Jesus Seminar coming to First Presbyterian in late September

Jesus’ Word is coming to First Presbyterian Church is Elizabethton in a few weeks, though the vocabulary might be a little different than what church-goers might be used to from Sunday School.

Pastor Brian Wyatt said Westar Institute’s Jesus Seminar last appeared at his church about a decade ago, but he himself has attended it many times over the years.

“I have attended a half-dozen of these,” Wyatt said.

He said many Christians often face difficulty in talking about their faith in the various political conversations and debates in today’s world, in part because the language used to discuss the two topics are often different.

“This is about learning that newer language,” he said. “We live in a time where we no longer think of living in a three-tier universe. We have a greater understanding of the world around us.”

As a result, he said, many Christians are unable to carry their spiritual discussions outside of church services each Sunday, which he said is a shame.

“I noticed a gap between what I talk about in church and the conversations during the rest of the week,” he said.

This is disappointing, he said, because matters of faith have the potential to be just as relevant to regular life now as they did when the faith began.

“Christianity and spirituality still have something to offer in the 21st century,” Wyatt said.

The seminar is a project from Westar Institute, who Wyatt said produces some of the best religious scholars in the country.

It teaches “Process” spirituality, which seeks to merge the political and spiritual worlds into something many different people can engage with, regardless of where on the aisle a person sits.

Already, the event has drawn people from as far out as North Carolina and Virginia.

“I am thrilled to be part of the conversation and extend it to these larger populations,” he said.

Signing up beforehand is not required, he said, though it will provide a discount to the ticket price.

The event will run from Friday evening, September 20, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. through a series of day-time sessions on Saturday, September 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ticket prices include $20 for Friday evening, $30 for each morning and afternoon session or $75 for the whole weekend.

For those looking for more information, contact Wyatt at 423-741-5076 or Westar at 719-201-6535.

First Presbyterian Church is located at 119 West F Street.

“Part of this is to offer a language to communicate to a world that does not speak [church] language anymore,” Wyatt said.

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