May 2023 News Perspective Online

Perkins Summit for Faith and Learning

Another successful Perkins Summit for Faith and Learning is in the books. This year’s event took place March 24-25, with 77 registrants from five states and seven United Methodist Annual Conferences in attendance.

Formerly Perkins School for the Laity, the annual program features a wide range of theological mini-courses for an expanded audience of laypersons, clergy, and community leaders. “It’s that perfect space between Sunday School and Seminary,” said Bart Patton, director of the Office of External Programs.

Courses on the Bible, theology and spirituality were taught by Perkins faculty, staff and special guests, with a guest lecture, “Christian Community in a Fragmented Age,” presented by Dr. Myles Werntz, Associate Professor of Theology and Baptist House Director at Abilene Christian University Graduate School of Theology. Werntz’s lecture offered some practical implications from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together relative to society’s current season of digital connections.

In feedback surveys, participants were asked what strategies they will take away from the event to apply in their lives and ministries. The course helped one attendee to “continue broadening my knowledge of human sexuality and the church’s response.” Another listed learning to “apply different types of Christian nonviolence to individual situations.” Others appreciated learning about contemplative prayer, and, as one attendee wrote, “Remembering that I am a human being not a human doing.”

Dr. Yvette Richards (above) and Shelley Lee (below), two long-serving United Methodist laypersons from Missouri and Arkansas, were honored as the 2023 recipients of the Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award during the concluding worship service.