Lecture Archive

Fall 2021
Biblical Hermeneutics Lecture Series

Scholars of feminist, latinix, queer, post-colonial, and womanist biblical hermeneutics share how their communities have developed reading strategies to encounter the biblical text.

Oct. 17  | Latinx biblical hermeneutics

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Presented by Dr. Gregory Cuellar, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The Rev. Dr. Gregory L. Cuéllar is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Currently, he is a Visiting Academic at the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford. As an international biblical scholar, Dr. Cuéllar is interested in counterintuitive ways of reading biblical texts, in particular those that are rooted in a decolonizing discourse of liberation. He has written on topics related to the U.S./Mexico borderlands, Latinx immigration, race, Bible museums, and empire. His current research focuses on the carceral geographies of immigration detention facilities at the intersections of religion, migratory aesthetics, borderlands, and postcolonial trauma.

Oct. 10  | Feminist biblical hermeneutics

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Presented by Dr. Amy Moehnke, Director of Newcomers, St. David’s Episcopal Church. Dr. Moehnke is earned her Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in May 2019 and is St. David’s Director of Newcomer and Young Adult Ministries.  


Fall 2021
Season of Creation and St. Francis Day Lecture Series

The Season of Creation, Sept. 1-Oct. 4, is celebrated by Christians around the world as a time for renewing, repairing and restoring our relationship to God, one another, and all of creation. In this lecture series we are invited to consider anew our ecological, economic, and political ways of living. 

Sept. 26  | The Life and Teaching of St. Francis

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Presented by Sr. Marie Angele Sanchez, Franciscan Sisters of our Lady of Perpetual Help. Paul proclaimed to the Colossians: (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, ….all things were created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  Col 1: 15-17 

Francis of Assisi absorbed that revelation and his life was upended!  This vision of creation and our origins in Christ shaped his theology, his understanding of who God is, and revealed to Francis how we are called to live in the midst of created reality.  Francis challenges us to take our appropriate role of ‘dominion’ over a sacred creation.  Sister Marie Angele will share his story, his continuing impact, and his challenge to us all.   

Sept. 19  | Animals and the Kingdom of Heaven

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Presented by Dr. Tony Baker, Clinton S. Quin Professor of Systematic Theology, Seminary of the Southwest. Dr. Baker joined the Seminary of the Southwest faculty in 2004. He teaches courses in constructive theology, ecotheology, Patristics, and theological research. His latest books are Shakespeare, Theology, and the Unstaged God (Routledge, 2020), and Leaving Emmaus: A New Departure in Christian Theology (Baylor University Press, 2021). He is currently exploring the intersection of classical accounts of theosis with current issues in ecology. Professor Baker works with other members of the community on green initiatives around campus, and he is the theologian in residence at Saint Julian of Norwich Episcopal Church in north Austin where he and his family worship. 

Sept. 12 | Plant with Purpose

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Presented by by Will Scheel, Texas Regional Representative of Plant With Purpose 

Plant With Purpose’s programs equip farming families around the world to increase farm yields, heal damaged ecosystems, improve nutrition, and increase household savings and opportunities. This integrated approach solves two major issues facing the world today: environmental degradation and rural poverty. 

Aug. 29 | Creation Through the Eyes of the Poet: The Psalms and Creation 

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Presented by Dr. Steven Bishop, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Seminary of the Southwest

When it comes to speaking about the origins of our world we often think of Genesis and its creation stories. But, like in many cultures, the poets of ancient Israel marveled at creation and explored its meaning and variety through image and myth. Through their words the sun races like an athlete across the sky and the stars utter soundless words which only the poet can understand. This study will delve into the world of the poets of Israel as they paint new vistas of creation wonder for us to explore and sing. 


Summer 2021 Lecture Series

The summer 2021 lectures covered a variety of topics that invite us into spaces of rest, creativity, and renewal while also challenging us with new ways to live as Christians in those spaces.

Aug. 22 | St. David’s During the Civil War
June 20 | St. David’s Anti-Racism History Project: The Two Reverends Fontaine

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Presented by Laura Hernández-Ehrisman, Ph.D. and member of St. David’s Anti-Racism Task Force. Explore a new project developed by the task force that reckons with issues of race and white supremacy in our own parish to tell a more honest and inclusive story of St. David’s.

Aug. 8 | The Exercise of Seeing: Gazing on and Beholding God’s Actions Through Rest, Recreation, and Reflection

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Many people find reading the Bible difficult, trying to understand a long-ago culture and teasing out its lessons and wisdom for today. Join the Rev. Dr. Robert D. Flanagan as he explains the Exercise of Seeing, a structured, dynamic, and powerful way to behold God’s revelation in the world and Word synoptically. Users of the practice can remain focused on the biblical text, engage with the struggle of realizing God’s Word, and see the world’s reality and transcendence. While the practice may sound challenging, readers will quickly discover its joy and promise.

