October 22, 2015

Dear WesleyNexus Colleague:  

This past weekend we saw tens of thousands of people across this planet join together in expressing how
important science is to their understanding of the world.  Scientists of course were present, as were
students engaged in the pursuit of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  But the
march was for so many more than just those involved under the moniker STEM.  Teachers, business
people, artists and persons of faith were out proclaiming the value of science and sending the message that
support for science is everybody’s business.  Literacy in the sciences is no longer an option.  WesleyNexus
was present, walking in DC in the cold rain with thousands of others.  But a onetime event does not
accomplish anything and we at WesleyNexus will continue to invite all who are interested to join
subsequent actions toward modifying policy decisions.  Here is the dilemma we face: our culture (our "way
of life") is based on and permeated by fossil fuels. Every one of us who marched were wearing clothes
made from oil, we came on planes and buses and automobiles fueled by oil, or on trains running on
electricity generated by coal. The food we eat is often transported around the globe by freighters or planes
burning oil. The roads we walked on Saturday were made out of oil. Putting together the hundreds of
thousands of March participants, what was the carbon footprint of yesterday's event? How can we begin to
change this? Perhaps all we can say is that we must, each of us, make our life decisions mindfully, each of
us doing what we can, where we live, to modify lifestyles and mitigate the practical effects of decisions
made by the institutions (churches) in which we participate. To borrow from John Wesley’s well known
phrase: we invite everyone to learn all the science they can, to connect their own lives to all the science
they can, and to share with others all the science they can, for doing so can enrich their lives and the lives
of those in their community.  For those who would like to see pictures from the Washington DC March,
and also some from
Concord, NH, go to our website and click open the button on the March for Science.
If others of you around the country have pictures that you want to share, please send them to
wesleynexus@aol.com. Check back often as we will add these pictures as they are received.

We also encourage the same level of engagement with understanding religion in general and one’s faith in
particular.  Our newsletter this month is organized to help with this pursuit.  We have divided it into three
sections: “Why It Matters and Where to Begin”,   “What to Do Next?” and “Digging Deeper”.  While we
hope you will be interested in everything we present, this structure will allow us to organize our resources
going forward in a way that will provide continuity from month to month.  Please let us know how it is

We continue to appreciate the collaborating groups and sponsors that helped us underwrite expenses for our
February live-streamed event, especially The Clergy Letter Project and the Institute for Religion in an Age
of Science, but also the several churches and individual’s who have sent donations since January 1. Now
our budget is in a state of recovery, so if you can manage a contribution, large or small, it will help us
tremendously as we develop and present several additional programs during the year. WesleyNexus is a 501
(c)(3) charitable, educational organization, and we will acknowledge all gifts from individuals for tax
reporting purposes.

Please send us your pictures of the March for Science to WesleyNexus@aol.com.  When we receive them
we will post them

WesleyNexus, Inc.  
24500 Fossen Road
Damascus, MD 20872

Thanks in advance for your support.

God Bless,

Rick, Maynard, and the rest of the
WesleyNexus Board of Directors

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Dr. Roy Clouser to Speak in Bethesda May 19th
Bethesda United Methodist Church, 8300 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814

WesleyNexus is pleased to be able to co-sponsor a public presentation on May 19th
that features Dr. Roy Clouser, professor of philosophy and religion (emeritus) at
the College of New Jersey. Dr. Clouser holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University
of Pennsylvania, and in 1997 won one of the Templeton Foundation awards for his
course in science and religion. A popular lecturer, Dr. Clouser is well known to those
of us the Washington DC section of the American Scientific Affiliation, and he will
be speaking with the ASA group on Saturday evening May 20. He will also be
meeting for a luncheon discussion with the science and religion group sponsored by
the Washington Theological Consortium, and speaking on Sunday morning May 21 at the National
Presbyterian Church in Washington DC, hosted by Dr. Paul Arveson. The WesleyNexus program on May
19th will be co-hosted by the
Bethesda United Methodist Church, 8300 Old Georgetown Road,
Bethesda, MD 20814, where the Rev Jenny Cannon serves as Pastor. This congregation has a regular
discussion class each Sunday morning, chaired by Dr. Donald Ross, and includes a number of
WesleyNexus participants. The topic for Dr. Clouser on May 19 is "
How Do we Talk about Genesis in
the 21st Century?
" Stay in touch on the WesleyNexus website for more details as the date approaches.

