I am very pleased to share with you that the Bible Half-Hour speaker at Annual Sessions this summer will be Colin Saxton, and the plenary will be given by Lisa Graustein.
When we considered who we wished to invite as the Bible Half-Hour speaker this year, we first thought of inviting Jean Zaru, clerk of Ramallah Friends Meeting. Jean was delighted to be asked—she noted that without NEYM she would not be a Quaker—but she was also clear that she is unable to come.
When Colin’s name arose, several people in the room spontaneously laughed with joy. Those of us who have heard Colin speak know him as a gifted, engaging, passionate and joyful minister who will bring true gifts to New England.
Colin is currently a Stewardship Consultant working for Everence, a faith-based financial services company. Prior to that he was a Quaker pastor, superintendent of Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends, and general secretary of Friends United Meeting. He also taught as an adjunct instructor at George Fox University and Seminar. Colin’s background includes a B.A. from Portland State University, an M.A. from Eastern Mennonite Seminary, and a D.Min. in leadership and spiritual formation from George Fox Evangelical Seminary.
Lisa Graustein brought a proposal to Sessions Committee to facilitate a plenary designed to:
ground ourselves in the decisions that have led us to this point, learn something from the past, call in the wisdom of our ancestors, create art and prayer together, and envision a future beyond ourselves. …[to] learn, interact, engage, pray, and imagine together, bringing that sense of community, hope and creativity into the rest of our week. … [seeking] understanding of where and how we have been the Beloved Community and where we have failed to live up God’s vision.
Lisa is a well-known New England Friend from Beacon Hill Meeting. She has worked extensively with schools and community groups to address issues of diversity and equity, unpacking the systems of oppression and prejudice that are embedded in our society and sharing a vision of real change. Friends know Lisa as a gifted and inspirational teacher.
Lisa is conducting a "virtual" plenary in the lead-up to 2019 Annual Sessions. This is an opportunity for local meetings and Friends who are unable to be at Sessions to be part of the conversation. Here is a link to the Virtual Plenary.