Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Christian Universalist Conference in OKC in June

I want to promote a conference, celebration, that will be sponsored by the Christian Universalist Association (www.christianuniversalist.org) and held in Oklahoma City in June. I will be one of the speakers on church planting and growth, invited to talk about our incarnational missional plant here in Turley, OK through The Living Room Church's A Third Place Community Center. Other UUs will be there, but mostly it will be Universalists in other faith communities. Click to read more on all the details, nd hope to see you there.

Christian Universalist Celebration 2008 to Be Held in Oklahoma City

The Christian Universalist Association (CUA) will hold what is expected to be a large and diverse conference for believers in universal salvation, June 13-15 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The event, which is called “Christian Universalist Celebration 2008,” is centered around the theme of “All God’s children, no one left behind.”

“The Christian Universalist Celebration 2008 will be a meaningful and exuberant gathering of Christians from widely diverse backgrounds who come together in an ecumenical spirit to celebrate God’s love for all,” said Rev. Felicia Urbanski, conference organizer and board member of the Christian Universalist Association.

The CUA is a new interdenominational organization founded in 2007 by 13 ministers, professors, authors, and other spiritual leaders, coming from traditions ranging from Unitarian Universalist Christian to Mainline Protestant, Evangelical, Charismatic, Quaker, and Eastern Orthodox. Its purpose is to unite churches, ministries, and individuals who believe in the all-loving and all-saving God revealed by Jesus Christ, instead of the harsh and erroneous teaching of eternal hell.

The Christian Universalist Celebration 2008 will feature worship services, workshops, and 10 speakers. A workshop on church planting and growth will be led by Rev. Ron Robinson, Executive Director of the UUCF. A workshop on pastoral care will be led by Rev. Lillie Henley, pastor of Universalist National Memorial Church in Washington, D.C. Another speaker is Rev. Rich Koster, editor of The Universalist Herald magazine. There will be various speeches and sermons on Universalist spiritual themes, an adult Sunday School class on universal salvation in the Bible, an “open mic” session for people to share thoughts and testimonies, and question-and-answer sessions with the officers of the CUA. There will also be plenty of time to enjoy informal fellowship, and a literature table with an extensive selection of books, periodicals, other resources about Christian Universalism.

On Friday, June 13, the events will be held at a hotel conference center and co-sponsored with a ministry run by Rick Spencer, one of the board members of the CUA and an experienced conference planner. On Saturday and Sunday, June 14-15, the Celebration will continue at the Church of the Open Arms United Church of Christ, only a few miles away. Both locations are in downtown Oklahoma City.

Rev. Kalen Fristad, United Methodist pastor and founding Chair of the Christian Universalist Association, said that the CUA plans to invite thousands of ministers from moderate to liberal churches in Oklahoma and surrounding states, in the hope that some may come to learn more about Christian Universalism or to network with other ministers, groups and individuals who share these beliefs. “Large numbers of people are already exploring the ideas we teach,” he said, “and we believe the time is right for the floodgates to open, for progressive Christian ministers to come out of the closet and openly identify themselves with the faith of God’s universal love and salvation.”

Rev. Eric Stetson, the founding Executive Director of the CUA, has high hopes for the Christian Universalist Celebration 2008: “Decades from now, people may look back at our gathering this year in Oklahoma City as a turning point when Christian Universalism really started to become a major ecumenical movement of 21st century Christianity. This is an event you don’t want to miss!”

The schedule of events, speakers list, registration form, food and lodging, and other detailed information about the Christian Universalist Celebration 2008 can be found online at this website: www.christianuniversalist.org/events/celebration2008.html .