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This Year's Special Guests

Rev. Dr. Dow Edgerton is a Professor of Ministry at Chicago Theological Seminary. He has served a church in Wisconsin and is an instructor is the Lay Academy Program.

Dr. Edgerton's address, "I Believe in the Holy Spirit" will explore what it means to think, imagine, pray, study, work, hope, love, and live together as the church that believes in the Holy Spirit.

Rev. Dr. Carolyn Pressler
is the Harry C. Piper Professor of Biblical Interpretation at United Theological Seminary, is ordained in the UCC, and is an instructor for the Lay Academy.

Dr. Pressler's address is "Grief and Gratitude in our Journey with God"  There is a sense in which the Old Testament is a centuries long conversation about the questions and crises, hopes and fears that continue to stand at the center of faithful life. Our spiritual ancestors wrestled with rapid change and dwindling resources; challenges that are not foreign to our churches today! While the biblical authors responded out of varying circumstances in widely differing ways, always their responses were ultimately grounded not in nihilism, but in hope in God's faithful love. The movement from anxiety, grief and lament to gratitude and praise is central to the overarching narrative of the Older Testament; it defines the movement of many of the particular stories and poems that comprise our scriptures. Carolyn Pressler will mine several Old Testament poems and stories for their insights for our churches as we confront and grieve change, even as we respond gratefully to glimpses and cues of the new life God offers our beloved church.

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