First Forums

What is First Forums?

We live in a world that is increasingly divided. All around us, the media, family, friends, and co-workers want to know “Whose side are you on – are you with us or against us?” How, as Christians and Presbyterians, are we called to respond to these forces and invite people with whom we differ into dialogue to gain a better understanding of our dispirit beliefs? Knowing that we hold a variety of beliefs, values, and opinions, each First Forum is an opportunity for open dialogue, respect, and faithful disagreement. Come seek opportunities for respectful conversation and for finding avenues for advancing faithful values of peace, justice and community.

Join us at 12:15 p.m. in the Curtis/Founders Rooms on September 9 and 23. A light lunch will be served ($5).

September 9 - Obedience to God and Resistance to Evil

Dr. James Hudnut-Beumler, presenter. Because the Reformed tradition is the first truly modern form of Christianity, it recognizes that earthly rulers might err and envisions a time when the godly might have to correct or remove them. United States democracy is a system conceived under such a model of modest expectations for rulers and high expectations for citizens. Dr. Hudnut-Beumler will entertain several instances where contemporary Christians may be called to resistance for God and neighbor’s sake – immigration, the impoverished, and victims of harassment, or takings by legal means. James Hudnut-Beumler is the Anne Potter Wilson Distinguished Professor of American Religious History at Vanderbilt University. He served as Dean of the Divinity School from 2000 until 2013.

September 23 - “Christians View Today’s Political Divide: The Sarasota Statement: Part 2

Rev. Katherine Baker, Chaplain and Coordinator for Spiritual Care, Mercy Health, Grand Rapids. How do you do theology today? Explore the depth of a living theological statement with one of its writers. How would you write your personal theological statement today?