ACU Summit 2017 is pleased to welcome various distinguished speakers to campus.
Returning to campus is Landon Saunders, who will present “From Memory to Hope,” based on Deuteronomy 1:1-8 and 4:1-40, on Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. at University Church of Christ. Just as God’s history with Israel informed his promises for their future, God’s past mercy and faithfulness awaken our love and commitment today. Landon Saunders will speak to us about how today’s church is situated between the past and the future. For more than 50 years Saunders has worked with churches and individuals around the world. In 1969 he found radio program Heartbeat, which was heard weekly by millions of people on NBC, CBS, and other networks. He remains the president of Heartbeat. He blessed us at ACU Summit 2016, and we are thrilled to have him provide the opening presentation.
Monday we welcome Sean Palmer, a minister who focuses on the church as a beloved community. Sean’s message, titled “From Grace to Torah,” to be presented at 11 a.m. in Moody coliseum, is inspired by the Ten Commandments found in Deuteronomy 5. The Ten Commandments connect behavior to the nature and actions of God and the Law, rooted in grace, brings joy to God’s people. Sean Palmer will explore the way that God’s grace compels us to action and transforms our very existence.
James K.A. Smith, award-winning author and philosophy professor at Calvin College, will be a special guest during the week. He will be conveying the message of his recent book, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit. His book explores his belief that whatever we choose to adore and worship alters our hearts; therefore, our bodies and minds alike must actively honor God as an act of worship. Smith will speak Monday morning during two classes as well as at the 11:00 a.m. featured session in Cullen Auditorium.
Josh Ross, author of Re-Entry: How Pain, Roots, and Rhythm Guide Us from Darkness to Light and Preaching Minister at Sycamore View Church of Christ in Memphis, TN, will share his thoughts on the foundational commandment, the Shema, Monday morning. His message, “From Love to Love,” will concern the ways the story of God’s love for Israel exemplifies God’s commitment and love for the nation and for us today. Our only response to God’s love can be love; we love because he first loved us.
Thema Bryant-Davis, a minister, psychologist, and associate professor at Pepperdine, will bring her richly varied background in theology, psychology, and theater to her topic, “From Bondage to Appreciation.” Tuesday morning at 11:00 a.m., she will draw on her passion for serving marginalized persons and focus on the ways Israel’s experiences in slavery shaped the way God requires us to care for ourselves and treat others with love.
Tuesday evening, Chris Seidman, senior minister at The Branch Church in North Dallas, will address the topic “From Oppression to Blessing,” drawing on Deuteronomy 11:26-32. God promises to bless his people if his name dwells in their land. Like the ancient Israelites, we are called to be a holy, set apart people today. Chris Seidman will remind us of the glorious blessings in store for those who follow God faithfully as well as the devastating consequences of human sin.
Summit’s final session will be led by ACU’s own Jeanene Reese, associate professor of Bible, Missions, and Ministry and the director of the Center for Women in Christian Service. Jeanene will discuss “From Death to Life,” from Deuteronomy 30, Wednesday morning. In this text, blessings and curses are laid out before the people of God as choices. To choose to follow God is to choose life, and to choose to disobey is to choose death. Reese will explore the ways in which all people are continually offered this choice between life and death.
Please join us for ACU Summit 2017! Registration is open at Summit Registration.