I have had many opportunities over the past 15-20 years to speak to various groups – usually at a single school and sometimes at larger conferences. Recently I had opportunities to speak to two “not the usual” groups that I very much enjoyed!
The first was speaking at Jubilee 2015 on February 21. Jubilee is an annual gathering of college students and is sponsored by the Coalition for Christian Outreach. The Coalition invites thousands of students to come to Pittsburgh each year for a weekend of exploring God’s call on their lives. Their mission is: “Transforming college students to transform the world” and explore with students the call of Christ to serve him with their whole lives.
I was honored to be asked to be one of the 50+ speakers and I spoke on the topic of Teaching Christianly in Public and Christian Education. I have worked in both settings as both teacher and administrator and have thought and written about this topic in recent years. In the graduate course that I teach at Dordt College each summer, I usually have a great mix of Christian teachers in public and Christian schools. Intentionality by the teacher is key in both settings.
It was a blast to feel so much energy in one spot and I really enjoyed my session with 100+ students. I also enjoyed meeting Byron Borger, owner of Hearts and Minds bookstore after meeting him previously only via email. His book reviews on his site are outstanding (how does he find time to read all those books?) and his ongoing support of the CCO and their mission is so commendable!
My second speaking opportunity came with an invitation by Peter Baldwin, owner of AMDG Architects, to speak at their Brown Bag Lunch Speaker Series in downtown Grand Rapids on March 27. I was impressed with the philosophy and mission – the name of the company has this meaning: “AMDG is an acronym for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, which in Latin means, “To the greater glory of God.” To fulfill this purpose we glorify God through serving, leading, and guiding others.” (Taken from their website). I talked about our shared desire in education and architecture to be “artists of life” as we work with students to help them flourish. We had a great Q&A time after my presentation and it was a fun opportunity to speak on this topic. What a great idea by Peter to offer ongoing staff development to stimulate his employees and to open up conversation with the broader community!