Summer Preaching Series

Drop the Mic Summer Preaching Series
There are times that something is just so good there’s nothing else to say. A word of hope in a weary land. The uprising of joy in the midst of heartache. A challenge to old ways of thinking that set us free for new ways of being. This is what a “mic drop” is all about. The punctuation of a moment so good there’s nothing else to do but, well, drop the mic. 

Join us this July for a series of prophetic preachers whose words, wisdom, and insight will enliven our thinking and open us up to the surprises of Spirit at work among us.


July 1 - Rev. Robert Lee, IV
The American Caesar - Matthew 22:15-22 and Romans 8:31-39
Robert Lee photo
Rev. Robert Wright Lee, IV is an author, activist, commentator, professor, and preacher. graduate of Duke University Divinity School and is a PhD student at Chicago Theological Seminary. Rob was baptized and raised United Methodist but believes himself to be an ecclesial mutt and cherishes the variety of traditions in which he has served. 
Rob, a nephew, generations removed of General Robert E. Lee has been engaged as an activist in the field of racial reconciliation, speaking about the need to confront white supremacy and white privilege in white churches. Rob's work has appeared in outlets such as NPR’s Weekend Edition, Ministry Matters, the Methodist Federation for Social Action, The Huffigton Post, The Common English Bible: Student Edition, and The Washington Post. He has also written one book, Stained-Glass Millennials and is working on a second. He currently teaches at Appalachian State University. 

July 8 - Dr. Diana Butler Bass
The First Words of Faith: Give Thanks - 1 Thessalonians 1:1-7a
Diana Butler Bass photo
Dr. Diana Butler Bass is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. 
She holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Duke University and is the award-winning author of ten books, including Grounded: Finding God in the World —A Spiritual Revolution, Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New SpiritualAwakening, Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith and Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks. In addition, her bylines include The Washington Post, The New York Times Syndicate, and The Huffington Post. Dr. Butler Bass has taught at Westmont College, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Macalester College, Rhodes College, and the Virginia Theological Seminary. She regularly speaks at conferences, consults with religious organizations, and comments on USA TODAY, Time, Newsweek, CBS, CNN, FOX, PBS, NPR, Sirius XM, and CBC.

July 15 - Bishop LaTrelle Easterling
The Already and The Not Yet Luke 17: 20-21
Latrelle Easterling photo
Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling is the first woman bishop to lead the Baltimore-Washington Conference. An Indiana native, Easterling worked in  the human resources field and as an attorney before being ordained. She holds a  Law degree from Indiana University School of Law and a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology.
She served several churches in Boston before serving as superintendent of the Metro Boston Hope District in the New England Conference. In 2016, she was named Dean of the Cabinet in the New England Conference. co-chair of the Board of Global Ministries, and as a delegate to the 2012 and 2016 General and Jurisdictional Conferences. She is a published author and frequent teacher and speaker. 

July 22 - Rev. Dr. Serene Jones
The Outback Looks Back - Jeremiah 23:1-6 and Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
Serene Jones photo
The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is the 16th president--and first woman--of the historicnondemnominational Union Theological Seminary in New York. 
Prior to Union, Jonesspent 17 years at Yale University, where she was the Titus Street Professor of Theology at the Divinity School, and chair of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She was co-principal investigator on the "Women, Religion, and Globalization Grant" for the Henry T. Luce Initiative onReligion and International Affairs.

July 29 - Rev. Dr. Shively Smith
What Do You See From a Distance? - Hebrews 11:13-16
Shively Smith photo
Rev. Dr. Shively T. J. Smith is assistant professor of New Testament at Wesley Theological Seminary and is a sought after teacher, preacher, and writer. She will join the faculty of Boston University’s School of Theology, beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year. 
As a scholar of New Testament, Smith writes and teaches on all 27 books of the New Testament, but her particular focus is on the traditions of Peter, diaspora studies, African-American and womanist approaches to the bible, and biblical ethics and theology about the treatment of historically marginalized and vulnerable populations and hospitality to strangers, locally and globally. She completed her Ph.D. in New Testament Studies at Emory University as the first African American female degreed in that specialization. She recently published her first book, Strangers to Family: Diaspora and First Peter’s Invention of God’s Household and is completing a commentary on Second Peter. Smith is an ordaineditinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church where she proudly servesas member and resident scholar at the historic Metropolitan AME Church. She is also Foundry's 2018 Scholar-in-Residence.