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Faith and Science -- Epiphany Explorations 2017

Volume 30, Issue 10,11 & 12, December 21, 2016
By

Marilyn Dalzell, Victoria

     Epiphany Explorations at First Metropolitan United Church steadfastly addresses the quest for ways to spiritually navigate life in an increasingly challenging and disturbing modern age.
     Consistently delivering spirit and mind enriching presentations, workshops and vibrant networking, the fifteenth annual conference, taking place from January 26 through 29, 2017 is an enduring legacy of Rev. Dr. Allan Saunders who recently retired as Lead Minister at the church. Saunders identifies his goal for the 2017 event to “to reveal surprisingly positive approaches to our twenty-first century reality”.
     Epiphany Explorations draws participants from all over the Canada, in person and by live-streaming.  Every year, many report leaving the conference uplifted, and having discovered even more questions to ponder and explore. 
     This year’s diverse and exciting roster of presenters will address the relationship between science and theology, the meaning of medical assistance for people of faith, public policy, global visions, expanding concepts of inclusion, and much, much, more.
     Keynote speaker Dr. William P. Brown’s three sessions bring his deep theological background to bear on the ever increasing questions about how science and faith can co-exist. His exploration will delve into how recent scientific discoveries and perspectives can enhance rather than detract from the wonder of God’s word.
     Around Brown’s presentations, a creative halo is shaped by another eleven intriguing and challenging sessions by luminaries of the modern spiritual conversation.
     As Epiphany Explorations continues its response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, “The Realities and hopes of First Nations Women Today” will be addressed by Dr. Melanie Mark. Elected as Member for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant in February 2016. Dr. Mark has Nisg'a, Gitxsan, Cress and Ojibway ancestry and is the first indigenous woman to serve in the BC Legislative Assembly.  She serves as Opposition Spokesperson for Children and Family Development.
     “Called to Action – Faithful Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission” is the presentation topic of Right Rev. Jordan Cantwell, Moderator of the United Church. She preach on Sunday morning and in addition, she will co-present a pre-event workshop on the lections of Lent and Easter with Dr. Tom Axworthy. 
     Back by popular demand, Dr. Axworthy, political strategist, writer and educator will discuss trends and visions in public policy and global relations.
     Dr. Tom Attig a leading contemporary grief theorist, will present a meditation on themes of love, grief, spiritual crisis and healing in “Shadowlands”, the story of CS Lewis’ relationship with his wife, Joy Gresham, and A Grief Observed, Lewis’ rich and compelling grief journal.
     Dr. Janet Storch, with her nursing background, will reflect on life, death and the significance of medical assistance in dying. She is currently Chair of the Research Ethics Board for Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
     Guy Dauncey, founder of the BC Sustainable Energy Society and award-winning author, will share his positive vision for a sustainable future and ways to translate the vision into action.
     Former moderator of the United Church of Canada, senator and respected elder, the Hon. Rev. Lois Wilson will explore a sense of the sacred and societal visions reimagined.
     Rev. Dr. Megan Rohrer, Pastor at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in San Francisco’s Sunset District and highly acclaimed speaker at Epiphany Explorations 2016, will share the story of how a transgender pastor created the children’s books they had wished for as a child.
     Epiphany Explorations, from January 26 to 29, 2017 presents unique opportunities to hear and meet some of the century’s foremost thinkers, through formal and informal encounters, promising overabundant spiritual food for thought. All of the sessions take place in the friendly setting of Victoria’s historic First Metropolitan United Church at 932 Balmoral Road, Victoria BC, V8T 1A8, and are available through a number of livestreaming options.  Registration is now open and information is available at epiphanyexplorations.ca. or leave a message at 250-388-5188.