Bob holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Spirituality at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) and was the 2021 VTS spring semester Dean’s Scholar. He also is an adjunct faculty member at General Theological Seminary and a Lifelong Learning instructor at VTS, teaching pastoral ministry and Christian spirituality. Since 2003, he has been a priest, serving in the Diocese of New York. You will find Bob’s books at Amazon or www.robertdflanagan.com.

Aug. 1  | Creativity as Spiritual Practice

LISTEN TO LECTUREPresented by Cynthia Johnson, Licensed Master Social Worker – Advanced Practice (LMSWAP) founding executive director of Courage & Renewal North Texas.

Encouraging the creative spirit within opens a pathway to the spirit of God. Whether it is painting (houses or canvas), singing a song, writing a poem, creating a garden, a beautiful table or a meaningful life, these practices can calm the overactive mind, the grasping ego, and take us to a deeper place. Join us as we explore how the creative process can provide liminal space for the spirit to speak, and help us connect our souls with our Creator.

July 25  | Sacred Pauses: The Periodic, The Daily, and The Necessary

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Presented by the Rev. Dr. Larry Peers, former senior consultant for the Alban Institute. Within our Christian tradition (and other religious traditions) particular periods, such as Lent, are set aside for reflection, renewal, and reconciliation. Also, there has been a long tradition of “praying the hours” which provide opportunities for reconnecting with God and ourselves at set times during the day. The contemporary writer, Macrina Wiederkehr, a contemporary Benedictine has offered in her book, “Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully through the Hours of the Day,” these verses: “Receive the gift, of seven sacred pauses, Practice waking up, Seven times a day.” Buddhist teacher Tara Brach reminds us that we need to take necessary sacred pauses, especially when we get “hooked” and emotionally lose a sense of presence with ourselves or another. We’ll explore together the practice of taking a sacred pause within our daily living and within our interactions in order to grow our souls more deliberately. 

July 19 | Trustbuilding: An Honest Conversation on Race, Reconciliation, and Responsibility

trust building an honest conversation on race reconciliation and responsibility

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This afternoon lecture was sponsored by St. David’s Beloved Community.

Rob Corcoran will discuss his book which chronicles his work for racial justice in Richmond, VA and around the world. Rob is an Episcopalian who moved to Austin last year. In Richmond, VA he worked with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and many public institutions to modernize the culture of the city. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is a large downtown church that existed before the Civil War. It was once known as the Cathedral of the Confederacy. He is leading our Beloved Community committee in creating programs for racial healing and reconciliation here at St. David’s. Rob will discuss the process of racial reconciliation that has been successful in his career. It features small groups called dialogue circles where each person has the opportunity to tell their story and their feelings in a safe, non-judgmental setting.

July 18  | St. Teresa of Avila: Castanets and the Prayer of Recollection

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Led by Dr. Mona West. St. Teresa of Avila was a 16th century reformer of the Carmelite order. She is known for her books on prayer and the soul as an interior castle.  She is also known for her wit and humor!  When she created the new order of the Discalced Carmelites, she made sure her sisters had time each day for rest and fun in addition to prayer.

In that spirit, St. Teresa was known to dance on the refectory tables with castanets! We will explore briefly the life and wit of St. Teresa, as well as her explanation of the prayer of recollection. 

July 11 | God as Gardener

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Presented by the Rev. Dr. Bob Shore-Goss, member United Church of Christ Environmental Justice Council.

There is another way of Earth care other than to use the model of creation stewardship. Stewardship is a patriarchal model for tending the garden from a position of mastery and dominance. If we look at the biblical scriptures more closely, we discover a gardening model of involvement with Earth care based on descriptive notions of God as Gardener, Christ the Gardener, and the Spirit intimately involved in the relationship between the Gardener and garden. Earth theologian Thomas Berry affirms, “Gardening is an active participant in the deepest mysteries of the universe.” He is the author of God Is Green: An Eco-Spirituality of Incarnate Compassion (2016). His second eco-theological book is, Creating Christian Protectors (October  2020). Visit his website for the complete list of his books: www.mischievousspiritandtheology.com 

June 27  | Playful Trinity


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Presented by the Rev. Santi Rodriguez, Deacon and Seminarian, St. David’s Episcopal Church.

Come join Deacon Santi as he explores how sharing in the life of the Holy Trinity draws us to holy play. This includes a look at the powerful relationship between creative love and playfulness.