January 19 - 21, 2018
Headstart: January 18 - 19, 2018
Theme: Mother and Daughters, Sisters to Sisters; Honest and Healing Conversations We Long To Have With One Another.
Speaker: Rev. Carmen Mason Browne
Mother and Daughters, Sisters to Sisters; Honest and Healing Conversations We Long To Have With One Another.
The first theme explores the wonderful and complex relationships between Mothers and daughters and sister to sister, sister-friends to sister friends, including sister's who don't know each other well, or may be estranged.
The second theme is the critical work of racial, cultural and social location in our healing. How might we commit ourselves to building deeper understanding and reconciliation between one another, which is so desperately needed in these days and times? Women have always had a critical role in this regard. Many biblical stories provide explicit moving stories of women's courageous and complex relationships, who with God's guidance helped women respond in faith, compassion and truth.
The two themes intersect. There are several biblical stories that show these relationships of alliances, friendships, conflicts, forgiveness, loyalty and love. The cross-generational and intergenerational ways women are connected and relate to one another.
About the Speaker:
Rev. Carmen Mason Browne is pastor of New Bridges Presbyterian Church, in Hayward CA. She has served as pastor in several congregations in Presbytery of the Redwoods, New York, and San Francisco. Her ministry has also been in community collaborative work with a focus on building healthy communities. Carmen has been a speaker retreat leader for different groups including as past speaker at the Woods in 2005 & 2007. She loves art, Chinese food, botanical gardens, nature, travel, films, and spending time with her husband and their three delightful grandchildren.
“I consider myself a Womanist theologian. I love sharing another lens, perspective in the reading, and unpacking of the holy scriptures. I intentionally explore our biblical stories of faith from the point of view of those who may have been relegated to the margins, borderlands and shadows of lesser characters. Our cultural social and historical context has shaped both our experiences and perspectives of understanding our faith as it is reflected in our biblical stories.
This is can be challenging for those who have mostly heard our biblical stories from a perspective that accommodate the privilege of some, and remain silent on the disadvantage of others. It can also be incredibly life affirming to those who have often been without voice or invisible within the same stories.”
February 16 - 18, 2018
Theme: Contradictions of Being Christian in Today’s World
Speaker: Dale Flowers
Theme & Description:
“Contradictions of Being Christian in Today’s World”
We live with contradictions. What society tells us to be and do is often in direct opposition to what is distinctly Christian. Society encourages us to be strong and proud, yet as Christians we’re told to have faith like a child and to be humble. Being independent is highly valued in our culture, but essential among a community of Christians is learning to be interdependent. We might not admit it, but we like being envied, someone admiring who we are and what we possess; however, as Christians we are called to be examples of generosity.
It is not easy living between the pull of these diametrically opposed values. Yet learning to live authentically in this tension is the task of a committed follower of Christ.
About the Speaker:
Dale says, “I’m someone who takes God seriously, but myself, not so serious.”
He has served as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Santa Rosa for 20 years. Previously he worked as an Associate Pastor of Carmel Presbyterian Church; as a department manager and management trainer for a financial institution in Fresno, California and as a seminary instructor in Manila, Philippines.
Dale is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary. He has been married 38 years to Catie with two grown children, Mark (34) and Carrie (31). Missions has always been a passion for Dale with short-term trips taken to: Belize, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, China, India, Thailand, Cameroon, and Kenya. Dale serves as a weekly Spiritual Advisor to residents of Los Guilicos Juvenile Hall.
What occupies Dale’s time away from church is visiting used bookstores, watching sporting events, giving gifts, interacting with children, playing board games with friends and traveling.