A Conversation on Sustainability and the Family

If you are in the Madison area, check out this upcoming conference.  I will be participating in the Saturday morning session (but attending the whole conference).  NOTE THAT there is no cost, but the folks at New College Madison would like you to preregister so they know who and how many are coming.

Register here – and see you there!

“A Conversation About Environmental, Familial and Social Sustainability: An Issue for the 21st Century”

In memory of Don Browning, 1934-2010

Friday evening and Saturday, January 21-22, 2011
Pres House, 731 State St. Mall, Madison, WI 53711


Conference schedule…

Friday, January 21: A multi-disciplinary picture of an unsustainable way of life (with a few bright spots)

7:00 p.m.: Welcome, Mark Elsdon, Pres House

7:05 p.m.: Introduction, James Knight, Bradshaw-Knight Foundation

7:10-9:30 p.m.: Presentations by Cal DeWitt, biologist, UW-Madison, Colleen Moore, Psychologist, UW-Madison, and W. Bradford Wilcox, Sociologist, U of Virginia, Charlottsville, VA. With comments to each other, and a response to audience questions. Pridham lounge, Pres House.

9:30-10:15 p.m.: Reception, Pridham lounge

Saturday, January 22: Remedies, theoretical and applied (bright spots, systematically pursued) Pridham Lounge, Pres House

8-10 a.m.:  Reflections on some basic, underlying solutions to unsustainability as a way of life (developmental psychology and forgiveness [Gayle Reed]), and the Christian doctrine of sin and salvation [Vern Visick & Ed Brown]). With reactions to each other and to the audience.

10-10:30 a.m.: Coffee break

10:30-12 noon: Additional Session 1: Some particular problems and possible solutions

(1) Dealing with the porn problem (Steve Musto)
(2) Overcoming the effects of fatherlessness
(3) Better preparing students (and others) for a stable and enduring marriage (Marline Pearson)

With reactions, comments, and questions from Friday’s speakers, other presenters, and the audience.

12 noon-1:30 p.m.: Lunch (on your own, on State Street)

1:30-3 p.m.: Additional Session 2: Deeper Understandings and Practical Solutions

(1) “The Roman Catholic Approach to Marriage & Family Life” (Fr. Eric Nielsen, Director, University Catholic Center, Madison)
(2) “A Protestant Approach to Marriage and Family Life,” (Mike Winnowski, Pastor, Geneva Campus Church)

3-3:30 p.m.: Coffee break

3:30-5 p.m.:  Town meeting: Toward an “ecology of the family,” and a sustainable environmental, familial, and social life–with comments from our biological, psychological, and sociological experts, and from our “practitioners”–as we attempt to answer the question, “How can the church become a better ‘infirmary for marriage’ [Bellah])? This is our chance to participate in the national dialogue over marriage and family!

5:30-6:45 p.m.: Dinner on State Street

7-9 p.m.: Service of sung and read psalms, Pres House Chapel. Celebrating our conversation, and beginning the new academic semester in the right spirit. Watch this space for a program for the Psalm Service.

Conference leaders:

Cal DeWitt, PhD University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, is professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Emeritus Director of the Au Sable Institute for Environmental Studies.

Colleen Moore, PhD Claremont Graduate University,  is professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of the book Pollution and Children (Oxford University Press).

W. Brad Wilcox, PhD, Princeton University,  is professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, director of the National Marriage Project, University of Virginia, and author of the book Soft Patriarchs, New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands (University of Chicago Press).

Ed Brown, Director, Care of Creation, a Christian environmental organization that works in both the US among evangelical churches and overseas (Kenya). Ed is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Seminary.

Alex Gee (asked), Pastor, and speaker at such international events as Inter-Varsity’s Urbana Convention.

Steve Musto, Adult Ministry Pastor, Blackhawk Church, Verona, WI, graduate of Wheaton College in Communications. Steve oversees or leads a number of adult ministries at Blackhawk Church, including a group focusing on sexual addiction.

Fr. Eric Nielsen, Director, University Catholic Center, Madison. Eric leads one of the largest and most active Roman Catholic campus ministries (Newman Centers) in the United States.

Marline Pearson, Instructor in Sociology, Madison College, a leader in preparing high school and college students for marriage. Just a few years ago, Marline was part of a national public television production on marriage, “Just a Piece of Paper?”

Gayle Reed, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Forgiveness Recovery, Ltd., www.forgivenessrecovery.com. Gayle is a specialist in the role of forgiveness in interpersonal, familial, and social relations.

Vern Visick, Ph.D., University of Chicago, and Director, New College Madison.

Mike Winnowski is pastor of Geneva Campus Church, the campus ministry of the Christian Reformed Church on the UW-Madison campus. At an earlier point in his life, he was a graduate student at the UW-Madison.

…and others (check this space as we add participants for this conference.)

For more reflection on what will be happening at this conference, click here for the conversation between Jay Knight, Vern Visick, and Don Browning which led up to this conference.

To read further in some of the issues that will be discussed in the conversation, check W. Bradford Wilcox’s article in National Affairs, “The Evolution of Divorce,” (click here); in Christianity Today, “Marriage: Marginalized in the Middle,” with Chuck Donovan (click here); and in The Wall Street Journal, “Daddy Was Only a Donor,” (click here).