Westminster Seminars

Event details

  • Sunday | June 26, 2022
  • 09:45 AM -
  • Galbreath Chapel and via Zoom
  • 412-835-6630

The Westminster Seminars address, in various ways, how our beliefs and practices as Christians enrich our lives in today’s culture. Everyone is welcome! Come when your schedule allows, no preparation necessary. If you can’t join in person or on Zoom, plan to watch or listen later on the Westminster website – under News & Media – here: https://www.westminster-church.org/news-&-media/westminster-seminars.

Join Zoom Meeting
The Zoom meeting opens at 9:30 for greetings and conversation.
Meeting ID: 867 5311 4914
Passcode: 209681

Love Letter to the Church

Jo Forrest
June 19 & 26

Church historian Phyliss Tickle observed that the church has a giant rummage sale about every 500 years. Her comment primarily refers to history of theological reforms, including the great Reformation of the 1500s, and the resulting impact on denominational hierarchies, churches, and believers. Just as we crossed over to the 21st century, many predicted the demise of traditional congregational life, particularly for those with 100 members or less, and the emergence of new forms of gathering.

Then COVID-19 upended all churches and accelerated the change. The questions before us are how much more change and to what end? These seminars will review some recent research and predictions for churches as we emerge from the pandemic.

The Reverend Dr. Jo Forrest is senior pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church.

No seminar on July 3

Living with Differences: Sharing the Pew but Maybe Not the Point of View

July 10, 17, 24 (No seminar on July 3)
Sponsored by Westminster Peace and Justice

Can we build bridges with people who are different from us in places where we are often separate – for example, race, religion, gender, family roles, cultural experience, and point of view? These days, when everyone seems to be going to their separate corners and preparing to fight, we hope to provide tools for coming together, or at least seeing things from the other person’s perspective. Currently, public education seems to be the focus of much of the dissention around race, cultural, and gender issues. Our speakers will guide us in learning how to connect around some of these difficult questions.

July 10 – Identity Pie – Dr. Marta McClintock-Comeaux
How are we the same and how are we different from one another? Join in an exercise reflecting on what makes up each of our identities. Can learning about one another’s experience and perspectives help us connect with people having different points of view?

Marta is Director of Women’s Studies and Professor of Social Work at California University of Pennsylvania. Her courses embrace intersectional theory and practice, incorporating race, gender, socio-economic status, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, and abilities She is also part of the Cultural Humility an Equity Collaborative.

July 17 – Cultural Humility & Refugees in Our Region – Dr. Azadeh Masalehdan Block
In this session we will learn basic concepts of cultural humility and whiteness as the centering dominant perspective. Dr. Block will help congregants focus on both internal and external processes; this could be of particular value as Westminster prepares to welcome a refugee family.

Dr. Block has experience in mental health services research. Her most recent work focuses on peer group work with newer immigrants and refugees. She currently serves as Associate Professor of Social Work at California University of Pennsylvania. Her teaching and research areas include cultural humility and diversity and work with immigrant and refugee populations.

July 24 – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Our Schools – Dr. Charles Herring
Dr. Herring will share his work helping school districts create and maintain culturally-responsive, safe spaces for all students, faculty, and staff. He will discuss his work within the schools using SHOUT (Social Handprints Overcoming Unjust Treatment) and other methods for developing cultural competence.

Dr. Herring is the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the South Fayette Township School District. He has worked as an educator for over 25 years and has received a number of awards for creative work withing the schools, including the PA School Board Association’s 2021 Innovative School Leader Award.

Westminster Seminars will take a break in August and return on September 11 with Jennifer Kaalund, Associate Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, who will look at the Letter to the Hebrews through a new lens.