Convocation 2013: Theology Matters

January 14 – 16, 2013
Gracie Theatre, Husson University, Bangor, Maine

Schedule of Events

Online Registration is now closed.
If you still wish to attend Convocation 2013
you may register at the door.

Theology Matters will connect you to events and conversations of current urgency, and to presentations illuminating the transformational capacity of theology. This year's Convocation will offer intellectual, practical, and accessible lectures by respected academicians and practitioners regarding the role of theology in modern life. And each day, we will worship God with prayer, sacred text, music & song, and all manner of praise. We hope you will join us for this exciting event!

Our Speakers and Worship Leaders Will Include:

Dr. Belden C. Lane

Dr. Belden C. Lane, a Protestant member of a Roman Catholic faculty at Saint Louis University (Saint Louis, MO), is a Professor of Theological Studies, American Religion, and History of Spirituality. He holds degrees from Florida State University (B.A.), Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D., M. Div.) and Princeton Theological Seminary (Ph.D.). He is the author of The Solace of Fierce Landscapes: Exploring Desert and Mountain Spirituality, Landscapes of the Sacred: Geography and Narrative in American Spirituality, and most recently, Ravished by Beauty: The Surprising Legacy of Reformed Spirituality.

Dr. Lane’s teaching explores the history of spirituality and the connections between geography and faith. The relationship of Christian spirituality to the wonder and beauty of the natural world is close to his heart, whether seen in the earth-sensitive practices of Celtic spirituality or Calvin and Edwards' perception of the world as a theater of God's glory in the Reformed tradition.


Dr. Cheryl Townsend Gilkes

Dr. Cheryl Townsend Gilkes is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of African-American Studies and Sociology and director of the African American Studies Program at Colby College (Waterville, Maine).  She also serves at assistant pastor for special projects at the Union Baptist Church (Cambridge, Massachusetts). She holds degrees in sociology from Northeastern University (B.A., M.A., Ph.D.) and has pursued graduate theological studies at Boston University’s School of Theology.

Her research, teaching, and writing have specially focused on the role of African American women in generating social change and on the diverse roles of black Christian women in the twentieth century. Some of her essays and articles are gathered in her book, If It Wasn’t for the Women: Black Women’s Experience and Womanist Culture in Church and Community (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2001). Several of her journal articles have been reprinted in anthologies, such as African American Religious Thought: An Anthology, edited by Cornel West and Eddie Glaude (Philadelphia: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004).

Her published sermons have appeared in The African American Pulpit and elsewhere. In addition, she has her own weekly radio show, The Uncloudy Day, described as “powerful gospel to liven up your morning” on WMHB 89.7 FM.


Dr. Walllace M. Alston, Jr.

Dr. Wallace M. Alston, Jr. served as pastor of churches in North Carolina, Alabama, and New Jersey; and retired as Director of the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, New Jersey. He has authored many publications including his most recent collaboration with Cynthia A. Jarvis The Power To Comprehend With All The Saints: The Formation and Practice of the Pastor-Theologian. He received his B.A. from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia and a B.D., Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia.


Rev. Macky Alston

Rev. Macky Alston is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, an educator on issues of media and religion, an organizer within the worlds of philanthropy and media-making, and a regular writer and reviewer on film and religion. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary (M. Div.), he comes from a long line of ministers in the American South and grew up exposed to the power of the media and the pulpit, as charismatic leaders on the Left and the Right shaped social and political relations for generations to come.


Wednesday Worship Participants

Rev. Bill Friederich, BTS Class of '97
Bill Friederich is a graduate of BTS, and was the Director of Admissions for 5 years. He also served the Trinitarian Congregational Church of Castine (2001-10) before returning full-time to musical pursuits. He performs professionally in diverse styles of music from rock to blues, big band to polka, and has performed with large symphonic and concert bands.

Bill compares the rhythm of percussion instruments to prayer, finding them inseparable from spirituality for him. He is a gifted percussionist, and we are blessed that he is participating in our worship again this year.

Gintarė McCurdy
Gintarė's music has been described as having "all the quality of a diamond – it is timeless while being undeniably contemporary, polished by the surreal dream-like beauty of her vocal performances, enhanced by in-depth intelligence of her luminous poetry."

Academically trained in classical piano and jazz since the age of six, Gintarė was born in Soviet occupied Lithuania. Her song "Lily of the Lord" was performed by an international choir of 20,000 singers at the 2009 song festival in Vilnius commemorating the 1000-year jubilee of Lithuania. Besides her own solo artist career, she has starred in rock opera projects, written and performed music for theater, television and the film industry.



Schedule of Events


11:30 - 1:00 pm

Registration & Lunch

1:00 pm


1:30 pm

Opening Worship

2:00 pm

Belden Lane – Metaphors of Nature in the Reformed Tradition:
The World as Book, Theater, and School of Desire

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Cheryl Townsend Gilkes –The Music Still Matters: Movement and Voice for Justice

5:00 pm

BTS Alumni/ae Association Annual Meeting & Banquet

5:15 pm

Social time & Book Signing: Making Love Just: Sexual Ethics for Perplexing Times, by Marvin Ellison

6:00 pm

Dinner(Husson Student Center)


Annual Meeting & celebration of BTS faculty and staff




8:30 am


9:00 am


9:30 am

Cheryl Townsend Gilkes – The Music Still Matters: The Gift of the Prophetic-Apocalyptic

10:45 am


11:00 am

Belden Lane – Beauty, Justice, and Environmental Ethics:Care for the Earth in Calvinist New England

12:15 am

Lunch (Student Center)

1:45 pm

Wallace Alston, Jr. & Macky Alston –Theology Matters: Two Generations In Dialogue

2:45 pm


3:00 pm

Wallace Alston - Country Music As Affirmation of the Imperfect Life

4:00 pm


4:15 pm

Third Century Presentation

5:00 pm

Supper on your own

7:30 pm

After hours with Wallace Alston & Company– (Husson Student Center) Country Music As Affirmation of the Imperfect Life: Part 2 (more music, less talk!)




9:00 am

Belden Lane – The Greening of Worship:Chanting the Psalms with the Rest of Creation

10:30 am


10:50 am

Closing Worship with the music of Bill Friederich, Gintarė McCurdy and Wells Gordon

Register now!