Special Guests – Keynote & Worship

2017 Annual Meeting — SHIFT: Our Unfolding Story

Annual meeting 2017 logo


The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer, President and General Minister of the United Church of Christ

We are excited to have the Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer with us on Friday afternoon.  Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, will preview the new UCC vision and talk about racial tensions and the notion of white privilege.

John is passionate about justice. Two statements that shape his theology are: “God is love. God is just.” Throughout his ministry, John has embodied the UCC’s vision to create “A just world for all.” On October 17, 2014, Dorhauer conducted the first legal same sex wedding in the state of Arizona. More recently, John initiated the creation of the White Privilege curriculum, which has been downloaded more than 4000 times. Under his leadership, the UCC has adopted a new Purpose, Mission, Vision Statement centered on seeking justice for everyone, highlighting the UCC’s core values of Extravagant Welcome, Continuing Testament, and Changing Lives. John insists “that the Holy Spirit envisions a future in which the United Church of Christ matters.”
Rev. Dorhauer bio

Rev. Everett Mitchell imageRev. Everett Mitchell, pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church and Dane County Circuit Court Judge

On Saturday morning Rev. Mitchell will present A Theology of Race: Empowering churches to use the radical inclusiveness of Jesus’ ministry to dismantle spiritual and social racial segregation

Everett is the Senior Pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Madison. He is also a Circuit Court Judge in Dane County.  Before that he was Director of Community Relations for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Everett has a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; he has a M.Div and Th.M from Princeton Theological Seminary. Everett’s theologial focus has been examining the relationship of the church to social issues such as poverty, war, incarceration and immigration. One of his favorite quotes speaks directly to our shifting times: “Do not follow the path that has been given, instead go to where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Rev. Mitchell bio

Worship Leaders

Bringing us an inspiring new worship experience this year will be Gary Rand, Director of Worship Activities and Adjunct Professor in Worship at McCormick Theological Seminary. Gary is also Adjunct Professor at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, and serves as group lead for worship and liturgy for the Wild Goose Festival.  Additionally he co-directs the Plural Guild, a website resource for liturgy, congregational music and discussion on worship issues. He has a Masters degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and a Doctorate from Northwestern University. Gary strives to design worship that engages people through music and participatory activities.

Joining in Sunday worship with their unique music style will be The Many, an indie folk/gospel, liturgically-grounded, new kind of worship band, and pianist Rob Clearfield.

The Many
The Many is an indie folk/gospel, liturgically-grounded, new kind of worship band, an intentionally diverse collective creating music for people who want to do justice, love mercy, walk humbly, and follow the Jesus who so loves the world.  The Many’s music is crafted for people to sing together…in congregations, small groups…wherever people gather to pray, imagine, hope for and work towards a new day, where love and mercy win. They’re the house band of The Plural Guild, a gathering of writers, musicians and artists, led by Gary and Lenora Rand, dedicated to creating new music, poems, prayer, visual art and liturgy that help us open up to the questions and sorrow and sacredness of our lives and world, and enter together into hopeful acts of healing and resistance.

Rob Clearfield
Pianist Rob Clearfield has not only won the hearts of congregations and audiences. He has also won over the critics.  Jack Walton of the South Bend Tribune wrote, “Rob plays a kind of music that’s both private and yet, as expressive as possible. It’s a sound almost impossible to classify, where intelligence and inspiration, mediated by advanced technique, yield a music imbued with a kind of alchemy.  Chicago Examiner, Neil Tesser called Rob “…one of the city’s most enjoyably unpredictable players.”  Rob Clearfield bio


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