Emory Report

March 30, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 26

Freeman-led workshop promotes golf as practical parable of faith

Every golfer knows the feeling of redemption a good shot can bring. That's why golf can furnish insights into faith, said John Freeman. It's redemptive and it's shared.

Freeman, assistant professor of practical theology and director of the teaching parish program at the Theology School, will lead a hands-on workshop, "Reflections on God's Re-creation," April 28-30 at Lake Junaluska, N.C., on using such familiar experiences for spiritual growth or witness.

Freeman will guide participants in three sessions of reflection and two worship times. Each will play one to three rounds of golf, depending on how long a participant can stay. Cost of the program, including one round of golf, ranges from $175 to $245, depending on single or double room occupancy. The cost also covers two evening meals and two breakfasts. Golfing will be at nearby courses in western North Carolina. Housing, meals and group sessions will be at the Sunset Inn and Providence Lodge. The event offers an optional 1.0 continuing education unit for an additional $25.

Because leisure activities occupy the attention of so many people, Freeman believes it is valuable to make that familiarity a tool in teaching faith. And for those who love golf, or love/hate it, the ups and downs of even one outing provide plenty of material. Freeman will help participants discern experiences of falling short, receiving grace, understanding the cost of grace and improving one's ways. Participants will gain insight into molding such experiences into sermon and lesson illustrations, devotional writing and personal reflection.

The relationship between golf, redemption and re-creation became clear to Freeman as he worked through the disappointment of a failed book effort by writing personal reflections. Ironically, those reflections turned into a book, Tee-ology: Golf's Lessons for Christians and Other Seekers. In it Freeman wrote: "Since we golfers know that redemption is not too good to be true, do you think God might have a special witness for us?"

The workshop is sponsored by Candler's Office of Church Ministries Education, where Beth Luton Cook is director. For an event brochure, call 404-727-6347; send e-mail to <bcook@emory.edu>; or write to the office at 210 Bishops Hall.

-Elaine Justice

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