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This We Believe: On the Transformative Power of Words

  • Unitarian Universalist 421 South Farwell Street Eau Claire, WI, 54701 United States (map)

Words hold weight, and when used effectively, have the power to heal, help, and inspire.  But how do we find the right words to address the most pressing moral issues of our day?  How can we “preach the gospel” of tolerance, diversity, and inclusivity without sounding too “preachy” ourselves? Join representatives and religious scholars from a spectrum of faiths for a conversation and craft talk on how we can change our world for the better, one word at a time.  This event made possible by the generous support of the  Mahmoud S. Taman Foundation

Featured Panelists:

Bob Lesniewski oblSB is a Benedictine Oblate. Bob now follows the daily " Rule of St.Benedict" that includes prayer, work and service, Lectio Divina, quiet time for reflection and conversation with God.  Bob is the retired Area Director for Special Olympics. Currently he is a sub Teacher and Organizer for the Inter-Faith Prayer Services.

Rev. Julianne Lepp is the Minister for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Eau Claire. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1996 with a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Psychology. Her previous professional experience was primarily in finance.Graduating from Candler School of Theology in May 2010 with a Masters in Divinity, she concentrated on themes of Leadership and Community. While in seminary she also completed her UUA ministerial internship at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Atlanta where she gained rich experiences in religious education, worship, justice work, and small group ministry. While in Atlanta, Julianne also worked as a summer chaplain at Crossroads Community Homeless Ministry.

Dr. Asha Sen is a professor of postcolonial studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  Her recent monograph *Postcolonial Yearning: Reshaping Spiritual and Secular Discourses in Contemporary Literature* (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013) focuses on the ways in which postcolonial aesthetics are becoming more influenced by faith-based traditions like Sufism and Buddhism.  She is currently engaged in researching the adoption of spiritual traditions by postcolonial women authors in their attempts at effecting social change. 

Charlene Burns is Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she has taught since 2001. She is the author of three books, more than forty journal articles, and editor of one volume of essays. She is currently working on her next book which explores the life and sermons of the Right Reverend Stephen Elliott, first bishop of Georgia (1841-1866) and the Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, Confederate States of America to reveal the ways Christians have interpreted scripture to justify slavery and warfare.