Ethics of Divorce: Rethinking Shame in Ecclesial Responses to DivorceN_Williams
Natalie Williams, PhD Candidate, Religion and Society, Drew Theological School

Divorce is a reality among Christians as much as it is a reality among the general population. Some Christian church communities respond in supportive and loving ways to families experiencing divorce, often offering divorce support and individualized pastoral care. Yet, the official word on divorce in mainstream Christian churches in the form of doctrinal or church policy statements indicates that divorce is always negative and always against God’s plan.

Is divorce always shameful? Regrettable? A sign of our “broken” world? This seminar seeks to uncover the rhetoric of shame embedded in the way that Christians, especially official Christian documents, respond to divorce. What are the theological roots of this shame? Can we find and use theological tools for responding to divorce that are not shame-based? How can you encourage your own church to respond to divorce in a way that is not shame-based?

 

Discover your Spiritual Type
Pastor Fran Thiessen, PCUSA-Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Norwood  Spiritual director at Union Theological Seminary, NYC         

To discover one’s spiritual type is to discover an important instrument of exploration useful on your own faith journey. Much the same way as Myers Briggs  provides a framework for understanding personality type, differentiating spirituality types provides a framework for understanding  spiritual experience.

This class will explore different spiritual types as well as offer those attending the opportunity to discover their spiritual type.  A personal goal is to deepen your own prayer, to help you understand the movements of your heart and mind, perhaps to make you more accepting of your own style. A pastoral goal is to help you understand other’s spiritual types, to appreciate other styles and religious beliefs more.  There will be an exercise matching your experience of corporate worship compared to  your own personal style of spirituality.  The class will be fun, informative and casual.

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