Wheatley Lectures "Creating Community in Fracturing Times: Returning Civility to Civil Dialogue” will take place on March 8-9,
2018 on the campus of Rocky Mountain College.
At a time when various political, religious and societal issues are particularly divisive, this event hopes to provide opportunities for engaging in dialogue, cultivating civility in the midst of conflict, and finding common ground.
Through the generosity of those who appreciated the contributions of Bishop Melvin E. Wheatley, Jr. the Yellowstone Annual Conference of the UMC and Rocky Mountain College established the Wheatley Lectureship Restricted Endowment Account to perpetuate Bishop Wheatley’s name and contributions to the United Methodist Church and beyond. The lecture series honors the ideals of Bishop Wheatley, which included social justice, promotion of an inclusive church, academic inquiry, pastoral care, and ethics.
Thursday, March 8
- 1:00 p.m., Small group discussions with presenters @ TBD
- 4:00 p.m., Lecture by Bishop Karen Oliveto followed by dialogue with Rev. Dr. Gary Mason and Rabbi Dr. Uri Barnea Moderator: Rev. Dr. Matthew Charlton @ Losekamp Hall
- 5:30 p.m., President's Reception @ Prescott Hall
- 7:00 p.m., Lecture by the Rev. Dr. Gary Mason followed by dialogue with Bishop Oliveto and Rabbi Dr. Uri Barnea Moderator: Rev. Dr. Matthew Charlton @ Losekamp Hall
Friday, March 9
- 9:00 a.m., Small group discussions @ TBD
- Noon, Lecture by Rabbi Dr. Uri Barnea followed by dialogue with Rev. Dr. Gary Mason and Bishop Oliveto Moderator: Rev. Dr. Matthew Charlton @ Losekamp Hall
The Rev. Dr. Gary Mason directs a conflict transformation organization called "Rethinking Conflict." He spent 27 years as a Methodist clergy in Belfast and has played an integral role in the Northern Irish peace process, including a key role in establishing the Skainos project, acknowledged as the largest faith-based redevelopment project in Western Europe. Mason has lectured around the world in political and academic forums on lessons from the Irish peace process, including reconciliation, peace building, sectarianism, and conflict transformation.
The Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto was elected to the episcopacy after serving as the first woman pastor of the 12,000 member Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco for eight years. She is the first woman to serve as senior pastor in one of the denomination's 100 largest U.S. congregations. Bishop Oliveto actively speaks out on issues related to homelessness, economic justice, immigration, civil rights, and LGBTQ rights.
The Rabbi Dr. Uri Barnea is a native of Israel and a son of Holocaust refugees. He became a U.S. citizen in 1982. A Billings resident since 1984, he is a retired orchestral conductor and rabbi, and has been actively involved in human rights issues for many years.
The Rev. Dr. Matthew Charlton
The Rev. Dr. Matthew Charlton is the Assistant General Secretary of the Division of Higher Education of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. In this role, Charlton oversees the work of the collegiate ministry office, relating collegiate ministers in the field to annual conferences and local churches with creative new programs.
*This lecture series can be used as credit for those needing an Advanced Class for Certified Lay Servants of the Yellowstone Conference.
This event is supported by: Bishop Melvin E. Wheatley, Jr. Endowment, The Yellowstone Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, The Margaret V. Ping Foundation, Humanities Montana, and Rocky Mountain College.