Respectful communication topic of Knowledge Series Nov. program
“Faith in the Public Square: Is Respectful Discourse Possible?” is the topic of the November 11 Knowledge Series program featuring the Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, general secretary of the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church. She has served as the social justice agency’s top executive since 2014 after 22 years at Emory University. The presentation begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Mountains Grille Room of the Clubhouse at Lake Sconti, preceded by beverages and conversation at 4 p.m.
As dean of the Chapel and Religious Life at Emory University, the inter-religious ministry with a highly diverse constituency of 12,000 students and 2,400 faculty members with Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, B’Hai communities, was the heart of her work. Additionally, mentoring and vocational formation of a new generation for social-justice advocates highlighted the work of the office. As a result, her experiences working with such a religiously diverse community gave her an unusual opportunity to reflect on, and advise on the intersection of private and public religious expression and advocacy.
The public square is the intersection of two or more streets, gathering place, a place where ideas are shared and discussed, where people come together. The American origins of the public square lie in the colonial village, where again business, commerce, law and religion intersected. The public square, in the colonial village, was dependent on discourse, debate, and the free press, which advocated the birth of a new nation. It was driven by conversation and engagement with the issues of the day.
Many issues of justice, such as civil and human rights, have advanced sometimes with support from, and at other times hindered by faith/religious communities. We will discuss faith in the public square and whether or not and how respectful discourse takes place.
For 16 years, Henry-Crowe served as a member of the United Methodist Judicial Council, the denomination’s “Supreme Court.” She is the first woman elected president of the Judicial Council, serving in that role from 2008-2012. Ordained an elder in The United Methodist Church, she continues to be a member of the South Carolina Annual Conference. In South Carolina she served in three pastoral appointments, and as associate director and then director of the Conference Council on Ministries.
She has been repeatedly recognized for her work and commitment to social justice and in 2000 was named Chaplain of the Year by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
The Knowledge Series supports life-long learning and offers compelling monthly presentations by dynamic speakers and discussion groups on literary, artistic, international, national and regional topics of interest and significance. Future programs of The Knowledge Series this season will include:
• January 13, 2019: Michelle Prater, president, North Georgia Community Foundation, Gainesville, “Planned Giving and Legacy Gifts”
• February 10, 2019: Seth Booth, director, Booth Museum, Cartersville
• March 10, 2019: Susan Anderson, “Success with Creative Arts Therapies in Bosnia, Middle East, Haiti, Clarkston, and Katrina”
• April 7, 2019: Amy Pelissero, head of school, Global Village Project, Decatur, with special appearance by Elise Witt, the music instructor at the school
• May 5, 2019: Catherine Lewis, Kennesaw State University, “Eisenhower, Golf, and Cold War Politics”