Sunday Adult Forum
Faith seeking understanding
Learning is never over, and "faith seeking understanding" (as St. Anselm said) is part and parcel of the Christian vocation. What do we have yet to learn, and how is the life of the spirit enriched by the discourse of the mind? As part of our commitment to formation - not just for children - St. Paul-Reformation presents a weekly Sunday Morning Adult Forum from 9:10 a.m. until 10:10 a.m. each Sunday during the academic year in Tidemann Hall. These presentations are free and open to the public, and all you need to do is bring an openness to learn and an inquiring mind. We seek to present on a variety of topics from the arts to current events to contemporary theological issues. You are welcome to ask questions...or just sit quietly and listen. And, wherever you are in these marvelous conversations...you are always welcome.
September 19 | Leah Robshaw Robinson
Friends for a Nonviolent World
Leah Robshaw Robinson is the Executive Director of Friends for a Nonviolent world, and a native of St. Paul. FNVW world seeks to present trainings and alternatives to Police Violence, as well as trainings in MN Prisons to transform outlooks from violence to non-violence.
September 26 | Kelly Sherman Conroy
Twin Cities Interfaith Chaplains
Kelly Sherman Conroy is a Native American Lutheran theologian living in the Twin Cities. This past summer, Kelly led the efforts (partially supported by SPR!) to provide support and trauma counseling to protesters at George Floyd Square, the Hennepin County Government Center, and in Brooklyn Center. What was learned during these protests, and what are some hopeful ways forward for racial reconciliation in our city and our nation?
October 3 | Maggiy Emery
Gun violence continues to be a scourge throughout the United States, and hundreds of Minnesotans each year lose their lives to gun violence. Protect Minnesota promotes a culture of health and safety for all by preventing gun violence through research, legislation, education, and community investment. Maggiy Emery is the Director of Development and Education for Protect Minnesota.
October 10 | Ceema Samimi
Stopping the School-To-Prison Pipeline
Cema Samimi is Asistant Professor of Social work at the University of Minnesota, and has done extensive work on the causes of the school-to-prison pipeline. Her research examines the intersectionality of service organizations, societal systems, criminalization and race, and how these impact young people. Dr. Samimi holds a PhD from the University of Denver.
October 17 | Patrick Mcnamara
Current Politics in El Salvador
El Salvador has, for decades, been locked in a political contest between right and left-wing parties. In 2019, Nayib Bukele (an independent) was elected President, and since that time, increasing authoritarianism has marked Salvadorian politics. Intimidation of the legislature, the judiciary, and other lawmakers has signaled the rise of a dangerous populism. Patrick McNamara is Professor of History at the University of Minnesota and an expert on the politics of El Salvador.
October 24 | Amalia Vohs
Stopping the Line 3 Pipeline
Amalia Vohs is an attorney for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, where she and her team work to make the public aware (most recently) of the detrimental impact of the “Line 3 Pipeline” on Minnesota’s environment. What is the “Line 3 Pipeline” and why is it dangerous? For almost fifty years, MCEA has worked in the courts, the legislature, and with public agencies to enact, strengthen, and enforce smart environmental law.
October 31 |
November 7 | Sun Yung Shin
A Good Time For The Truth
신 선 영 Sun Yung Shin was born in Seoul, Korea and was raised in the Chicago area. She is a poet, writer, and cultural worker. She is the editor of What We Hunger For: Refugee and Immigrant Stories on Food and Family (2021) and of A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, author of poetry collections Unbearable Splendor (finalist for the 2017 PEN USA Literary Award for Poetry, winner of the 2016 Minnesota Book Award for poetry); Rough, and Savage; and Skirt Full of Black (winner of the 2007 Asian American Literary Award for poetry), co-editor of Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption, and author of bilingual illustrated book for children Cooper’s Lesson.
November 14 | Josh Crossan
Josh Crossan serves as Executive Director of EdAllies, and sets the direction for the organization’s work to ensure that all Minnesota students, especially those most underserved, have access to a great education. He previously worked in D.C., where he transformed his passion for public policy into a fulfilling vocation. Josh works with EdAllies to advocate for underserved communities, seeing that they get the resources and support they need to provide robust and excellent education.
November 21 | Commissioner Toni Carter
Ramsey County Commissioner
Toni Carter serves as the District 4 Commissioner, leading on important issues at the local, state, and national level. She represents the district in which St. Paul-Reformation is located, as well as other parts of St. Paul. Carter is active in the Association of Minnesota Counties, the National Association of Counties (where she serves as the chair of the Health Counties Initiative). She serves on numerous other boards, including the Workforce Innovation Board of Ramsey County. Carter is committed to the delivery of efficient county services, eliminating disparities in county systems, and raising grassroots awareness of county decision making processes.
November 28 |
December 5 | Anthony Bateza
Luther and Augustine: Separated at Birth?
Dr. Anthony Bateza is a specialist in Martin Luther, moral theology and Christian ethics at St. Olaf College. His primary area of research examines Luther’s political theology, focusing on the reformer's understanding of human agency and his relationship with the virtue tradition. Dr. Bateza's other scholarly interests include the broader Augustinian tradition, the impact of Luther’s thought on 19th century philosophy, and questions of race, identity, and social justice.
December 12 | Mary Gaebler
Affluenza! Escaping the Christmas Cycle of Consumerism
Mary Gaebler is Associate Professor of Religion at Gustavus Adolphus college, where she teaches in the area of theological ethics. She has done extensive work on the concept of the “self,” and the challenge of difference. She has written extensively on Luther and the Law. An ordained pastor of the ELCA, Dr. Gaebler will speak to us on “affluenza,” the need to consume goods and services…as we move toward Christmas, and how the Christian vision of Christ’s birth might present us with an alternative way of living..
December 19 | Pr. Ruth Sorenson-Prokosch
Things Lost and Found: The Spirituality of Loss During Covid-19
Pr. Ruth Sorenson-Prokosch is an ordained Pastor of the ELCA, and has served in various parishes throughout the Saint Paul Area Synod; she holds a certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Sojourners Institute. Most recently, Pr. Sorenson-Prokosch has begun Front Porch Spiritual Direction, where she journeys with people in their Christian faith using new and ancient tools of Christian spirituality. In this Adult Forum, Ruth will guide us through some practices to reflect upon the last year, especially the things postponed, lost, or misplaced during COVID-19...and how God is yet "making all things new."