Faith Forum is a long-running, nationally recognized series of talks with leading thinkers, bestselling authors, business leaders, philosophers, artists, and theologians of our time. These conversations are led by The Reverend Chip Edens in a casual atmosphere of fellowship with a focus on spiritual growth.
Our upcoming series will focus on some of the ways God calls us into a Living Faith, featuring some remarkable people who have answered that call. What can we learn from their stories? Join us to find out and be inspired.
Mary Celeste Beall
Family Tragedy and the Journey of Healing
Mary Celeste Beall is the proprietor of Blackberry Farm, the acclaimed resort hotel and renowned food, wine, and wellness destination in the Tennessee foothills. She and her late husband, Sam, transformed the space before Sam tragically died in 2016 at the age of 39. After his death, Mary Celeste, a mother of five children, became the sole proprietor. Hers is a courageous story of healing after tragedy.
The Power of Vision and Purpose
Jordan Kassalow, an eye doctor and social entrepreneur, is the founder of VisionSpring and EYElliance, and has distributed over 2,000,000 eyeglasses around the world. He has garnered many humanitarian awards for his tireless work to improve the lives of others, and co-authored the book Dare to Matter: Your Path to Making a Difference Now.
Anthony Ray Hinton
Living Faith on Death Row
Anthony Ray Hinton was wrongly convicted of the 1985 murders of two fast food restaurant managers in Birmingham, sentenced to death, and held on Alabama’s death row for 28 years. In 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overturned his conviction on appeal, and the state dropped all charges against him. After being released, Hinton wrote and published a memoir The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row.
Living Faith and the Paradox of Religion
David Zahl is the author of Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion and What to Do About It. In it, Zahl explores the possibility that our culture is not becoming less religious, but rather that we are becoming religious about more and more things. Ultimately he brings us to a fresh appreciation for the grace of God in all its countercultural wonder. David also serves on the staff of Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, VA, supervising their ministry to college students.
Hannah and Charlie Lucas
Living Faith and Teen Mental Health
When Hannah Lucas was a high school freshman in Atlanta two years ago, she became depressed and suicidal. She came up with the idea of a digital panic button to help people like her. Her 13-year-old brother, Charlie, had been learning to code since he was seven, and built the NotOkay app. The app alerts five pre-selected friends when the app user is Not Okay, providing the friends the user’s GPS location. Hannah and Charlie Lucas will join us to tell their story and share their continued efforts to encourage good mental health.
Trauma and Restorative Love
Becca Stevens is an author, speaker, Episcopal priest, justice entrepreneur, and founder and president of Thistle Farms (Nashville, TN), a community of women survivors of prostitution, trafficking and addiction. Thistle Farms includes a holistic two-year residential program, justice enterprises that employ survivors, and an education and outreach program that includes a national network of 50 sister communities. The Global Market of Thistle Farms helps employ more than 1,800 women worldwide.
Beating the Odds
Rob Mendez sounds like any other football coach on any other field across America — passionate, authoritative, knowledgeable — but he is like no other coach you know. Coach Rob has no arms or legs. He moves in a custom-made wheelchair that he operates with his shoulders. Coach Rob diagrams plays on a smartphone attached to the chair, using a stylus that he maneuvers with his mouth. Coach Rob first learned football playing Madden video games, and that is just one incredible detail of his remarkable story. Born without limbs, an extremely rare condition called Tetra-amelia, Coach Rob has been beating the odds for 30 years.