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Bethlehem, Pa., April 7, 2006— Moravian Theological Seminary will hold the annual Zeisberger Lectures in Evangelism, on Friday, April 21 in Prosser Auditorium, Haupert Union Building. Brian McLaren, founder pastor of the nondenominational Cedar Ridge Community Church, will present “A Conference on the Emerging Church.”
McLaren will discuss the emergent church as a successor to first century Christians following the Way as an effective tool for outreach in the twenty-first century. He will compare the ancient environment of religious open-mindedness and yearning for spirituality to modern culture and advocates the principles of the emergent church as a means to overcome current tendencies toward experience over faith and relationships over institutions. McLaren will share his experiences about employing this kind of ministry in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area.
McLaren taught English language and literature and English as a second language, as well as served as academic counselor and technical writing consultant at Maryland colleges and universities. In 1986 he answered the call to serve in full-time ministry. (The idea for the church that became Cedar Ridge Community began in 1982 when McLaren and several friends decided to start a new and innovative church. The fledgling church started out small, reinventing itself in 1988 in order to better serve the previously unchurched.
Since that time, Cedar Ridge Community Church has experienced exponential growth. Instead of meeting in area schools, the congregation began raising money to buy land and to build a permanent home. In January 1999, the church opened its physical doors for the first time. While continuing to be an active member, McLaren left his position as pastor earlier this year in order to focus on ministry through writing and speaking engagements. He is the author of several books about finding God in today’s fast-paced society, including A New Kind of Christian, More Ready Than You Realize, The Church of the Other Side, Adventures in Missing the Point (with Tony Campolo), Finding Faith, A Generous Orthodoxy, and The Last Word and the Word after That. McLaren is also a senior fellow with Emergent, an organization of friendship and Christian mission.
The lectures will take place from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at Moravian College’s Prosser Auditorium. The venue is located in the Haupert Union Building on West Locust Street in Bethlehem. The event is free and open to the public; however, pre-registration is strongly encouraged because of limited space. Those in attendance will receive 0.4 continuing education units. For more information, contact the Office of Continuing Education at Moravian Theological Seminary at (610) 861-1519.