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Entering and Leaving This World:  The Ethics and Law of Birth and Death in a Jewish State
With Dr Noam Zohar
April 30, 2017

Renowned Israeli bioethicist Professor Noam Zohar will guide us through the unique
set of legal and ethical rules and practices in Israel governing medical interventions
before conception through birth and again as death approaches. Although the state
of Israel is formally a secular democracy, Jewish religious tradition deeply informs
Israeli law and bioethics touching upon the sanctity of human life: fertility assistance
and stopping artificial respiration, for example. In this presentation, Professor Zohar
will explore the seemingly discordant components of these rules and practices in
light of their roots in Jewish religious teachings, which he argues resolve the apparent paradoxes. In
conclusion, he will also ask to what extent those religious teachings are consistent with the values and
institutions of a liberal, democratic state. Please join us for the discussion of this exciting, sometimes
controversial, topic.

Event #1
Tifereth Israel Congregation
7701 16th St NW, Washington, DC
Light Breakfast 10:00 AM, Lecture 10:30 AM

Event #2
Beth Sholom Congregation
11825 Seven Locks Rd, Potomac, MD
Refreshments 5:45 PM, Lecture 6:15 PM

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Why it Matters and Where to Begin:
Mayam Bialik on Faith and Science

This video is from Mayim Bialik, Star of the “Big Bang Theory” and PhD in
Neuroscience from UCLA. She describes how and why she can be both a scientist
and a person of faith.  She states “I'm discussing how I can be both a scientist and a
person who participates in a religious life, and how both make me who I am. I also
discuss what God is and what God isn't in a way that makes for a deeper love of the
scientific world. Sounds impossible? It's not! Check it out!”  

Please find this video

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Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DOSER)
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

AAAS was a sponsor of the March for Science and is the largest scientific
organization in the world.  Their
DOSER program has been promoting
engagement between science and faith since 1995.  The videos listed below
represent a number of recent DOSER programs including the most recent
lecture in December, 2016.  

AAAS videos on Science and Faith


2016 Holiday Lecture: Advancing Together: Cooperation and Creativity in Human Evolution
2016 Science for Seminaries Educational Film Series: Science: The Wide Angle
2016 AAAS Annual Meeting: Biodiversity, Scientist, and Religious Communities: Conservation Through
2015 Holiday Lecture: The Art of Science and Spirit
2015 National Conference: Perceptions: Science and Religious Communties
2015 AAAS Annual Meeting: The Human Microbiome: Implications of The Microcosm Within Us

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What to do Next?
Caretakers of God's Creation Conference
April 28, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017, 8am-9pm
Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church
1500 North Glebe Rd. Arlington, VA 22207

“The 10th Annual United Methodist Caretakers of God's Creation
Conference will be held in the Washington DC area this year to
complement the National People's Climate Justice March on April 29.

The conference will be a day of inspiration, education and preparation.
It will begin with worship, including a message of hope brought by United Methodist Bishop C. Joseph
Sprague, will include major addresses by Rev. Fletcher Harper, Rev. Jenny Phillips, and will conclude with
worship and communion with sermons by Bill McKibben and Michelle Roberts. See the full planned
schedule below.  Attendees and friends are encouraged to join the People's Climate Movement March on
Saturday; detailed instructions about gathering to march together will be provided once the route is

Click here for more information:

Also see the National People's Climate Justice March on April 29 here: https://peoplesclimate.org/

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Religious Audiences and the Topic of Evolution: Lessons from the Classroom (Panel Discussion)
Smithsonian Museum

National Museum of Natural History
April 30, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
Q?rius Theater, Ground Floor,
National Museum of Natural History

“Dr. Jamie Jensen (link is external), Associate Professor of Biology at Brigham Young University will
discuss the intersection of faith and science in the undergraduate classroom. She will give an overview of
the current state of major religious groups on the acceptance of evolution and then offer a 30-year
longitudinal view of the transition toward higher acceptance amongst members of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints (i.e., the‘Mormons’). Jensen will describe a classroom intervention geared
toward offering students a ‘road to reconciliation’ between science and religion, and show its dramatic
effects on students’ acceptance of evolution amongst highly religious Christian students“.

