UPDATED SCHEDULE! Women Disciples of the Lord: Annual Summer Conference 2011
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In recent decades, we have seen several important conferences about women in the Church. These have reflected on women’s gifts, and their joys and frustrations in trying to fulfill their Christian calling; some have produced recommendations for parishes and local churches.
This year, for our annual summer academic conference, we've chosen "Women Disciples of the Lord" as the theme. The goals of this particular conference are:
- to explore and articulate the Christ-centered context out of which lay, and especially women’s, ministries are to be expressed;
- to listen to women pursuing Gospel-bearing vocations in the Church and parish, home and society; and, building on previous meetings,
- to help our parishes and Churches foster women’s and lay vocations.
The primary questions we will be addressing towards these goals are:
- How did our female forebears understand and live in Christ—as women? And how may we follow their examples today?
- Christ empowered the women among His disciples. How can women’s talents enrich the work of the Church today, energize parishes, and bring the Gospel into the world?
- How can the Church’s institutions better participate in the preparation of women and other laity for service? How can the Church validate women in their ministries: hiring them, blessing them, and sending them to attend to the Church’s missions? How can it establish positions worthy of its women seminary graduates? What infrastructure needs to be created?
This conference is not for women only, but also for laymen and clergy interested in building and broadening lay vocations and ministries in the Church. We seek to foster a creative, constructive, and inspiring encounter, through lectures, panel discussions, and workshops, with table fellowship and daily worship.
Our list of topics and speakers includes:
- Opening Address: "The Joy to Serve" • Matushka Juliana Schmemann (via video)
- "Eve, Mary, and Us" • Dr. Kyriaki Karidoyanes Fitzgerald
- "Light from the Past on Vocations Today" • Dr. Mary Ford
- "Confessions of a Free-lance Writer: Discerning God's Will in an Unpredictable Vocation" • Khouria Frederica Mathewes-Green
- "Orthodox Women in America: A Recent History" • Ms. Eleana Silk
On Friday, June 17, 7:30 p.m., Archpriest John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary, will present a free and public lecture, "Male and Female Created He Them," in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building, with reception to follow.
Through workshops and panels participants will also examine ministry within such church agencies as the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC), and St. Catherine’s Vision; and by means of topical sessions, including, how science serves the Church and chaplaincy in prisons, hospitals, and other settings.
After Divine Liturgy in Three Hierarchs Chapel on Sunday, June 19, there will be a meeting of women alumnae of theological seminaries, to draw up recommendations regarding resources for women’s theological education and vocations.