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2017 Conference Speakers

HFMSG Conference November 12-15, 2017


Spiritual Grounding for Dangerous Times

The 2017 HFMSG Conference will feature the Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker as our invited presenter.



Rising hate crimes.  Climate-change deniers in places of power.  Democracy on the defensive.  Propaganda trumping facts.  Let’s come together to strengthen the spiritual depth, love for life, and solidarity we need to live our faith in these times.

Our 2017 Harper’s Ferry Study Group, led by theologian and ministerial colleague Rebecca Ann Parker, will help us forge a new framework for spiritual activism

Over the course of our time together we will:

-          Reflect together theologically and personally on the crises confronting our nation

-          Develop skills for non-violent resistance, compassion and community building

-          Explore Unitarian Universalist theological foundations for social justice activism

-          Learn and practice methods for spiritual grounding from a variety of religious traditions

-          Deepen our understanding of the intersections among the critical justice issues that call for our response—from racial justice work to climate change

Our presenter, the Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, is currently minister of Adult Spiritual Development and Theologian-in-Residence at All Souls Unitarian Church of Washington, D. C.  Rev. Parker is a noted theologian, educator, social activist, minister, and musician.  She is also professor of theology emerita and president emerita of Starr King School for the Ministry at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. An ordained United Methodist minister who holds dual ministerial fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association, her publications include A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the 21st Century, co-authored with John Buehrens (Beacon, 2010); and Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, co-authored with Rita Nakashima Brock (Beacon, 2008) among others.

On her work as a theologian and minister, Parker says "Legacies of violence, terror and trauma continue to bring anguish into the world. Now more than ever, people of conscience and love need to do the hard work of theological thinking that deconstructs religion that sanctions violence. We need to re-dedicate ourselves to the creation of life-giving theologies, justice-making religious communities, and joy-infusing spiritual practices. This is the calling to which my life is devoted."

We are also excited to announce that our colleague, Don Garrett, will be presenting his Odyssey. Don Garrett describes himself as “a child of the 1960's.” Those of us who know Don chiefly through HFMSG think his chief claim to fame is Joseph Priestley, Unitarian Pioneer, his original composition which he sings for us each year at the Harpers Ferry variety show.  Don has followed a unique path through life. His careers prior to ministry include music, typography, and printing industry management. After receiving preliminary fellowship in 2000, he served congregations in Greensboro, Durham, Wilmington, and Raleigh, NC; Indianapolis, IN; Newport News, VA; and is in his eighth year of settlement with the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley in Bethlehem, PA. He'll recall the long and winding road that kept leading him to unexpected places, wrenching reversals, and confounding revelations.

 2017 Registration Fees (Reduced from Last Year)

Double Occupancy Room and Board - $380

Single Occupancy Room and Board - $480