The 2014 MidWinter Lectures provided a stirring experience for those who attended. Over 300 people registered for the three-day gathering and were treated to a number of events; we've got the pictures and recap to prove it.
Day 1 of 2014 Midwinter Lectures offered an opportunity for attendees to get acclimated to the Seminary settings, with many alumni taking joy in the reacquaintance of the campus they once called home.
Alums from the classes of 1964, 1974, 1984, and 1994 shared memories at their reunion dinner, and Shannon Johnson Kershner led a moving Opening Worship ceremony that emphasized the importance of accepting the challenges that take place within the church.
"Locking the gate is not who we are, we are called to be the body of Christ -TOGETHER." -Rev Johnson Kershner #MidWin14— Jarell (@TheJarell) February 4, 2014
The festivities of Day 1 were closed out with a joyous Koinonia reception for the most recent graduating classes.
Day 2 brought Midwinters full swing as Sam Wells, Scot McKnight, and Rachel Held Evans entertained and informed attendees with insightful lectures. (You can order copies of the lectures here.)
"Faithful existence is fundamentally in the plural" Sam Wells #midwin14— Molly McGinnis (@mollyfide) February 4, 2014
Ed Whitacre Jr., former CEO of AT&T and General Motors, discussed the connection between faith and business at Tuesday's luncheon, imparting knowledge he gained during his time leading former business partners. One of the most distinct connections he made was the emphasis on caring for your community. "People are the most important asset in business, and the same goes for the church," said Whitacre.
The Moderated Conversation segment offered a chance for Held Evans, Johnson Kershner, Wells, and McKnight to expand on some broader theological topics, as Presbyterian Outlook's Jack Haberer offered questions to go with the audience's thoughts.
Day 3 saw the conclusion of lectures. Sam Wells discussed God's desire to not only work for us but with us, Held Evans mused upon how churches can connect to millennials, and Scot McKnight explored Paul's life as he set out to create a new kind of community.
The ASA Banquet concluded the 2014 MidWinters with a celebration of three distinguished alums, Jim Dollar (MDiv'70), Miles White (MDiv'84), and Melinda Veatch (MDiv'96) before President Ted Wardlaw issued his state of the seminary address. Wardlaw spoke about the future of the Seminary, offering his opinion that, "one more sturdy token of hope in these anxious times is Austin Seminary."
Hospitality is generated because people feel so good about themselves that they want to share it. Sam Wells #MidWin14— Rebecca Chancellor (@RevRebecca724) February 5, 2014
The banquet was brought to an end with the announcement of the Fellowship Award recipients. Layton Williams received the Pile-Morgan Fellowship, Charlie Shin was given the Janie Maxwell Morris Fellowship, David Boyd was honored with the W.P. Newell Memorial Fellowship, and Jill Boyd landed the David L. Stitt Alumni Association Fellowship.
The 2014 MidWinter Lectures was a success, and offered attendees fond memories, a chance to appreciate both where the Seminary stands and where it's headed, and opportunities to reflect upon the diverse opinions of theology as a whole.
Image 1: Shannon Johnson Kershner and Sam Wells at the Moderated Conversation
Image 2: David Boyd looks on as Jill Boyd and Layton Williams share in a congratulatory hug upon the announcement of their Fellowship Award honors.