~ 2019 Presenters ~
BARBARA BROWN TAYLOR
Barbara Brown Taylor is a New York Times best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest. Her first memoir, Leaving Church (2006), won an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association. Learning to Walk in the Dark (2014), was featured on the cover of TIME magazine. She has served on the faculties of Piedmont College, Columbia Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, and the Certificate in Theological Studies program at Arrendale State Prison for Women in Alto, Georgia. In 2014, TIME included her on its annual list of Most Influential People; in 2015 she was named Georgia Woman of the Year; in 2016 she received The President’s Medal at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Mercer University and is working on her fourteenth book, Holy Envy, forthcoming from HarperOne in 2019. Her work has been translated into five languages.
Barbara is currently on the faculty of the Oblate School of Theology's certificate program Forest Dwelling: Spirituality for our Wisdom Years. The goal of the Forest Dwelling program is to prepare participants to live wisely and well during their remaining years so that in the words of Henri Nouwen, “they might be able to give both their life and death away” for the sake of the world.
Barbara lives on a working farm in rural northeast Georgia with her husband, Ed, and a yard full of animals. To get an idea of who she really is, note that she calls herself a spiritual contrarian and her website opens with “Hello, I’m Barbara Brown Taylor. I say things you're not supposed to say.” We would say that she is wise, insightful, and delightfully funny.
Jacqui Lewis is Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church, a dynamic 1000-member multiracial, multicultural, inclusive congregation in in the East Village of Manhattan. She is also the President of The Middle Project, an institute that prepares ethical leaders for a more just society. She is an activist, preacher, and fierce advocate for racial equality, economic justice, and LGBTQ equality, often leading groups to the halls of Congress to express outrage and to share ideas for change. Middle Church’s activism for these issues has been featured in media like The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Essence magazine. She is a frequent contributor to MSNBC and blogs at Huffington Post.
Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Dr. Lewis has been adjunct faculty at Princeton Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, The Graduate Theological Union, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and Wesley Theological Seminary. She is the author of The Power of Stories: A Guide for Leaders in Multi-Racial and Multi-Cultural Congregations and a children’s book that celebrates diversity, You Are So Wonderful! She co-authored her newest book, The Pentecost Paradigm: Ten Strategies for Becoming a Multiracial Congregation (2018), with her husband John Janka. Jacqui is working on a spiritual memoir about getting a grown-up God.
Jacqui describes herself as a bridge builder. When asked to introduce herself, she very bluntly says, "I am a 59 year old woman trying to make peace." Jacqui is bold and edgy and an important voice in these challenging times.
Larry Maze was born on the wrong side of the tracks in Havre, Montana in 1943. He says he didn’t discover that his family was poor until he went to school. Larry hated school. As he got older, he skipped school as often as possible and finally quit to join the Navy. It was there that he acquired a passion for learning. Larry went on to receive a B.S, M.S., MDiv, two honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees. He was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1973. He served congregations in both Montana and Mississippi. In 1994, he was elected Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas where he served for 13 years. Throughout his 34 years in active ministry he was a persistent advocate for justice.
In the midst of his career in the church, Larry began reading and studying the works of C.G. Jung. It transformed his life as a priest. Jungian spirituality, dream work, and how these intersect with Christian spirituality became an integral part of his work and ministry. A well-known lecturer on the interface between depth psychology and the church, Larry is a long-time faculty member of the Haden Institute's Dream and Spirituality Conference.
He lives with his husband, George, in Frankfort, KY.
Ed Bacon, Judy Brown, Barbara Brown Taylor, Diana Butler Bass, Walter Brueggemann, John Dominic Crossan, Heidi Kim, Larry Maze, Catherine Meeks, Brian McLaren, John Philip Newell, Becca Stevens, Valerie Tutson, Lauren Winner, and Jerry Wright