Fort Wayne pastors to speak at diversity conference

FOR RELEASE
2008-11-12
Huntington, Ind.—Fort Wayne pastors Keith Reynolds and Joe Johns will speak at the upcoming Conference on Christianity, Culture and Diversity in America, taking place at Huntington University on Nov. 14-16.

Both men are staff members at Fellowship Church, 2536 Tillman Road. The Rev. Reynolds serves as director of post-high school ministries and spiritual formation and as the director of urban discipleship. The Rev. Johns is the director of missional living. In recent years, the church has begun actively confronting issues like cross-cultural relations, global responsibility and Johns’ focus on missional living. This focus has involved an increasingly multicultural congregation in such activities as assisting Fort Wayne’s international refugee population.


The Rev. Joe Johns
“What has been unique in the last few years is that we’ve really been grappling with the context of our neighborhood and asking the question: If our buildings, our programs, and our people just disappeared tomorrow, who outside of our church and our surrounding community would notice?” said Johns. “That is, we’re increasingly thinking about how to make a difference in the lives of our surrounding community whether or not they ever darken the door on a Sunday morning. How can we bless our city and our particular quadrant of the city? This has led us to be thinking much more missionally, that is: How can we connect to what God is already doing in our community?”

The Conference on Christianity, Culture and Diversity in America will address the growing issues of diversity in America, which range from race, ethnicity, gender, culture and religion, to age and the physically challenged-all from a Christian worldview. Given this, the plenary speakers and other presenters will share research that embodies the themes of Christianity, culture and diversity. During their plenary session at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 15, Reynolds and Johns plan to share their experience in cross-cultural settings.

“We will bring to bear our perspective,” Reynolds said. “We’re not the gurus. We will lean into the narrative of our story and the contents of scripture and share openly. As such, the least we can do is encourage the immediate community, and hopefully dispel faulty assumptions that hinder, personally and collectively, efforts at reconciliation and diversity. I believe there’s some interesting things in our journey that when shared will prove to be mutually beneficial.”

To register for the conference, log on to www.huntington.edu/cccda.



For further details, contact conference chair Susie Burson, assistant professor of education at (260) 359-4150.


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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  
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