Talks by noted authors, theologians planned for Founders Day
In honor of Chapman University’s 150th anniversary, the organizers of this weekend’s Founders Day program have planned an especially notable slate of speakers, including best-selling author Anne Lamott and progressive theologian and writer John Shelby Spong, a retired bishop of the Episcopal Church.
“This year we’ve gone all out as a way of celebrating Chapman University and our heritage,” said Rev. Nancy Brink, director of Church Relations, which sponsors Founders Day.
Spong will deliver a series of lectures Friday, March 18, including: “Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism” at 10:45 a.m., “Jesus for the Non-Religious” at 1 p.m. and “Eternal Life: A New Vision” at 2:45 p.m. A book signing will follow at 4 p.m. Lamott will speak Saturday, March 19, at 1:30 p.m.
A visiting lecturer at Harvard and at universities and churches worldwide, Spong delivers more than 200 public lectures each year to standing-room-only crowds. His bestselling books include Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, A New Christianity for a New World, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, and Here I Stand.
Anne Lamott is the author of seven novels, as well as five bestselling books of non-fiction, including Traveling Mercies, a collection of autobiographical essays on faith, and Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. Lamott’s last collection of essays is Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith. Her new novel, entitled Imperfect Birds, was published in Spring 2010. In the Fall of 2010 Anne Lamott was inducted into the California Hall of Fame.
Also on the Founders Day schedule are Newell Williams, president of Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas., who will deliver a lecture titled “Chapman DNA: Disciples, Education and Abolition,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and Alvin Jackson, the renowned preacher at Park Avenue Christian Church in New York City, who will preach at the event’s 10:30 a.m. worship service on Saturday.
Other events on the weekend program include a Chapman Choir Concert in conjunction with Lamott’s talk and the awarding of Church Leader of the Year to The Rev. Dennis Short.
Founders Day is an occasion for Chapman Disciples of Christ/Disciples on Campus (DOC) alumni and church people from across Southern California to gather, and is open to any interested participants on campus or in the community. Friday’s events are free to the Chapman community with university ID. Chapman students may attend the Anne Lamott talk for a nominal fee if they use the online high school registration form.
Online registration forms, information and costs are available on the Founders Day website.