University Presbyterian Church has never shied away from controversial issues facing our community and culture, dating back to its founding in 1951 on the campus of then Arizona State College.
Beginning February 1, 2014, the church will be hosting its 21st annual Mission Month—a month-long dialogue around challenging and controversial issues facing us today. In the past UPC has engaged the intersection of science and religion, the meaning of peace in our day from an inter-faith and multicultural perspective, and issues of justice and the global economy, just to name a few.
The 2014 Mission Month will tackle race, racism and the Bible, looking at issues of race in the U.S. and around the world drawing from the perspectives shared in the Christian Bible.
Childcare is available for children through 5th grade upon request for the Saturday evening forums. Please indicate when you RSVP.
UPC has invited expert leaders from around the country to come and share their insights:
Feb. 1-2, 2014
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Small
Adjunct faculty at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, and church relations consultant to the Presbyterian Foundation. He has served as director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Theological and Worship (1989-2011). Dr. Small has authored and edited a number of books ranging from theology to inter-faith dialogue (click here for more on Dr. Small’s books).
|6:00 p.m.||“A Challenge to the Church Concerning Race, Unity, and Justice”
—discussing the Confession of Belhar from South Africa.
Click here for more info on the Belhar Confession.
Pot luck dinner with Dr. Small at the home of
Tim and Jill Russell
Click here for more info and to RSVP by January 30th.
|9:30 a.m.||Worship with Dr. Small preaching: “Answer Me!”|
|11:00 a.m.||Adult Forum with Dr. Small: “Fragmentation—
What does Presbyterian unity mean?”
Feb. 8-9, 2014
The Rev. Dr. Eric H. F. Law
An ordained priest in the Episcopal Church as well as founder and executive director of the Kaleidoscope Institute, which provides leadership resource and training for building inclusive community, community transformation and congregational vitality. Dr. Law is also the author of a number of books, including The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb and The Bush Was Blazing But Not Consumed.
|6:00 p.m.||“Speaking Truth About Race and Diversity in Community”
Pot luck dinner with Dr. Law at the home of
Ann Ewen and Mark Edwards
Click here for more info and to RSVP by February 6th.
|9:30 a.m.||Worship with Dr. Law preaching: “Being the Light of the World”|
|11:00 a.m.||Adult Forum with Dr. Law: “TBD”|
Feb. 15-16, 2014
The Rev. Mark Adams
Director of the Frontera de Cristo border ministry and a mission co-worker of the Presbyterian Church (USA) along with his wife, Miriam Maldonado Escobar, in Agua Prieta, Mexico. He is also a contributing author to the newly released book Bishops on the Border: Pastoral Responses to Immigration (2013).
|6:00 p.m.||“Immigration Policy and Race”
Pot luck dinner with Rev. Adams at the home of
Dan Abbott and Catherine May
Click here for more info and to RSVP by February 13th.
|9:30 a.m.||Worship with Rev. Adams preaching: “Neither Jew nor
Greek? Slave nor free?”
|11:00 a.m.||Adult Forum with Rev. Adams: “Racist Heirs to God’s Promise?”|
Feb. 22-23, 2014
The Rev. Nancy Benson-Nicol
Previously the Associate for Gender Racial Justice for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, she now serves as Associate for Theological Education Funds Development for the same agency.
|6:00 p.m.||“Encountering Others: Personal Journeys”
Pot luck dinner with Rev. Benson-Nicol at the home of
Tom and Debbie Sands
Click here for more info and to RSVP by February 20th.
|9:30 a.m.||Worship with Rev. Benson-Nicol preaching: “Jesus, the Great Learner—Revisited”|
|11:00 a.m.||Adult Forum with Rev. Benson-Nicol: “Eleven O’Clock
and Beyond: Encountering Others in Church and Society”
The entire community is invited to participate in the presentations and dialogues happening each Saturday during February at 6:00 p.m. at various UPC members’ homes, and on Sundays for worship at 9:30 a.m. where our guest leaders will preach and at 11:00 a.m. when they will lead adult forums during our Church School hour. For more information visit www.upctempe.org/missionmonth or call our church office at (480) 966-6267.
Feb. 23 — Potluck Lunch Following Worship
Mission Month will conclude on February 23, 2014 with a potluck luncheon at 11:30 a.m. in UPC’s Fellowship Hall, following 9:30 a.m. worship.