Great Conversations: A New Name for the New Symposium

Feast of St Longinus the Centurion

Plato_Aristotle_Square.jpgFOR THE LAST two years, my friend Mike Witherspoon has been organizing an event he called "The New Symposium." Three times a year, he invited his friends to present their positions on a pre-established topic. They met in a home and he moderated the dialogue.

In a recent conversation, we decided this event seemed to fit well with our work of cultural renewal. The event’s descriptive tag is: “Rescuing Discourse from the Political Parties.” That’s another way of emphasizing what we’ve been calling a “Dialogue of Love.”

So we decided to bring it under the EDI umbrella.

At a recent lunch meeting with Daniel Brake, the genius behind our website, we were discussing the addition of a blog for "The New Symposium." Daniel was hesitant to add the blog. He said I really needed to think about the name. It sounded to him as if we were doing something new and superior to our annual Eighth Day Symposium.

I agreed. And the EDI board of directors agreed at our most recent meeting last week.

After further discussion with Mike, we’ve decided to change the name to “Great Conversations: Rescuing Discourse from Political Parties.”

Our first meeting is on Tuesday, October 27, 7 pm at The Ladder. The moderated conversation will focus on the positive and negative affects of youth sports on the family, church, and school.

A more permanent “seat at the table” will be given to those who submit a minimum 300-word abstract to Mike. You can also comment on our new Great Conversations blog page or submit a formal blog post for review.

Questions to ponder as we prepare to gather for great conversation:

  • How would a parent know when sports have become excessively important relative to other developmental pursuits?
  • What would constitute too great an emphasis on sports in the schools? Are we at that point?
  • Have sports celebrities become too iconic?  Is their adoration beneficial/helpful to the adorer?  Has fandom grown too crazed?
  • What positive and negative roles do sports play in a culture? Does the former outweigh the latter?  How should the pulpit respond to these tensions?

And mark your calendars for 2016 now. Future dates for Great Conversations include:

  1. February 16, 2016: Who is currently the best candidate for becoming the next president of the United States?
  2. April 12, 2016: This will be a conversation between local pastors about the proper interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2. Have you apprised your pastor of this opportunity?

We hope you’ll join us for great conversation and the renewal of culture!

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