Sunday, May 11, 2014

'Virtual' Online conferences

It's very interesting to see the way that technology has enabled 'virtual' online conferences/seminars. Here are two that may be of interest, all from the comfort of home.

Women Deacons: Past, Present, Future
(* this is a Catholic initiative, but much of the discussion will be relevant to other denominations)
: June 9-July 8, 2014
Organisation: Hofstra University
Instructors: Gary Macy, William T. Ditewig, Phyllis Zagano, all noted researchers and authors of articles and books on the women's diaconate.
Resources: Participants will need 2 books (available on Kindle as well as through Amazon - see below)
Course outline: During the seminar, the first four days of each week will contain readings and lectures (about an hour's worth of work per day). Each Friday, the Discussion Board will open for three days. Where possible an instructor or a teaching assistant will join in. The seminar will consider questions related to past, present, and future during the discussion:
1. In the past: Who were the women deacons in the early church? Were they ordained? What did they do? Why did they disappear?
2. In the present: When was the diaconate rejuvenated, and why? Has there been consideration of women in the diaconate?
3. In the future: What are the obstacles to women in the diaconate? How can these challenges be addressed? What would it mean for women to be ordained?

To register, follow the instructions here. It's FREE.
Ordination of Women to the Diaconate in the Eastern Churches: Essays by Cipriano Vagaggini Collegeville, MN, Liturgical Press, 2013.
Women Deacons: Past, Present, Future.
(With Gary Macy and William T. Ditewig) Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2011.

Lutheran World Federation
Once again, the LWF (Department for Mission and Development) is planning a 'virtual conference'. It was brilliant in 2013, and I would encourage you to check it out. It will be held on 18th September, 2014 and will again feature highly diverse speakers, be accessible in five languages (English, Spanish, German, French and Indonesian) and have engaging conversations. More detailed information will be available towards the end of June 2014.

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