Focus Series 2021: Liturgy and Practice

Spring Arbor University is once again hosting its annual Focus Series event. The theme this year is Liturgy and Practice with keynote speakers: Alan Noble and Jen Pollock Michel. This event is series or workshops, and seminars that run from Monday, March 15, to Friday, March 19.

Alan Noble, Ph.D.

Alan Noble, Ph.D., is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture, and the author of “Disruptive Witness.” Noble is an assistant professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University.

Noble is hosting two focus sessions. First, on March 16, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. He is hosting a session titled Why Doesn’t the Gospel Cause Riots? Acts 19. This session highlights Paul’s experience in Ephesus, considers how the practices of our society can blind us to obvious idols, and examines how this habitual idolatry might be a reason why the gospel doesn’t cause riots today.

Second, on March 18, from 4:00 to 5:30 pm, Noble is hosting a session titled The Promise of Technique: Methods for Building a Newer and Better You. This session highlights that we are addicted to methods for living better, more efficient, more pleasurable lives. It seeks to answer the questions: What conception of the human person do our efforts at self-improvement assume? And how does that anthropology square with the Christian account of human persons?

Students can learn more about Alan Noble by following his Twitter account or listening to this podcast episode.

Jen Pollock Michel

Jen Pollock Michel is the award-winning author of “Teach Us to Want,” “Keeping Place,” and “Surprised by Paradox.” Her newest book, “A Habit Called Faith,” was released in February 2021. Michel holds a B.A. in French from Wheaton College and a M.A. in Literature from Northwestern University. She is the lead editor for Imprint magazine, published by The Grace Centre for the Arts.

Michel is hosting two focus sessions. First, on March 15, from 4:00 to 5:30 pm, she is hosting a session titled Desire in a Digital Age: Examining the Liturgies of the Smartphone — and the Impossible Commands of Jesus. This session focuses on the premise that our digital habits are our most formative ones. It will examine some of the seductions of the smartphone, the desires formed by our digital technologies, and some of the counter-forming practices we must take up as those who belong to Jesus.

Second, on March, 17 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm, she is hosting a session titled Practice Makes Perfect: Discovering the Role of Habit in the Spiritual Life. This session focuses on the fact that repetition is a key to spiritual growth, which can be both good and bad for us. It will examine the principle of habit for the growth of the Christian.

Students can learn more about Jen Pollock Michel by following her Twitter account, visit her website, or listen to this podcast episode.

Other Workshop Presentations

Alongside the two keynote speakers, nine SAU faculty and staff will be hosting workshops on Wednesday, March 17th. These workshops will be hosted by Dr. Caleb Chan, Dr. Ken Brewer, Professor Jim Dolson, Professor Garnet Hauger, Dr. Laura Widstrom, Dr. Allen Knight, Dr. Mark Correll, Dr. Brian Kono, and Andrews Hall Resident Director David Breyette.

Students can view the full workshop schedule and access the Zoom links for each session on the SAU app under the Focus 2021: Liturgy & Practice tile.

By: Merry Castle