Reverend Violet Little’s higher calling to serve Philadelphia’s homeless is redefining just what a “church” is. She will be with us at The Gathering in Dallas Fort Worth.
Learn more about Violet here.
SATURDAY 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
The Wounds of Race: Can Our Faith Offer a Salve?
As a country, America still suffers from the original sin of slavery. Half a century after Martin Luther King Jr. noted that Sundays at church is the most segregated hour, and just one term after the country elected the first black president, the wounds of racial conflict seem as raw as ever. God created all humans in His likeness, and the invitation to Christ is extended to both Jew and Gentile. So what do the Scriptures tell us about healing our differences on race?
Speakers: Mayra Macedo-Nolan is chairwoman of the Christian Community Development Association and a pastor for outreach at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena; Bryan Carter is lead pastor at Concord Church in Dallas; Jeff Warren is senior pastor at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas. Moderator: Tom Lin, trustee of Crowell Trust and CEO of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
What Divides Us?
To say we live in a time of division is an understatement. We stand at odds with our neighbors over our politics, our religions, our geographies, our places of origin, our genders. We can’t even seem to disagree agreeably. As followers of Jesus, we are urged towards unity. So where have we gone wrong? How might Christians offer an alternative to our moment, and help restore decency and dignity in our differences?
Speakers: David Blankenhorn is President of Better Angels, which seeks to depolarize America by bringing red and blue voters together. Kirsten Powers is a columnist at USA Today and a political analyst on CNN. Moderator: Peter Greer is CEO of HOPE International and co-author of Rooting for Rivals: How Collaboration and Generosity Increase the Impact of Leaders, Charities, and Churches.
Science and Faith
Where do we come from? Where are we going? In a conversation with some of the world’s leading scientists and theologians, we’ll discuss everything from the origins of humankind to the future of extending human life. The pace of scientific discoveries and the reach of technological prowess appear to be accelerating our understanding of the past as well as the future. We seek harmony between science and faith, guided by Deborah Haarsma, the president of BioLogos and former chair of the department of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin College; Francis Collins, the former head of the Human Genome Project and the current director of the National Institutes of Health; and Alister McGrath, professor of science and religion at Oxford University, who holds separate doctorate degrees in the fields of molecular biophysics, theology, and intellectual history.
FRIDAY 2:OO PM – 3:00 PM
How to Live Forever: The Secret of Intergenerational Friendships
More Americans are living longer and with better health than ever before. Yet as a society obsessed with novelty and youth, we tend to overlook and discard the aging. In search of wisdom and optimized selves, how might young people draw on the experiences and life lessons of our seniors? How can we treasure and deploy our seniors for all they have to offer? How might seniors design an “encore” life that’s equally fulfilling and productive? Where can the generations intersect and integrate their lives?
Speaker: Marc Freedman is CEO of Encore.org and a social entrepreneur working to bridge generations and author of How to Live Forever. Moderator: Ryan Frederick, a Gathering participant and real estate developer focused on intergenerational housing.
Workshop: John Townsend on People Fuel
An interactive presentation from Dr. John Townsend, New York Times bestselling author of the Boundaries series, psychologist, and founder of the Townsend Institute. John will go over the key concepts and skills from his newly-released book People Fuel: Fill Your Tank for Life, Love, and Leadership, which will help you fill up your relational tank, maximize your “gains” and minimize your “drains.” As usual, John will be engaging with your questions and thoughts as well.
Contrarian Investments: Spotting Entrepreneurial Talent in Unusual Places
Finding and developing talented leaders are essential skills for investors as well as philanthropists. What can we learn from our speakers who have searched for talent in unusual places? Alfa Demmellash, CEO of Rising Tide Capital, contends that entrepreneurial talent can be found in overlooked places and among forgotten people. Michael Gibson, General Partner at the 1517 Fund, believes that modern higher education has failed many of its students and that seismic changes in history come outside the establishment track. Moderator: Kurt Keilhacker, a Gathering participant and co-founder of Elementum Ventures, an early-stage investment fund, will help us draw insights.
FRIDAY 10:3O AM – 12:00 PM
City Missions: Lessons in Complexity from Leaders in Collective Impact
From Chicago, Dallas, and Waco, we convene three sets of diverse leaders who have spent decades immersed in serving the residents of their cities. Through cross-cultural friendships and organizational partnerships, they are tackling complex, interlocking issues like gun violence, failing education systems, and deteriorating job prospects. And they are wrestling with how the church can contribute to the collective transformation of local neighborhoods.
Speakers: From Together Chicago — David Dillon, a Gathering participant and co-founder of a group of technology companies, and Michael Allen, Senior Pastor of Uptown Baptist Church. From CitySquare (Dallas) — Larry James, CEO of CitySquare and on staff at Highland Park United Methodist Church, and Byron Sanders, CEO of Big Thought. From Mission Waco — Jimmy Dorrell, co-founder of Mission Waco and pastor at Church Under the Bridge, and Maritza Perez, a Mission Waco board member and real estate agent. Moderator: Anne Snyder, editor-in-chief of Comment Magazine and author of The Fabric of Character: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Supporting Social and Moral Renewal.
Global Health: News from the Frontier
Despite pockets of deteriorating health in areas of lawlessness and violence, the world is generally moving in a positive direction. More people in poor countries have better access to caregivers, medicine, and nutrition. What are some of the reasons for this improvement in global health? What remains to be done? And how can ministries offer a distinctly Christian service?
Speakers: Mark Gerson is Co-Founder of the Gerson Lehrman Group and, with his wife Rabbi Erica Gerson, the creators of the annual L’Chaim Prize for Outstanding Christian Medical Missionary Service. Linda McCarty is CEO of Faith In Practice, who works on short term missions and long term improvements for health systems in Guatemala. Julius Mbeya is Managing Director of Lwala Community Alliance, which focuses on overall human development in a region in Kenya. Moderator: Robin Bruce is a Gathering participant and President of the David Weekley Family Foundation, where global health is one of their philanthropic themes.
What in the World is Happening — and Why?
Join us in a wide-ranging and freewheeling conversation about current events and the underlying forces shaping the news. We’ll venture beyond the headlines and tweets to explore what is happening and to understand why. Helping us chart the symptoms and diagnose the issues: Michael Gerson, nationally syndicated columnist at The Washington Post and former senior aide to President George W. Bush; Christine Emba, who writes about ideas for the opinion section of The Washington Post and previously worked as an editor at The Economist; Mindy Belz, senior editor of WORLD magazine and a former war correspondent; moderated by Josh Good, director of the Faith Angle Forum at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.