On August 8-11 at the Montreat Conference Center, the Rev. Dr. Jennifer Ayres, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary, will be one of two keynote presenters at Faithful Politics, a conference for lay leaders, clergy, commissioned lay pastors, and seminary students.
Ayres and the Rev. Richard Ray, a retired PCUSA pastor who taught at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, will engage each other in two different sessions. The first, “Social Witness as a Christian Practice” explores the meaning of “social witness,” its integration into the Christian life and what constitutes social witness done well.
“A Theology for Social Witness” offers practical insights into how to think faithfully about complex public problems and how to maintain hope and imagination in the absence of measurable change. Ayres will present a Reformed theological framework of acknowledging and addressing sin and injustice in common life – both “structural” and “embedded” – and a Christian theology of hope rooted in memory, imagination, and creativity.
Scheduled for sabbatical this fall, Ayres was recently awarded a research grant from the Association of Theological Schools for a project she is calling “Grounded: Embodied Christian Practices of Food, Earth, and Justice.” The project examines four social practices through which persons and faith communities respond to environmental, economic, and social challenges posed by the global system of food production, distribution, and consumption. It seeks to understand how these practices inform moral and religious identity over the long term.