Thinking Theologically about Our Response to COVID

Event time: 
Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:15pm
Free, but register in advance
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Event description: 

Thinking Theologically about Our Response to COVID

How, in funeral homilies, liturgy, music, and pastoral conversations, do we help people of faith understand how God is present in this time?


Thomas G. Long
Author of Accompany Them with Singing—The Christian Funeral, and Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University


Dawn DeVries
J.N. Thomas Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Presbyterian Seminary

Michael L. Lewis, S.T.L.
Parochial Vicar, St. Mark’s Catholic Church, El Paso, TX; COVID-19 Ministry Team, Diocese of El Paso

Kevin Park
English Ministry Pastor, Korean Central Presbyterian Church of Atlanta

Khalia J. Williams
Associate Dean of Worship and Music; Assoc. Prof. in the Practice of Worship, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

Zoom Registration

This is the final webinar in the series “Accompanying the Dead in the Time of COVID.”  | series information

Presenter bios

Thomas G. Long is Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching at Candler School of Theology, Emory University. His introductory homiletics textbook, The Witness of Preaching, has been translated into a number of languages and is widely used in theological schools around the world. In 2010, Preaching magazine named it one of the 25 most influential books in preaching for the last 25 years. Dr. Long gave the distinguished Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale, which were published in his 2009 book Preaching from Memory to Hope. Dr. Long is also deeply interested in biblical studies, practical theology, and liturgy. His books on the Christian funeral, Accompany Them with Singing and The Good Funeral (co-authored with noted poet and funeral director Thomas Lynch), have generated interest both in the academy and the media. Another book, What Shall We Say? Evil, Suffering, and the Crisis of Faith, addresses the issue of innocent suffering and the goodness of God, and was selected as Book of the Year for 2011 by the Academy of Parish Clergy. An ordained minister int he Presbyterian Church (USA), Dr. Long served as the senior homiletics editor of The New Interpreter’s Bible, and he is associate editor of Journal for Preachers and editor-at-large for the Christian Century. Emory University awarded him the Emory Williams Award for teaching excellence in 2011.

Dawn DeVries is J.N. Thomas Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA. Dr. DeVries holds a Master of Arts in Religious Studies and a Ph.D. in historical theology from the University of Chicago Divinity School.  She has taught historical and systematic theology at Union Presbyterian Seminary for 26 years, and prior to that served on the faculties of San Francisco Theological Seminary and McCormick Theological Seminary.  Her scholarship focuses on theology in the Reformed tradition.  She is the author of Jesus Christ in the Preaching of Calvin and Schleiermacher, and the editor and translator of Servant of the Word:  Selected Sermons of Friedrich Scheiermacher.  She was a delegate for the World Reformed Communion (previously the World Alliance of Reformed Churches) to the international bi-lateral dialogue with the Eastern Orthodox church.  She also represented the Presbyterian Church (USA) at the Fifth World Conference on Faith and Order, and at the Eighth Assembly of the World Conference of Churches.  In recent years, her work as a caregiver for an ailing spouse has led her to reflect more deeply about human finitude and the challenges of aging with grace and faith.  She is delighted to be part of this webinar.

Michael L. Lewis is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso and is currently parochial vicar of Saint Mark’s Catholic Church in his hometown of El Paso, Texas. Over the last year, as part of the diocese’s Covid-19 Ministry Team, he has ministered to hundreds of patients and their families directly impacted by the pandemic, as well as to thousands more in the Borderland region, one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus. Previously a journalist for newspapers in Texas and Florida, and later for the U.S. Army, Fr. Mike received a licentiate in sacred theology degree and a master’s in divinity degree from The Liturgical Institute at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois; studied theology at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana; and received a bachelor’s degree in theology and philosophy from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. He is a board member of the Southwest Liturgical Conference, and active in the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions.

Kevin Park immigrated to Toronto, Canada, from Seoul, Korea just before turning ten years old. After graduating from the University of Toronto he earned his M.Div. from Knox College. He completed his PhD in systematic theology at Princeton Theological Seminary in 2002. Kevin served in various church youth, college, and young adult groups in Canada and the U.S. He was an Adjunct Professor of Theology at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Jersey, and he was the Assistant Director of the Asian American Program at Princeton Theological Seminary. For five years he was the pastor of Bethany Presbyterian Church, a multicultural community in Bloomfield, New Jersey. He also served as an Associate for Theology at the Office of Theology and Worship at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, KY. He was the Associate Dean for Advanced Professional Studies and Assistant Professor of Theology at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Presently, Kevin serves as the English ministry pastor and Christian Educator at the Atlanta Korean Central Presbyterian Church. Kevin is married to Irene Yang and they have three daughters, Jubilee, Emily, and Natalie.

Khalia J. Williams serves as Associate Dean of Worship and Music, and as Associate Professor in the Practice of Worship at Candler School of Theology, Emory University. As an ordained minister and liturgical artist, Rev. Williams is sought after for her worship leadership, her vision for integrating worship and the arts, and her expertise in the areas of justice, worship and diversity. She is a co-author of A Worship Workbook: A Practical Guide for Extraordinary Liturgy (Abingdon Press, 2021), as well as a number of articles. Rev. Wiliams is married to Rev. Dr. Damon P. Williams, Senior Pastor of the historic Providence Missionary Baptist Church, and the proud mother of two sons. She mentors young women across the country and is driver by her passion to empower God’s people to reach their full potential in Christ.

Time to Heal, (c) 2016 by John August Swanson
Giclee, 16.5” x 13.5”

Open to: 
General Public