Charles Kiser to Deliver the 2023 Gailyn Van Rheenen Lecture

March 22, 2023

We are pleased to announce that this year's Gailyn Van Rheenen Lecturer will be Charles Kiser, who is of Storyline Christian Community in Dallas, Texas, who will speak on trauma-informed evangelism. Kiser is the co-author, with Elaine Heath, of Trauma-Informed Evangelism: Cultivating Communities of Wounded Healers. Kiser has a DMin in contextual theology from Northern Seminary and serves as a faculty member of Neighborhood Seminary.

David Fleer

Director's Comments

Sessions are now coming in and posting at a good pace. You can find on the Sessions page the first wave of sessions noting the participants and abstracts. Several sessions are intriguing and many promise to reveal groundbreaking research. Consider, for example, the multiple sessions on trauma and grief.

"We live in a time marked by complex social disruption, public and personal trauma, and cultural upheaval. A host of factors, from the global pandemic to increased social isolation and economic uncertainty, to localized instances of violence, has created what many see as a national mental health crisis. Within our communities of faith, these factors have shaken the foundations of our well-being, faith, and identity, and they raise crucial questions about theology and pastoral practice." So reads one of three CSC sessions devoted to the issue.

One session, "Trauma, Doubt, and Resilience: Theology and Practice in an Age of Anxiety," convened by Gary Selby, Professor of Ministerial Formation at Emmanuel Christian Seminary, will provide a roundtable discussion involving scholars and practitioners who study, serve, and attend to the impact of trauma and wounding in our communities and across the world.

A second session tentatively entitled, "Community Grief: The Changing Church, and Where Have All the Young People Gone" will involve key persons engaged with the impactful work in Houston, "Lifeline Chaplaincy." This roundtable session will feature four to five presenters sharing comments around the issue of grief for those in the community and for those who have no community. The idea is for praxis to speak to theory and for theory to respond in order to meet the goal of the roundtable: to discern if there is heuristic grist in this conversation that suggests trajectories for further exploration and collaboration.

For a conference whose theme is "What will be our future?" it is altogether appropriate that we assess the essential issues that have impacted us in our recent past so that we can effectively move into our future.

This would be a good day to register and make your plans to attend!

David F