A summer speaker series at Park Road Baptist Church is designed to help people develop an “informed faith.”“I think faith is impacted by every aspect of life,” said Russ Dean, who co-pastors Park Road Baptist Church with his wife, Amy Jacks Dean.“I want people to think about how all of these different issues affect and challenge their faith.”The series, featuring speakers from a range of backgrounds, started in 2012. The Deans traditionally taught a series of classes themselves in summer, but last year Russ Dean wanted to try something different.He went through his list of contacts and compiled a roster of speakers, including Sam Wazan, a Middle East expert and author of “The Last Moderate Muslim.”Dean looked for a diverse group of people and topics to give attendees many different angles to think about their faith.This summer, Dean invited Wazan to speak again, and in late June Wazan discussed “The Making of Holy Patriots: From Rhetoric to Violence.”Other speakers have included Dick Little, a retired Lutheran minister who talked about centering prayer, and Dan Murrey, a spine surgeon and former Mecklenburg County commissioner who spoke on the U.S. health-care system.The weekly speaker series runs through Aug. 18, and each talk is held 9:45 a.m. Sundays in the church’s Milford Chapel.Upcoming speakers will discuss everything from aging to beauty pageants.• On July 28, Colin Clode, a Park Road Baptist Church member and executive director of Sardis Oaks long-term care community, will talk about aging in America and the future of elder care.He will focus on issues facing individuals in the church and the country as the aging population increases.• David Jordan, a minister at Providence Baptist Church, will give his perspective on Israel on Aug. 4. Jordan leads a tour to Israel every year and will discuss the country’s history and geography, as well as the relationship between the Israeli and Palestinian people.• On Aug. 11, the Deans’ niece, Ali Rogers, will discuss “Faith and Beauty in America: The Church’s Ongoing Relationship with The Pageant.”Representing South Carolina, Rogers was the runner-up in the 2013 Miss America Pageant. She will talk about her pageant experience, and then Mandy McMichael, a former Park Road Baptist intern and now a doctoral candidate at Duke University, will interview her.McMichael’s dissertation focuses on the pros and cons of the church’s fascination with American beauty pageants. She will share some of her research during the discussion.• The series will wrap up Aug. 18 with Rodney Sadler, a close friend of the Deans and a professor at Union Theological Seminary in Charlotte. Sadler and Dean became friends while working with Mecklenburg Ministries and have been recognized for their work in the community.Sadler will talk about accomplishments in race relations in the U.S. and ongoing challenges.Each 11 a.m. summer Sunday worship service at Park Road Baptist will reflect the discussion from that morning, Dean said. He and his wife are preaching sermons related to the topics.The speaker series is open to the community.For more information, visit www.parkroadbaptist.org.The church is at 3900 Park Road.
Friday, Jul. 26, 2013
Summer speaker series emphasizes ‘informed faith’
Marty Minchin is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email her at email@example.com.
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