Dec 11, 2020

The Eastern PA Conference will welcome the Rev. Leah Schade, author of Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide, for an interactive conversation on Zoom, on Tuesday, Jan. 12, from 7 to 8:30 PM. In the U.S. and in the United Methodist Church, we continue to seek new ways to be in relationship with one another, especially across lines of difference.  As we prepare to inaugurate a new president Jan. 20, we seek ways to bridge divides in our churches and communities. Join Dr. Schade as she discusses “Discovering Our ‘Theologies of Conflict’”  This free event is open to all churches. Register online.

Tensions and conflict are normal within churches and among people of faith, but they are also sources of anxiety and dread for many. However, if we look at conflict from a theological perspective, we may discover God’s presence in unexpected ways. This session will explore the unspoken assumptions that people of faith can have about the relationship between God and our human disagreements and skirmishes.  

Is it possible to be in conflict and yet remain connected? How do we assess our “theologies of conflict”?  Participants will work with a tool to unearth our beliefs about how God relates to us and our congregations in the midst of conflict, so that we can find a common vocabulary and handle tensions in a healthier and growth-producing way.

The Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade is the Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky.  An ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for 20 years, she earned both her MDiv and PhD degrees from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (now United Lutheran Seminary).  

She has pastored three Pennsylvania congregations in suburban, urban, and rural contexts. Her book, Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019), explores how clergy and churches can address controversial social issues using nonpartisan, biblically-centered approaches and deliberative dialogue. 

She is also the author of Creation-Crisis Preaching:  Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit (Chalice Press, 2015), co-editor with Margaret Bullitt-Jonas of Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis(Rowman & Littlefield, 2019), and co-author with Jerry Sumney of Apocalypse When?: A Guide to Interpreting and Preaching Apocalyptic Texts

Schade has been a featured speaker for the Festival of Homiletics, leads workshops and retreats, and keynotes events throughout the country.  She is the director of a Wabash grant exploring the use of deliberative dialogue in congregations and theological education. This 2019 Kentucky Council of Churches award winner is the EcoPreacher blogger for Patheos.   Register online.