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Wesley Lecture Series 

The Wesley Lecture Series brings thought-provoking speakers to Reinhardt each year. Envisioned in 2003 by Reinhardt President Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood, it seeks to present speakers who will engage the College community with challenging perspectives on faith.  

Previous Wesley Lecture speakers include:

  • Dr. James T. Laney, former ambassador to South Korea, former Emory University president, and former Candler School of Theology dean;
  • Bishop William H. Willimon, an internationally known theologian, pastor and author; 
  • Abraham Yel Nhial, a Lost Boy of Sudan and co-author of "Lost Boy No More";
  • the Rev. Sandra Olewine, a United Methodist minister who worked in the Middle East advocating peace between Israelis and Palestinians; and
  • the Rev. Dr. Luther Felder, Assistant General Secretary for the Campus Ministry section of the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry;
  • Margaret Feinberg, author
  • Georgia Shaffer, Psychologist and life coach  
  • The Rev. Ron Greer:  “INTEGRITY: Making Decisions that Fit YOU” - Greer is a pastoral counselor, United Methodist minister, and author of If You Know Who You Are… You’ll Know What To Do
  • Dr. Elizabeth Corrie - “Activism: Using Non-Violence to Transform the World”

Wesley Lecture 2014

Explore the Relationship Between Happiness, Health, Faith and Busy Lives

Make Plans to Attend the Reinhardt University Wesley Lecture on Feb. 10 at 10 a.m.

Reinhardt Wesley Lecture on Feb. 10, 2014, to focus on Sabbath keeping as a prescription for a healthier, happier life.Feeling harried and constantly behind? Mired in the “busyness” of life, but not yet content?  The answer to a more joyful, healthy and faith-centered new year may be found in Sabbath keeping, the following of God’s command to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy as a radical and necessary alternative to our current lifestyle.

Explore Sabbath keeping, an important component of faith, on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, from 10 a.m. to noon in the Bannister Glasshouse, Hasty Student Life Center at Reinhardt University in Waleska, Ga. Dr. Matthew Sleeth, author of “24/6 - Embracing the Sabbath: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life,” will speak and answer questions from the audience. The public is invited to attend the lecture free of charge.

"Gain a fresh perspective on the critically important relationship between our faith, how we spend our time, and how we feel."

The Rev. Jordan Thrasher, Reinhardt’s chaplain, is organizing the event with support from RU Green, a campuswide committee which promotes sustainability and responsible stewardardship of the environment. As the University’s annual Wesley Lecture, Thrasher hopes participants will gain a fresh perspective on the critically important relationship between our faith, how we spend our time, and how we feel.”

“I have this deep hope that the lecture will be a pressure release value – that we will gain perspective of what it is we do… and Sabbath keeping as a serious component to our faith that’s been ignored a very long time,” Thrasher said. The lecture will highlight topics from Sleeth’s newest book which “talks about rediscovering the Sabbath as necessary for health.”

Sabbath keeping is “mindful disentanglement, about thinking before adding one more thing.”

Sabbath keeping may be a term that’s new to many, so it’s important to understand its meaning. It isn’t about keeping restaurants closed on Sundays or about worship, like going to church, Thrasher said. Instead, it’s about “mindful disentanglement, about thinking before adding one more thing.”

“We tend to think that we have to do something all the time. We have to be actively studying. We have to be on the go. If you aren’t on the go, then you are falling behind. What [our speaker] has discovered is that it’s damaging us by not having a Sabbath, to not have… an actual break from all the things that sort of consume our minds.”

“He really talks about how keeping the Sabbath might be the cure for our society’s wanton unhappiness,” Thrasher said. “Recent Gallup polls say that Americans are some of the most unhappy people on the planet. Is the key to happiness more stuff, and being on the go, an active lifestyle? The book explores a different approach.”

Sleeth is also a leader in environmental stewardship.

Thrasher became familiar with Sleeth and his work through their mutual involvement in environmental stewardship. Sleeth is executive director of Blessed Earth, an educational nonprofit that inspires and equips people of faith to become better stewards of the earth. Sleeth and his wife, Nancy, will be in Atlanta from February 6-9, 2014, as the keynote speakers at the Caring for God's Creation Conference.

Sleeth was an emergency room doctor and chief of staff at a New England hospital when Nancy asked him, “What’s the biggest problem facing the world?” After thinking for a while, he replied, “The earth is dying.” Nancy’s second question was harder to answer: “If the earth is dying, what are we going to do about it?”

Dr. Matthew Sleeth, executive director of Blessed Earth, will speak at Reinhardt University on Feb. 10, 2014 from 10 am to noon.Sleeth decided to leave his medical career and lead by example. His family moved to a house the size of their old garage, reduced their energy usage by more than two-thirds and cut their trash production by nine-tenths. The Sleeths founded Blessed Earth, which has been invited by more than 1,000 church, educational, media and environmental groups to share the biblical call to care for God’s creation.

A graduate of George Washington University School of Medicine, Dr. Sleeth has also written "Serve God and Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action" (Zondervan, April 2007), the introduction to the Green Bible (HarperOne, 2008), and "The Gospel According to the Earth: Why the Good Book is a Green Book" (HarperOne, 2010).

What is the Wesley Lecture Series at Reinhardt University?

Reinhardt’s Wesley Lecture series brings speakers to the Campus who seek to engage the University and the community with challenging perspectives on faith. Past Wesley lecturers include:

former U.S. Ambassador and educator Dr. James T. Laney;

theologian, pastor and author Bishop William H. Willimon;

author and Lost Boy of Sudan Abraham Yel Nhial;

Middle East peace activist the Rev. Sandra Olewine;

minister and church leader the Rev. Dr. Luther Felder;

author Margaret Feinberg;

psychologist and life coach Georgia Shaffer;

United Methodist minister and author Ron Greer;

educator and minister Dr. Elizabeth Corrie.

Additional Resources