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Windows on the World

Windows on the World is intended to stimulate personal involvement in and knowledge of some of the crucial and controversial issues facing Christians today. Through these forums, the campus community is exposed to Christian thinkers and activists who model our motto of “the whole gospel for the whole world.”

Presentations are Fridays, 10 a.m. in McInnis Auditorium (St. Davids campus) unless otherwise indicated.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and open to the public.
Click here to download PDF of the schedule

Fall 2015

* An asterisk after dates below indicates that following that particular presentation, the Provost’s Office will host an informal luncheon in Baird Library (Walton Hall, 2nd floor) from 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. to extend the conversation over a meal. Participants should go through the Dining Commons line and bring their lunches back to Baird Library.  Guests without a meal plan should give their names to the Sodexo cashier outside the Dining Commons and mention that they are attending the Windows luncheon.

Friday, AUGUST 28:  FALL ACADEMIC CONVOCATION  (10:00 a.m. in the University Gym at St. Davids)
Special Speaker: Dr. F. David Bronkema, Associate Professor of International Development, Eastern University
The Academic Convocation is a meaningful, time-honored tradition at Eastern University, during which we gather to corporately welcome new students, faculty, administrators, and staff, to celebrate student achievements, and to ask God's blessing on our new beginnings.  Dr. David Bronkema, Associate Professor of International Development, will be the speaker.
PLEASE NOTE: 11:00 a.m. classes will start late as a result.

Friday, SEPTEMBER 4 
Dr. J. Nathan Corbitt, Professor of Urban Studies, Eastern University
“The Power of Silent Presence with Invisible People”
Dr. Corbitt presents a personal account of the lives and service of creative people who commit countless hours in the service of some of the world's most vulnerable people.  Often un-Facebooked and unTweeted, they provide lessons for meaningful service and ministry in the 21st century, without promise of recognition.  Drawing on experiences from his 24 year tenure at Eastern University that correlates with BuildaBridge International, an arts-based non-profit he co-founded in 1997, Dr. Corbitt shares stories and models that often come from graduates of Eastern University.

Friday, SEPTEMBER 11 
Dr. Sharon Gramby-Sobukwe, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Political Science, Eastern University
“Contemporary Prophetic Witness: Black Women’s Political Voice During the #Black Lives Matter Movement”
Since the murder of Trayvon Martin, a generation of black women activists has been vocal and in the forefront of this chapter of the U.S. civil rights movement. Their active leadership provides opportunity to appreciate a much broader range of political realities in America than studies of African-American and especially black women’s politics in the past.  By exploring how black women navigate intersectionality within social movements today, this study seeks new insights into the politics of race, gender, faith and class in the United States.

Friday, SEPTEMBER 18 *
 Quay Hanna, Author and Speaker
“Revelation of a Redneck”
What do you think of when you hear the word “redneck?” Monster trucks? Trailer parks? Confederate flags? Quay Hanna may spark you to reexamine your thought process in this engaging, provocative, and frank presentation on culture, labels, racism, and a Biblical approach to human relations. Hanna’s lecture stems from his book, Bus America: Revelation of a Redneck, a chronicle of his 1993 post-college expedition around the United States by Greyhound bus. The 9 week journey carried him over 12,000 miles and through 37 states, during which the small-town country boy confronted his label of “redneck,” and more specifically his racist views. Hanna went on to become a public speaker and youth mentor, working with schools around the country struggling with race relations. Come hear about his experiences and reflect on his suggestions for the way Christians can approach the issue of race.

Dr. Diane King, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Kentucky
“The Bible in Kurdistan: Histories, Representations, Hermeneutics”
In this lecture, Diane E. King of the University of Kentucky will offer some thoughts engendered by the Bible in Kurdistan. First, she will recount some of the history of missionary work and Bible translation in and pertaining to her main field site of Kurdistan, Iraq. She will then turn to representations and interpretations of missionary work that local people have shared with her during fieldwork there since the mid-1990s. Finally, she will offer some thoughts on biblical content prompted by her research.

