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Prolific writer to lead local seminar series

Sep. 06, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church will have its fourth annual convocation and seminar Sunday and Monday, Sept. 8-9.

The theme for this year's event is "A Gracious Spirit in an Ungracious World."

The annual symposium welcomes theologians and others of national reputation to present topics of religious interest and challenge for clergy and laity. The seminars are Sunday evening, all day Monday and Monday evening.

Philip Gulley, Quaker pastor and author is this year's seminar leader. Gulley is a prolific writer of the "Harmony" series as well as popular books titled "Evolution of Faith," "If God Is Love," "If the Church Were Christian," and "If Grace Is True."

Gulley is also an Emmy Award-winning television host and is a regular contributor to The Saturday Evening Post.

The evening sessions are designed for lay participation. While open to laity, the all-day session Monday is a continuing education event for clergy. All sessions take place at Johnson Memorial, at the corner of 5th Avenue and 10th Street, in Huntington.

"People who know Garrison Keillor's work will find a similar homespun style in Gulley's work," said Johnson Memorial education committee chair David Stackpole. "We know the people in the mythical Quaker town of Harmony, Indiana. They are our neighbors, church members, folks down the street, our families. Gulley has drawn from his childhood memories of Danville, Indiana to give character to the people in his novels."

Gulley will also preach for the Sunday morning worship service beginning at 10:55 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend the worship service.

The Sunday evening session begins at 7 p.m. and is titled "Grace Remembered." Monday will begin with "Grace In a Hostile World," from 9 a.m. to noon. The afternoon session from 1 to 5 p.m. will focus on "The Qualities of the Spiritual Life." Monday night will conclude with a 7 p.m. session called "More Stories of Grace" and an evening of storytelling.

A Monday lunch will be provided for $7.

The fee for clergy attending for up to 10 contact hours of continuing education credit is $40 and includes the lunch. Registration can be done online at www.johnsonmemorialalumc.com or by calling the church at 304-525-8116.

"We are enthused about this growing seminar series and are particularly excited about this year's events," said Jack Lipphardt, pastor at Johnson Memorial. "Clergy, Sunday School teachers, lay speakers, and others should find this year's symposium to be most valuable. We are called to be faithful tellers of God's activity in a modern and changing world. Join us."

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