The Dean's Forum Podcasts

Dean’s Forum: Transformed Nonconformists — What Moral Leaders Do

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The Rev. Dr. Robert M. Franklin, Jr.
Sunday, Jan. 18

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the great moral leaders of the last century. His ability to frame the particular issues for civil rights in a manner that fostered awareness on the fundamental morality of national policies enabled American society to not only address the injustices of specific practices but to rethink and invoke systemic change within society. This forum will highlight the virtues and traits of moral leaders, the actions they undertake and rationales that underwrite them, and the outcomes that they enable with respect to change in policy, culture, custom, social practices, ethos and writing a new national narrative.
The Rev. Dr. Robert M. Franklin Jr. is director of the Department of Religion at the historic Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, N.Y. He also serves as senior advisor for community and diversity at Emory University and in August will be installed as the James T. and Berta R. Laney Chair in Moral Leadership within the university’s Candler School of Theology. Franklin is president emeritus of Morehouse College, the nation’s largest private, four-year liberal arts college for men, where he served as the tenth president from 2007 through 2012. [Read more…]

Dean’s Forum: Religious Freedom as a Constitutional Right

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Dr. Brant Lee

Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015
Dean’s Forum: 10:10 a.m.
One of the hallowed constitutional “rights” in modern American culture is that of religious freedom. And today religious freedom is no longer being defined simply as the state not determining one’s religious choice nor as merely the right of the individual to determine one’s own religious choice (or non-choice) but much more broadly. Today, this hallowed constitutional “right” is being interpreted as an individual’s right to have the personal expression of one’s beliefs legalized. Where is the line when contradicting (personal) beliefs infringe upon personal choices and civil liberties? What is the impact of the Supreme Court decision concerning Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby Stores? How does this decision affect our understanding and interpretation of the constitutional “right” of religious freedom? This forum will discuss the historical, religious and civil understanding of religious freedom and how it is being interpreted in our modern context.

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Dean’s Forum: Trinity Cathedral – Embodying Transition and Transformation

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Dean’s Forum: Trinity Cathedral – Embodying Transition and Transformation

Trinity History Committee
Martha Bifano,Wayne Bifano, Martin Hauserman, Sharon Schwenk,and Michael Wells

Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015

At the turn of the last century, Cleveland and Trinity were in major transition. The city was emerging as a major industrial city and Trinity parish was becoming the Cathedral of the Diocese of Ohio and of Cleveland. During this time, both the city and Trinity parish were redefining their understanding of their vision and purpose within their changing context. As the writer of Ecclesiastes famously observes, “there is nothing new under the sun.” And, despite our sense to the contrary, this is also true for faith communities. What may we learn from our ancestors who endeavored to become a Cathedral? What challenges did they have in common with us? What lessons may we learn from their journey? What wisdom may we glean from our ancestors that will assist us as we move into the new world of our century?

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Dean’s Forum: A visit from St. Nicholas

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Sunday Dec 7, 2014

Dean’s Forum: 10:10 a.m.

Dean Lind and St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, for a St. Nicholas Celebration. Join Dean Lind as we learn about the real St. Nick.

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Dean’s Forum: The Rev Ed Long, The Role of the Church

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The  Rev. Ed Long with the Very Rev. Tracey Lind

Sunday Nov. 9, 2014
Dean’s Forum: 10:10 a.m.

In a time of challenge, change, and decline for much of the Church as we have known it, the cathedrals of the Church of England are experiencing an unanticipated vitality. How is this reflected in our Episcopal Church cathedrals, including those along the Great Lakes? What part might our cathedrals play in moving toward an uncertain future? The Very Rev. Dr. John P. Downey is dean of the Cathedral of Saint Paul, a position he has held since 1987. Dean Downey is known across the church as an excellent preacher and teacher, a leader among Episcopal cathedral deans, and a champion of the Episcopal Church’s ability to reach out to the contemporary world with a generous-spirited Christianity, [Read more…]

Dean’s Forum: Becoming the Transformative Church

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Kay Collier-McLaughlin with the Very Rev. Tracey Lind

Sunday, Oct. 19

Dean’s Forum: 10:10 a.m.