Friday, OCTOBER 2 *
Rev. Tafue Lusama, General Secretary of the Christian Church of Tuvalu
“Knee-Deep in Reality: the Theology of Island Justice”
Rev. Tafue Lusama’s visit is part of a 5-week speaking tour of Christian colleges around the East Coast and Midwest. Rev. Lusama is the General Secretary of the Christian Church of Tuvalu which serves more than 94% of the Pacific island. Following a severe tropical storm this past spring, the church had to rebury their dead who were washed away during the storm surge. Rev. Lusama will discuss concepts (and realities) of environmental justice from the perspective of a pastor called to speak out for his flock, help them grieve the potential loss of their country and identity, and help them prepare for a climate crisis, while at the same time building up their hope and faith in God. Christians in the South Pacific are facing the crisis of rising ocean levels, resulting in the salinization of their aquifers and soil, and the loss of land.
(NOTE: Rev. Lusama will also be with us Thurs. Oct. 1st at 6:00pm for “Island Sustainability and Systems; how the wisdom of thousands of years of living within nature’s limits also protected nature’s bounty,” sponsored by the Biology Dept. Additional details are forthcoming.)

 Al Vernacchio, Chair of the English Dept. and Upper School Sexuality Educator, Friends’ Central School, Wynnewood, PA
"For Goodness Sex – A Conversation About Healthy Sexuality"
The development of healthy sexuality involves more than just learning facts, symptoms, and rules. It is a process that entails the examination of values and value clarification; living authentically; developing the skill of honest communication; and seeking equity, openness and justice for all. In his book For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Teens About Sexuality, Values, and Health, Al Vernacchio offers a path to healthy sexual development for adolescence based on these principles.

Dr. Mayra Picos-Lee, Lecturer in Counseling and Coordinator of Latina/o Initiatives, Palmer Theological Seminary
“Breaking the Cycle: Love Your Enemies”
Jesus’ most radical commandment invites us to love even those whom we consider unlovable, including our enemies (Matthew5:44). What does it mean to follow this commandment in the face of racism, violence and other forms of discrimination and abuse? This presentation will reflect on Jesus’ invitation to the break the cycle of violence and find ways in which we are able to transform conflict through the power of love.

Friday, OCTOBER 30 * (to be held in the University Gym at St. Davids)
Rachel Held Evans, author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood, Faith Unraveled, and Searching for Sunday
“Living the Questions”
One of the greatest challenges of the Christian life is confronting questions, uncertainty, and doubt with courage and integrity, particularly when controversial issues make us long for easy, black-and-white answers to tough questions. In this lecture, Rachel Held Evans shares candidly about her own journey through doubt and offers commiseration and practical guidance for following Jesus through rough spiritual terrain, even if it means following him down the dreaded “slippery slope.”
(NOTE: Ms. Held Evans will also be with us Thurs. Oct. 29th at 7:00pm for a lecture sponsored by the Human Sexuality Task Force. Additional details are forthcoming.)

Friday, NOVEMBER 6
 Dr. Kimberlee Johnson, Director, Center for Urban Youth Development, and Senior Lecturer in Urban and Interdisciplinary Studies, Eastern University
“From Here to There”
There are millions of undervalued, under-resourced, and under-served persons under corrections control in America. Explore how an institution of higher learning can be an integral part of transforming the broken juvenile and criminal justice systems, and the broken people governed by them.

 T.C. Ryan, author of Ashamed No More: A Pastor’s Journey Through Sex Addiction
“Christian Spirituality in a Sex-Saturated Culture"
The Church is facing an unprecedented cultural tsunami of erotic sexual material delivered through rapidly developing technology, with the corresponding growth of compulsive sexual behaviors. What do we mean by compulsive sexual behavior? How can the Church best minister to those struggling with compulsivity as well as those in community with the strugglers? What does healthy, spiritually informed sexual practice look like in an over-stimulated culture?

Friday, NOVEMBER 20 * - HAHA (Hunger and Homelessness Awareness) Week
Rev. Andy Greenhow, Minister of Stewardship, Congregational Partnership, and Belonging,
Broad Street Ministry, Philadelphia
“The Lord’s Supper Beyond Sunday: The Sacramental Approach to Hunger Relief at Broad Street Ministry”
Drawing on the Christian Sacrament of Holy Communion, Rev. Andy Greenhow will present a Gospel-oriented way to consider hunger alleviation.  Through the powerful stories of the work being done at Broad Street Ministry and through a study of the Words of Institution, Andy will remind us of the powerful invitation we have all been extended to the Table where all have enough.

Friday, DECEMBER 4
Music and Dance Departments, Eastern University
Eastern University’s Music and Dance Departments will lead us in expressing the joy of this holy season.

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