“Therefore Choose Life” is for anyone with an interest in sustaining and renewing rural and small churches or rural communities: clergy or lay; leader or member; student or educator. Through the theme presentations and workshops we will examine how we have come to be where we are and explore options for re-invigorating rural and small churches.
The symposium will include a variety of experiences including theme presentations, small group discussions, plenary forums, workshops, worship, entertainment, and free time for one-on-one exchanges. In a book display, current resource material related to rural issues and rural ministries will be available for browsing and purchase.
“Therefore Choose Life” will focus on issues related to “Nurturing Rural Congregations and Communities” and the role that rural churches can play in strengthening and/or preserving their communities through fostering various aspects of community health such as economic, services (public, social, medical) environmental, and families.
Two theme presenters will be featured:
Dr. Gil Waldkoenig, Director, Town and Country Church Institute, Gettysburg P.A., will focus on the church’s witness in environmental concerns as an important resource for community building, sustainable living, and proclamation of the Gospel in fresh and clear tones.
Dr. Rene Van Acker, Associate Dean, External Relations for the Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph, will examine the important role of the community in supporting farmers in their move toward sustainability and the fundamental role in sustainable farming for institutions that help to build community, including churches.
Those in attendance will be able to develop these themes further through sharing of observations, experiences and expertise, in the small group discussions and plenary forums.
An extensive selection of workshops is being planned on a wide range of topics related to rural life and rural ministry. Leadership of these workshops will be provided by clergy, lay people and faculty with particular expertise in the selected topics.