its board of trustees.
An afternoon of informative workshops follows her chapel talk and lunch. From 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., workshops include “Listening to Women’s Voices” by Olsen and “Who Is Lady Wisdom?” by the Reverend Laurie DeMott.
DeMott earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from SUNY Geneseo and a Master of Divinity from Colgate Rochester Divinity School/Bexley Hall/Crozier Theological Seminary. In 1983, she began her ministry with Union University Church in Alfred, N.Y., and brings to the pulpit an eclectic blend of biblical exegesis, science and fondness for telling canine stories. Two decades ago, Alfred University awarded her an honorary doctorate for her ministry in the community and her work as the university’s part-time interfaith advisor.
There will be two additional workshops on Friday, “Women in the Pulpit, the Corner Office, and the Bible” by Reverend Dr. Jack Connell (1:30 p.m.) and a workshop by Kathlyn Ramey (2:45 p.m.).
Connell has served as provost and dean of the faculty at Houghton, his alma mater, since 2016. He earned a doctorate in higher education from the University of Rochester and a doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary and has nearly 20 years of pastoral experience in The Wesleyan Church. He has been selected as the 14th president of Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass., and will be transitioning to that new role over the next several months.
Ramey is the prevention education and outreach coordinator for Cattaraugus Community Action’s victim services department where she educates on issues of interpersonal violence and is responsible for training Department of Health Rape crisis counselors, who serve both counties as well. Ramey works with college campuses in Cattaraugus and Allegany counties as the community partner for the NYS “Enough is Enough” legislation, which addresses sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking on college campuses.
The Houghton College Center for Faith, Justice and Global Engagement was created in 2011 to explore faith and justice for transformational learning and holistic change in both local and global contexts. Past symposia topics include immigration and refugees, human trafficking, and environmental justice.
In 2018, Dr. P. Douglas Kindschi ’62 and his wife Barbara (Pechuman’62) Kindschi gave a generous gift to create an endowment fund ensuring that a permanent stream of funding will support the symposium.