As a result of significant transition among clergy within the Diocese of Lexington in a short period of time, the Diocese was presented with an unprecedented learning laboratory concerning congregational well-being and the type of leadership required as the Church negotiates the transitional time in which we live. A new way of thinking about the purpose and role of the church is imperative — much of which flies in the face of conventional, institutional wisdom. One of the “heretical” insights garnered concerned the importance of leadership to congregational life and ministry. [Read more…]

Dean’s Forum: Visioning the Urban Cathedral

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The Very Rev. John P. Downey with the Very Rev. Tracey Lind

Sunday Oct 12, 2014
Dean’s Forum: 10:10 a.m.

In a time of challenge, change, and decline for much of the Church as we have known it, the cathedrals of the Church of England are experiencing an unanticipated vitality. How is this reflected in our Episcopal Church cathedrals, including those along the Great Lakes? What part might our cathedrals play in moving toward an uncertain future? The Very Rev. Dr. John P. Downey is dean of the Cathedral of Saint Paul, a position he has held since 1987. Dean Downey is known across the church as an excellent preacher and teacher, a leader among Episcopal cathedral deans, and a champion of the Episcopal Church’s ability to reach out to the contemporary world with a generous-spirited Christianity, [Read more…]

Dean’s Forum: Dean’s Forum: The Church of the Future

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The Reverend Dr. Roger Ferlo

Sunday, Sept. 28
Dean’s Forum: 10:10 a.m.
Guest preaching: 9 a.m., 11:15 a.m.

At the turn of the twenty-first century, we are living in a world that is transitioning into a global community — where community understood to be holistic, including all of the created order.  Consequently, the paradigm of Christendom — a hierarchical institution exclusively directed by a trained elite — is no longer viable in the modern context.  The challenge of the Church today is to become once again “the Body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27) in the world.  The question with which the Church must wrestle is:  How does the Church reclaim this role and empower all her members to acknowledge and live into their “priesthood” (1 Peter 2:4-5)?  During this forum, Roger Ferlo will “think out loud” with our community as to how we may not only provide spiritual grounding for the members of our congregation but also envisage how Cathedrals may contribute to the larger church as spiritual formation “hubs” that provide vocational discernment and formation for both lay and ordained participants.  [Read more…]

Dean’s Forum: UPCaM and the Rev. Barbara Essex

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The Rev. Barbara Essex
Sunday, Sept. 14 
Dean’s Forum: 10:10 a.m.

UPCaM — United Protestant Campus Ministry — is a Christ centered ministry which welcomes students in an open and caring community to connect, to explore their faith and to impact the world.  UPCaM is a progressive campus ministry that is proud of its history as a program of mainline Protestant denominations and their historical emphasis on social justice, peace, and a spiritual openness to all human beings that is clearly exemplified in the ministry of Jesus. It seeks to complement and supplement a student’s academic experience, not distract from it. The mission is to serve the wider church while the students are on campus, be they far away from home or commuters.  Trinity is partnering with UPCaM to support the students at CSU during their academic careers and provide opportunities for vocational discernment.  [Read more…]

The Dean’s Forum: Queer Theology

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The Rev. Dr. Patrick Cheng

Queer Theology, Dr. Cheng contends, is “the place where Christian theology and queer theory meet” and the expression of this convergence is radical love. During the forum, Dr. Cheng will introduce the word “queer” and why this term is more appropriate than “gay and lesbian” when exploring theology since it is radical love — the dissolving of all boundaries — that is at the heart of Christianity. One of the central questions that will be explored is “What does queerness have to do with theology?” And the corollary question, “How does queer theory challenge our understanding of sexuality and gender identity?” In other words, perceiving these established boundaries as social constructions rather than as existential concepts. Dr. Cheng will also discuss the current issues (including marriage) — paying particular attention to the complexity of these issues within the social context of Ohio. He will also reflect upon his pastoral care work with LGBTIQ Christians in Asia and the challenges that they face. [Read more…]

Dean’s Forum: Gay Games 9

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Thomas Nobbe
Sunday, June 15

Thomas Nobbe is executive director of Gay Games 9. The Gay Games are the largest diverse amateur sporting event in the world. The Games are expected to draw 11,000 participants and more than 30,000 visitors to the greater Cleveland area. The Gay Games, created in 1982 by former Olympian and gay man Tom Waddell, are held every four years and are a celebration of our diversity and seeks to make inclusiveness real for everyone. The Cleveland and Akron area was chosen because of its welcoming atmosphere and the ability of the Games to have an even bigger impact than ever before.

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Dean’s Forum: Review of the Supreme Court Docket

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Brant Lee
Sunday, June 1

Dean’s Forum: 10:10 a.m.

