|Dear WesleyNexus Colleague:
Starting a group discussion:
This past week we received an email from Thomas Oord Ph. D., professor of theology at Northwest
Nazarene University, who has been engaged in the science and religion dialogue for many years. He is
also an internet blogger and his most recent blog provides a clear and concise set of reasons why the
science and religion dialogue is important.
Please take the time to read Dr. Oord’s article and share it with others. The blog can be found here.
This is a very good place to start for those interested in starting a discussion group.
Our local group, The Montgomery County Science and Religion discussion group, has started its 12th
season and during our September meeting it was suggested that we take some time to revisit an article
by Dr. Ted Peters of the Graduate Theological Union which we used 12 years ago to begin our
monthly discussions. The article can be found here.
Also a good place to begin is Ian Barbour's book Religion in the Age of Science which can be found in
its entirety at Religion-Online.org. The first chapter discusses his classic model of the four basic
options defining the relationship between science and religion: Conflict, Independence, Dialogue, and
Integration. The chapter can be found here.
WesleyNexus Changes Leadership:
During the WesleyNexus Annual Meeting that took place in early September, WesleyNexus elected a
new President, Dr. E. Maynard Moore. Dr. Moore replaces Dr. Walt Shropshire who has been
President of WesleyNexus since its inception in 2008. We greatly appreciate Dr. Shropshire’s
leadership during these critical years and look forward to continued growth and development under Dr.
Moore’s leadership. At the same meeting, new members of the Board of Directors were elected.
Kent Weaver, an educator (retired) in the Montgomery County, Maryland schools, Jennifer Secki
Shields, Director of Christian Education at Christ Crossman United Methodist Church in Falls Church,
VA, and Rev. Jong-Woo Park, pastor at Fairhaven United Methodist Church in Gaithersburg, MD
have agreed to serve on the Board. Dr. Tony Gattis stepped down from the board earlier this
summer. Dr. Gattis was instrumental in getting the www.wesnex.org website up and running. His
energy and dedication to making the website a reality are greatly appreciated.
WesleyNexus has also initiated an Advisory Board which will provide ongoing feedback, direction and
advice as we grow. Details on the Advisory Board will be published in a later newsletter.
Evolution Weekend began in 2006 with 467 congregations across the country registering their
commitment to promote the compatibility of science and religion on February 12th of that year. Since
then, the Clergy Letter Project has designated one weekend in February as Evolution Weekend each
year. United Methodist congregations have been among those participating. In 2008, the General
Conference of the United Methodist Church passed three resolutions related to the church’s
understanding of biological evolution. The first accepts evolution within the Book of Discipline. The
second endorses the Clergy Letter Project and encourages United Methodist participation in the
project. The third opposes the introduction of faith-based theories into the science curriculum in
schools. All three resolutions can be found on our website, reproduced in full at http://www.wesnex.
Given these recent developments, we encourage everyone (Methodists, Wesleyans, and non-
Methodists alike) to promote Evolution Weekend 2012 which will take place on February 10-12.
Several United Methodist Churches in the National Capital area will be participating. To register, send
an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your church, the city and state and the
name of the sponsor, usually the pastor. The Clergy Project can be accessed through Links on www.
On www.wesnex.org you will see a button called What's New!. Through What's New! you can
access all the new materials posted at WesleyNexus without searching through all the various options.
The items are kept in chronological order so the newest items are always on top. Starting this fall, we
will be updating the website on a regular basis. By going to What's New!, you can always keep on top
of things with a minimum of effort.
Rick Barr, Secretary, WesleyNexus
|September 26, 2011