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December 9, 2002

Candler holds 300th birthday conference for John Wesley

By Elaine Justice

A conference celebrating the Wesleyan movements—and the tricentennial birthday of founder John Wesley—will be held at the Candler School of Theology from Jan. 6–8, 2003.

“Celebrating and Revisioning the Wesleyan Movements” will draw pastors, laypeople and academics from around the world to examine and reflect on the contributions of the Wesleyan movements, while envisioning future directions for the ministry in relation to the church and world.

“Methodists have sought to make anniversaries into occasions for renewal—a chance to look back and to look forward,” said Candler Dean Russell Richey. “The tricentennial of John Wesley’s birth is shaping up as one of those occasions, giving us a chance to look back to the Wesleys and to Scripture, while asking again about the work we are called to do. Wesleyan people may find here themes and resources adequate to the needs and
opportunities facing the church and the world in the immediate and long-term future.”

Wesley expert Richard Heitzenrater, William Kellon Quick Professor of Church History and Wesley Studies at Duke’s School of Divinity, will lecture on “The Wesleyan Tradition and the Myths We Love.” Known for breaking the “code” of Wesley’s diaries, Heitzen-rater serves as general editor of the “Wesley Works Editorial Project,” which is producing the 35-volume Bicentennial Edition of the Works of John Wesley.

Also speaking will be Randy Maddox, Walls Professor of Wesleyan Theology at Seattle Pacific University, who is one of the leading voices in the Methodist church and an expert on Wesley’s theology and the theological developments in later Methodism. He will speak on “John Wesley and Holistic Healing.”

Worship services will be led by Whiteside Preacher William McClain, who chaired the committee that produced the Methodist hymnal “Songs of Zion.”

Other lecturers and topics include:

• Rebekah Miles, associate professor of ethics, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, speaking on “Work and Vocation in theWesleyan Tradition.”

• Mercy Amba Oduyoye, director, Institute of African Women in Religion and Culture, Trinity Theological Seminary, Legon, Ghana; and Campbell Fellow, Columbia Theological Seminary; speaking on “Wesleyan Echoes in Missionary Work in West Africa.”

• Carlton “Sam” Young, professor of church music emeritus at Candler, speaking on “The Future of Methodists as a Singing People.”

• Stephen Gunter, Arthur J. Moore Associate Professor of Evangelism at Candler, speaking on “Susanna Annesley Wesley: A Woman of Spirit and Spirituality.”

• Mary Elizabeth Moore, professor of religion and education and director of the Program for Women in Theology and Ministry at Candler, speaking on “Prophetic Grace: A Wesleyan Heritage of Repairing the World.”

All lectures and worship services will be held in Cannon Chapel. The cost for the conference is $175 if registered before Dec. 13 or $200 after that date, or $85 per individual day. For more information, call 404-727-0714, e-mail or visit