The Docket of cases before the current Supreme Court is a series of cases that are constitutional issues that will have great consequence. The cases being considered by the Court concern campaign contributions, abortion rights, affirmative action, public prayer and presidential power. [Read more…]

Dean’s Forum: Economic Justice

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The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones
Sunday, May 11
Dean’s Forum: 10:10 a.m.

Last year was the 50th anniversary of what is typically remembered as “the March on Washington” and the context for The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Yet one of the key demands of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was for the establishment of a national minimum age that would give all Americans a decent standard of living. It was during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that Dr. King declared, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” This year marks the 50thanniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” which was a set of policy initiatives designed to reduce poverty in America and the 28th anniversary of pastoral letter Economic Justice for All that was issued by the US (Roman Catholic) bishops in 1986 which proclaimed that economic life is one of the “chief areas where we live out our faith, love our neighbor” and “fulfill God’s creative design.” In other words, economic justice is not a concept that is unique to our time and peculiar context. And, it is not something that is restricted to the political arena. It is, in fact, an area where we live out our faith.

Today our society continues to struggle with economic justice and income inequality is at an all-time high. During this forum, The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones will look at our current economic policies and how they are impacting our society, culture and world and how the Church should respond.

Serene Jones is the sixteenth President of Union Theological Seminary in New York. She also occupies the Johnston Family Chair for Religion and Democracy and formed Union’s Institute for Women, Religion, and Globalization as well as the Institute for Art, Religion, and Social Justice. Jones came to Union after seventeen years at Yale University, where she was Professor of Theology at the Divinity School and Acting Chair of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in the Graduate School. She holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma, Yale Divinity School, and Yale University.

Dr. Jones has received numerous awards and honors, as well as grants from the Pew Scholars and the Louisville Institute, and was co-principal investigator on the “Women, Religion, and Globalization Grant” for the Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs. She has served on the advisory board of the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology at Wabash College and for six years co-convened the Constructive Theology Workgroup.

Through her leadership and service to the global religious community, Jonesencourages religious communities to assume a key role in addressing societal challenges. She writes prolifically in the fields of theology, religion, globalization, economics, cultural and gender studies.

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The Dean’s forum: Religion of the “Nones”

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The Very Rev. Bill Lupfer
Sunday, April 27
Dean’s Forum: 10:10 a.m.
Guest preaching: 9 a.m., 11:15 a.m.

Today more and more people no longer choose to be identified with a particular religion and have embraced the designation “None” as a label for those straining to resist labels. Nones are by and large not unbelievers. Not atheists. Not secular humanists. Not anti-religious. Nones are simply those who do not want to be pigeonholed into identifying with any particular group or belief system. In fact, there have been articles published declaring None to be the third largest religion in the world. This forum will explore this phenomenon within our society.

Bill Lupfer was born and raised in Chicago. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Comparative Religions from the University of Colorado, his Master of Divinity degree from Yale University, and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. The Rev. Lupfer joined Trinity (Portland) in 2003. Before coming to Trinity, he served parishes in Kenilworth, Ill. and Plymouth, Mich. He has also spent time serving campus ministries in Evanston, Ill. and Baltimore, Md. He is married and has two children.

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The Dean’s forum: Death Cafes

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Nicholas Fenell and Lauren Herzak-Bauman
Sunday, March 30

At a Death Café people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. The objective of the Death Café movement is “to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.” The Death Café is now a social franchise where discussions about death are offered on a not-for-profit basis; in an accessible, respectful and confidential space; with no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product, or course of action; and alongside refreshing drinks and nourishing food. Nicholas Fenell and Lauren Herzak-Bauman hosted the previous Death Café in Cleveland. Lauren Herzak-Bauman graduated with her BFA in 3-D Studies from Bowling Green State University (2004) and her MFA in Studio Art from University of Minnesota — Twin Cities (2009). Lauren is the recipient of two Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Arts Grants (2011/2013) and the MCAD Jerome Emerging Artist Fellowship (2012).

Nicholas Fenell graduated with his BFA in Painting from The Cleveland Institute of Art in 2011. Nicholas is the recipient of the Cleveland Institute of Art Portfolio Scholarship (2007-2011); the Joseph McCullough ’48 Scholarship for Excellence in Painting (2010); and the Ted Frost ’88 Scholarship for Travel (2009). Nicholas is currently the Curatorial Intern at The Sculpture Center in Cleveland.

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