25th Annual Bowen Conference
February 16, 2014 – February 18, 2014
The 25th Annual Bowen Conference – Beyond the Shepherd: Re-imaging God
The Bowen Conference is 25! Join us for the party as we reflect on our past, celebrate our present, and prepare for our future. Since it began in 1989, the Bowen Conference has enabled thousands of loyal participants to explore Christian commitment. Past keynoters include Barbara Brown Taylor, Jon Meacham, Frank Griswold, NT Wright, and Henri Nouwen. Created through the generosity of Buford Bowen, the Bowen Conference has grown into one of Kanuga’s premier conferences.
As we celebrate twenty-five years of strengthening our faith, this year’s Bowen conference engages the most basic and fundamental of questions: how does our image of God shape the way we live, pray, and worship? Traditional images of God range from a benevolent father to a harsh judge to a dove. While the Bible is full of images of God, church folks have paid attention to a narrow range of them. So what if we imagined God as a carpenter or a mother hen? Would our daily lives change?
The Bowen Conference has a history of bringing to Kanuga some of the most important Christian writers and thinkers of our time. Lauren Winner, professor, Episcopal priest, and writer, will join this group to offer a fresh perspective and new voice to our conversations about how to live faithful lives as followers of Christ. Drawing on contemporary novels, anthropologists’ writings, and mystical musings, we will ask what it might mean to think of God as – say, a piece of clothing or a dance?
About Lauren Winner:
Lauren Winner is a writer, a professor and an Episcopal priest. She teaches at Duke Divinity School and travels widely, lecturing on Christian practice, the history of Christianity in America, and Jewish-Christian relations. Her books include Girl Meets God, Mudhouse Sabbath, Real Sex, A Cheerful and Comfortable Faith and, most recently, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis. Winner holds degrees from Duke, Columbia and Cambridge universities, including a Ph.D. in history. She has appeared on PBS’s Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” She has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book World, Publishers Weekly, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today, and her essays have been included in several volumes of The Best Christian Writing. When she is at home in Durham, you will likely find her curled-up on her couch with a good novel or, on Sunday mornings, serving at St Luke’s Episcopal Church.
Additional conference staff
COORDINATOR: Ginny Inman. Ginny is a life-long lover of Kanuga. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a law and a divinity degree and practiced corporate law before attending Virginia Theological Seminary for Anglican Studies and becoming a priest. She is currently Associate Rector at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Greensboro, North Carolina and has served churches in Washington, D.C. and Georgia. She has served on several diocesan committees and she continues to explore the intersection of culture and faith. In her most daring adventure to date, she is the mother of two young sons who spend most of their days as superheroes.
CHAPLAIN: The Rev. Dr. Winston B. Charles a graduate of the University of the South, served a variety parishes of the Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of South Carolina, New York, and North Carolina between graduation from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1974 and retirement from Christ Church, Raleigh, as rector in 2009. He earned a Ph.D. in church history from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Since retirement he has taught several courses in churches and in the Encore program of North Carolina State University on contemplative spirituality and on early church history. He serves as a spiritual director and leads silent retreats. Presently, he is a board member of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. His wife Judy and grown daughter Julia continue to be joyful anchors of his life.
MUSICIAN: Deanna Witkowski. Winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, Deanna Witkowski has been lauded for her “consistently thrilling” playing and “boundless imagination.” Her most current album, From this Place, features her liturgical jazz and led to her appearance on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. Deanna’s huge musical range has led her to perform all over the world, from Brazil to Tel Aviv to India. Since 2006, she has been the pianist in the BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra. In 2012, Deanna became the artist-in-residence at Park Avenue Christian Church. Her sacred jazz work is used at the Park and has been featured in two hymnals and her trio presentation on the sacred music of Mary Lou Williams has been performed at the Kennedy Center, Duke University, and the College Music Society conference. Having worked with Lauren Winner in the past, Deanna is dreaming with her about a gathering of music/ spoken word/visual art that will enable conference participants to more clearly re-image God. To listen to her music, go to deannawitkowski.com and enjoy!