Great Conversations on Sports

Sport_Equip_Square.jpgSymposiasts, actual and potential:

Anticipating our third year of gatherings "to rescue discourse from the political parties," I gladly announce the topics and venues, amidst notable changes:

In conversations with Erin Doom this summer, at the behest of Becky Elder, we have decided to bring New Symposium under the umbrella of Eighth Day Institute. Many of you are familiar with Erin's grand project to renew culture. Do visit his website at and consider membership. And how can we thank Becky enough for her longstanding, high-minded efforts to draw our attentions to the more important.

Future meetings of New Symposium will heretofore usually be held at The Ladder, an upper room in an old house immediately west of Eighth Day Books, 2838 E. Douglas. If anticipated attendance exceeds the ability of The Ladder to contain it, we will seek other venues.

Our schedule for this school year begins on Tuesday, October 27, 7 p.m.

Our topic will be the positive and negative affects of youth sports on the family, church, and school—more formally, "In the current American milieu, and in the light of 1 Timothy 4:8, the psycho-social, spiritual, and economic costs or negatives from the emphasis on youth sports outweigh the benefits or positives."

Our second gathering is slated for Tuesday, February 16, 2016. The topic: "Who is currently the best candidate for becoming the next President of the United States?"

The date for the third and final gathering is set for April 12, 2016. Erin and I want to host a table of local pastors who will discuss how best to interpret and apply the Creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2.

Regarding the first gathering of New Symposium on October 27: a more prominent "seat at table," i.e., more speaking opportunity will be given to those who submit to me a minimum 300-word abstract of their position on the topic. That was a requirement in the first year of our gatherings and discarded during the second year. We need the requirement again, better ensuring that we've done homework on the topic.

To start the conversation: Though I have read the sports page of the local newspaper before any other sections ever since the third grade—and co-organized a 60-hour baseball game with fellow 12-year olds (setting a world record, which lasted all of two weeks until a band of New Jersey adults bested it)—I also remember the year in which West Urban baseball began Sunday games and churches responded with Saturday evening church service. I've experienced schools intentionally dilute academics to enhance the sports program. How many families do you know whose evenings and weekends are dominated by sports practices, games, and tournaments? To what effect?

I do hope that you will consider making room for New Symposium and the Eighth Day Institute in your busy schedules this year.

In the bonds of good conversation and renewing culture,

Michael Witherspoon

October 27, 2015 at 7pm - 9pm
The Ladder
Mike Witherspoon ·
Russell Fox Erin Doom

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