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
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..
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