Forum News - Fall 2000

Ron Lawson, Chaplain

Major Changes Please Note!

The Forum will meet every week this academic year beginning September 9 (except Dec 30, when Columbia is closed). The Adventist Church has become aware that its churches in NYC all tend to be similar; that it loses a lot of people who move here and cannot find a church that fits them, and that it is failing to speak to many in the city. So it is trying to create some “niche churches” that are different and appeal to those being neglected. They approached us to become the church for those like us--for those who enjoy open discussion and those who enjoy good music (they said “intellectuals and artists”)--but that meant being here every week. After making sure that we would not lose our freedom to be a safe church where nobody is judged, we decided to respond to this "call from Macedonia." So we are listed on the Metro Ministries web page and will receive various kinds of publicity. We hope that you will make this your church--please support us with your presence and financially. (Our rent bill will of course be higher.)

Despite these changes, we continue to be committed to our unique identity and purpose (see Who are we?) and we continue to meet in St Paul's Chapel at Columbia University.  We will continue to emphasize music but because others beat us to the some of the new dates, four of our morning meetings this year will be in the basement "Red Room” (where there is a piano).

Please note that on Nov 4, our speaker will be the Head Chaplain of Columbia University, Jewelnel Davis. This is a great privilege--a first for us. It is important that we have a good attendance. We urge the COLUMBIA STUDENTS in particular to attend..

Program Overview

We voted to divide responsibilities for programming among three people. Some swapping has occurred, but in general I am responsible, as in the past, for the 2nd and 4th weeks of each month, and also for the fifth when it occurs. Lester Wright has week 1, Terry Anderson week 3. All services begin at 10am, and on the second week we also eat together (bring your own lunch) and then have an afternoon meeting from 1.30-3.30pm.

First Week Series

The FIRST WEEK SERIES will focus on ministry, both our ministry to others and ministry to our own spiritual needs. It is expected that each of these services will feature discussion of the topic under consideration. Some of the services will include a guest presentation to stimulate discussion. The first two of the presentations will be by the Canon of the National Cathedral and by the Chaplain of Columbia University, our host. Even those who can worship with us only occasionally are strongly encouraged to attend these first two services.

Second Week Series

The SECOND WEEK SERIES will present a "famous" speaker, usually an Adventist but sometimes not, and spend the day with him/her, exploring an interesting and hopefully important topic. We do not allow recordings of these meetings in order to maximize the freedom of the speaker to speak honestly. There is a lot of time to ask questions and discuss back and forth.

Third Week Series

The THIRD WEEK SERIES, we will continue our long running series on Church History and introduce a new series on Practical Ethics.  After a short introduction to basic Moral Philosophy, most services will focus on one area where life leads to ethical challenges.  We will discuss the issue and apply the techniques of Moral Philosophy to the issue.  See more at Ethics Series.

Fourth Week Series

The FOURTH WEEK SERIES will be spiritual rather than issue-oriented. Among the kinds of meetings I have planned are "My Pilgrimage," where a member will share something of their pilgrimage and the issues they have wrestled with; reviews of important books, with several of us participating; and interesting local speakers.

Fifth Week Series

When we have a FIFTH WEEK, we will have a music recital blended with appropriate scripture readings as the heart of the service. (But please note that the first of these, by our own Faith Esham, had to be moved from Sept.30 to Oct.21 because Faith will be out of town singing recitals elsewhere.)

Ronald Lawson, Ph.D.

Last Modified: Monday, 05-Oct-2015 22:54:01 MST