As a Baptist, I belong to a tradition that has historically understood the church as a committed fellowship of disciples who are seeking to follow Jesus together. As a Baptist ecumenical theologian, I'm therefore supportive of other ecclesiological proposals that place following Jesus at the center of what it means to be church. In that connection I'm delighted that the theme of this year's Pro Ecclesia Annual Conference for Clergy and Laity sponsored by the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology is "'Who Do You Say That I Am?' Proclaiming and Following Jesus Today." The conference will be held at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland, June 14-June 16, 2011. Substantial registration discounts are available for students; information regarding conference registration is available on the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology web site. (For those of you on Facebook, there's also a Facebook event page for the conference.)
Here's the conference description and list of presenters from the CCET conference page:
In times of conflict in society and in the churches, maintaining our bearings is ever more important. The North Star for the churches is always Jesus, and so this year’s Pro Ecclesia conference of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology will focus on basic questions of what it means to confess, proclaim, and follow Jesus today. Who do we say Jesus is, both in our words and in our deeds? What is the significance of the biblical and theological work of the last century for how we understand Jesus today? What does it mean to "preach Jesus"? What is the significance of Jesus for our prayer lives, for our ethical commitments? After two hundred years of various quests for the historical Jesus, what picture has emerged? How do recent emphases on ‘theological exegesis’ affect how we read the biblical accounts of Jesus?
These and other questions will be addressed at the conference to be held at Loyola University, June 14-16, 2011. As always, the speakers will come from a range of theological and church traditions. Presentations will be followed by a significant amount of time for discussion. We hope that participants will leave with a clearer sense of the identity and significance of Christ for the world, the church, and their lives and ministries.
Dale Alison, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Daniel Bell, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
Joseph Bottum, Catholic essayist
Carl E. Braaten, Director Emeritus, Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology
Kathryn Greene-McCreight, St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Haven, CT
Fleming Rutledge, Episcopal priest and author
Katherine Sonderegger, Virginia Theological Seminary
Banquet Address: Michael Root