“Grounded: Jesus on the Margins” – Deborah Jian Lee

& Spiritual Life Week, University Chapels.

Deborah Jian Lee is an award-winning journalist, radio producer and co-founder of One Book, One Church. She is the author of Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism. Her book reporting has taken her to secret societies of LGBT Christians within conservative enclaves, social justice Christian communes and many other corners of the subculture, where she explores the intersection of evangelical faith with race, gender, sexuality and progressive politics.

She writes about a variety of subjects, including religion, international human rights, health, travel, personal finance and much more. Her stories have been published by Slate, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, New York, Reuters, GOOD, SELF, Hemispheres, WBEZ and WNYC, among others. She was previously a staff reporter at The Associated Press.

Her series about migrant workers in China, written with reporting partner Sushma Subramanian, was a finalist for the 2012 Livingston Awards. The story, about the 58 million children left behind in China’s countryside without their parents due to restrictive national policies, follows one mother’s journey from the heart of China’s industrial boom back to her village, as she tries to reunite her broken family. The pair also produced a radio documentary which explores the world of China’s “bachelor villages,” or areas overrun with aging bachelors whose bleak marriage prospects are a direct result of the country’s gender imbalance. That documentary won the 2012 Newswomen’s Club of New York Front Page award for radio feature.

Deborah has taught news reporting and magazine writing as a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. She previously taught intro to journalism to undergraduate students at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY.

“Worshiping God as Mother” – Dr. Reta Halteman Finger

& Chapel Gathering in the Seminary, Seminary.

The Bible uses many metaphors for helping us understand and approach God. Today, in this chapel gathering,  we worship God through several female images.

“How My Faith Helps Keep Me Grounded” – Physical Education and Recreation

& Student Speakers, University Chapels.

How does faith inform your area of study (major/minor) or chosen profession? Students were encouraged to gather during the chapel time for focused conversations/interactions with faculty members of their major or minor. This Physical Education and Recreation departmental chapel features reflections from Brittany Williams, Zach Roberts and Kristen Kirby.

“Why are Young Adults Leaving the Church?” – Ryan Ahlgrim

& Chapel Gathering in the Seminary, Seminary.

“Why Are Young Adults Leaving the Church?” …longing for God, looking for God (Psalm 42:1-5)

Ryan Ahlgrim, Pastor First Mennonite Church of Richmond, VA
Ryan Ahlgrim’s passion is to communicate an honest and persuasive faith in God. Wrestling with doubts since his teenage years, he has explored why we believe what we believe. A graduate of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (M.Div.) and McCormick Theological Seminary (D.Min.), he has served as a youth pastor, church planter, and lead pastor, and has taught college and seminary courses. He currently serves First Mennonite Church of Richmond. Dozens of his articles on theology, ethics, biblical studies, preaching, and humor have appeared in various magazines and journals, and he is the author of Not as the Scribes: Jesus as a Model for Prophetic Preaching (Herald Press, 2002) and Sick Religion or Healthy Faith? Beliefs and Practices for Healing Christian Communities (Wipf & Stock, 2016). He and his wife Laurie have two grown children, Garrett and Savannah.

Seminary chapels are open to the public. All are welcome!

“A Lifetime for Civil Rights” – Bob Zellner

& University Chapels.

Receive challenge and inspiration from a civil rights mentor and lifelong activist calling us to faithfully confront racism and injustice – drawing from the wisdom of those who have gone before us.

Even fifty years after the civil rights movement, the transition from son and grandson of Klansmen to field secretary of SNCC seems quite a journey. In the early 1960s, when Bob Zellner’s professors thought he was crazy for even wanting to do research on civil rights, it was nothing short of remarkable. Now, in his memoir, Zellner tells how one white Alabamian joined ranks with the black students who were sitting-in, marching, fighting, and sometimes dying to challenge the southern way of life. He was in all the campaigns and was close to all the major figures. *The Wrong Side of Murder Creek* is Bob Zellner’s larger-than-life story, and he’s still telling it.

Bob Zellner’s engagement with the EMU community is sponsored by Campus Ministries, Multicultural and International Student Services (MISS), Black Student Union, and the Student Government Association (SGA).

“What’s Stopping You?” – David Evans

& Chapel Gathering in the Seminary, Faculty/Staff Speakers, Seminary.

Continuing the School for Leadership Training conversation:

Dr. David Evans, Assistant Professor of History, Mission, Intercultural and Interfaith Studies, leads the Seminary Chapel Gathering in conversation about “neighboring” others, using the parable of the Good Samaritan.

“What’s Stopping You.” …identify systems and institutions that make it difficult to draw near to people from different social groups


“Standing Rock Climate Justice”

& Creation Care, Student Speakers, University Chapels.

Gather to shine the light of service to humanity through the lens of climate justice such was seen last year at Standing Rock. Join the forming EMU student Coalition for Climate Justice, for Native American prayers, singing, reflections and a call to action.

Grounded in Faith at Camp

& Grounded, Student Speakers, University Chapels.

Students Nathaniel Nissley and Abigail Shelly, and a staff member from a visiting Christian camp or retreat center, offer reflections on being “grounded in faith at camp.”

“Love the One You’re With” – David Evans

& Chapel Gathering in the Seminary, Faculty/Staff Speakers, Seminary.

David Evans, Assistant Professor of History, Mission, Intercultural and Interfaith Studies, leads the Seminary Chapel Gathering in conversation about “neighboring” others, using the parable of the Good Samaritan.

“Stories on Being Grounded” – Paul Yoder ’06, ’11

& Faculty/Staff Speakers, Grounded, University Chapels.

Paul Yoder, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education, shares personal stories and reflections on finding God and clarifying our roots in the midst of transition contributing to the chapel and campus ministries Grounded theme.

Paul J. Yoder is an assistant professor of teacher education. Paul earned his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in social studies education from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Paul is an EMU graduate with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in education. Before studying at UVA, Paul taught history at Thomas Harrison Middle School and English as a Second Language at Dayton Learning Center. Paul’s scholarship interests include the teaching and learning of history among culturally and linguistically diverse student populations. Paul’s publications and conference presentations have additionally addressed issues related to language, student identity, and the enacted curriculum (see attachment below). He is a member of the American Educational Research Association and the National Council for the Social Studies.