Moderator: Dr. Connie Bertka, Science and Society Resources

Dr. Betty W. Holley, Payne Theological Seminary
Dr. Wes McCoy, North Cobb High School (retired)
Dr. Lee Meadows, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Dr. Briana Pobiner, Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program

here for more information.

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The Chautauqua Institution 2017 Programs

“The Chautauqua Institution is a not-for-profit, 750-acre community on
Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, where approximately
7,500 persons are in residence on any day during a nine-week season, and
a total of over 100,000 attend scheduled public events.

Chautauqua is dedicated to the exploration of the best in human values and the enrichment of life through a
program that explores the important religious, social and political issues of our times; stimulates
provocative, thoughtful involvement of individuals and families in creative response to such issues; and
promotes excellence and creativity in the appreciation, performance and teaching of the arts.”

You can find more information about Chautauqua

A recent article in the NY Times can be found

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Reminder: IRAS Summer Conference, June 24 – July 1, on Star Island

Soon it will be time for the IRAS summer conference on Star Island.
We don’t want you to miss out: The
"Wicked Problem" of
Climate Change: What is it doing to us and for us?
The 63rd annual
Summer Conference in 2017 is organized in collaboration with the
Parliament of the World’s Religions. It should be an enlightening and enriching program you will not want
to miss, and
as a WesleyNexus participant, you will qualify for a 30% discount on registration. Below
you will find a brief description of the conference and speakers. For more information about the program,
speakers and Star Island, please visit this new website specifically for our conference -
2017 IRAS Conference Website. As always, you can also find information on the IRAS website.

Climate change is a “wicked problem” with causes and consequences in economic, ecological, ethical, and
technological realms. As climate change continues to alter our planet, how can we use this monumental
change as an opportunity for societal and spiritual transformation? What is the way forward? We must
confront climate change as a planetary community. It affects every institution, society, public policy,
culture and ecosystem into the foreseeable future. Every possible course of action intertwines with issues of
international and intra-societal economic and social justice.  Climate change is a multi-generational,
transnational “wicked problem” with no single, simple solution.

If you would like a paper registration form visit Star Island's website for instructions -
Star Island Registration.

If you have questions about registration, please reach out to our Registrar, Marion Griswold, at

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Digging Deeper:
Ecumenical Roundtable on Science, Technology and the Church
The Lutheran Center
Friday, April 28, 2017, 7:00 PM, Augsburg room,
8765 West Higgins Road, Chicago, Illinois
Please RSVP to heather.dean@elca.org

Dr. Gayle Woloschak
, is a professor of Radiation Oncology at Northwestern
University in Chicago and adjunct professor of Religion and Science at the Lutheran
School of Theology Chicago (LSTC), and at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She
holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Toledo (Medical
College of Ohio), and a D.Min. in Eastern Christian Studies from Pittsburgh
Theological Seminary.
The Rev. Dr. Barbara Rossing
, is a professor of New Testament at LSTC, where
she has taught since 1994. She loves to teach and preach about the Bible, including
the Bible’s role in public life. An avid
environmentalist, Rossing is involved with environmental initiatives at the seminary.
Rossing holds a B.A. degree from Carleton College, M.Div. from Yale University
Divinity School, and Th.D. from Harvard University.

The flyer can be found here:
Go to the website here: http://ecumenicalroundtable.com/

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Is AI a Threat to Christianity? By Jonathan Merritt

Jonathan Merritt is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and a senior columnist
for Religion News Service. He is the author of Jesus Is Better Than You
Imagined and A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars.  
In this Atlantic Magazine article, the author addresses the relationship between
artificial intelligence and faith.  Is technology on the side of Christian hope or a
threat to our spiritual lives?  How should we respond to its presence in the midst
of our lives?  We better start asking questions because, quoting Kevin Kelly, a
co-founder of
Wired magazine and the author of The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological
Forces That Will Shape Our Future
, “AI is already here, it’s real, it’s quickening.  I think the formula for
the next 10,000 start-ups is to take something that already exists and add AI to it.  If AI is autonomous,
then we should encourage it to participate in Christ’s redemptive purposes in the world.”  

April 24, 2017