From the Worldwide Faith News archives

2001 Rural Ministry Conference Highlights Art, Faith March 11-13

From news@ELCA.ORG
Date 16 Feb 2001 14:40:00


February 16, 2001


     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Art, faith and life in rural America will be the
focus for Lutherans attending the 2001 Rural Ministry Conference March
11-13 at the Holiday Inn and Five Flags Center, Dubuque, Iowa.  Under
the theme "Patchwork of Faith and Rural Culture," participants will
engage in Bible study, receive keynote presentations and attend
     The Center for Theology and Land sponsors the annual conference.
Established in 1987, the center is a program of Wartburg Theological
Seminary, Dubuque, and the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
(UDTS).  Wartburg is one of eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America (ELCA).  UDTS is a seminary of The Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.).  Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa is co-sponsoring the
     Jutta F. Anderson, art historian, theologian and contributing
writer for "Christianity and the Arts," will deliver a keynote
presentation called "The Psychology and Theology of Art: How Art Helps
Us to Cope."  Anderson, Prospect Heights, Ill., is a member of the ELCA.

     Other speakers include Dr. Robert M. Shelton, president, Austin
Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas, and Ben Helmer,
officer for rural and small community ministries, The Episcopal Church,
New York.
     Dr. Ann Hoch, assistant dean, professor of homiletics and director
of external programs, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, will
lead the Bible studies.
     Workshop topics range from music used in worship to evangelism in
rural settings.  Gretchen Ritola, assistant to the bishop, ELCA Nebraska
Synod, Omaha, will lead a workshop on  "Liturgy in the Rural Context."
Ritola received the "Friend of Rural Ministry" award at the 2000 Rural
Ministry Conference.
     The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and United Methodist Church will
also host workshops.  Music will be provided by the Nashville Blue Grass
     Members of the Center for Theology and Land will launch a "story
quilt" project at the conference.  The quilt will be made of stitched
"blocks" that illustrate a message or story about rural life or
ministry.  Written stories describing the message of each block will
accompany the quilt.
     According to a Wartburg news release, the quilt is designed to
"bring a message of light and hope for the future of rural America,
rural culture and rural ministry."  The finished quilt will be displayed
at the 2002 Rural Ministry Conference.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG

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