National speakers, authors make The Gathering the place to be this winter

By Janel Shoun-Smith on 1/15/2014

   
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If you attended Lipscomb University, it’s likely that some of your fondest, or at least most numerous, memories of your college days involve chapel. If you didn’t, well, you missed a treat.

Whether it’s for nostalgia or to see what you’ve been missing, the public is always welcome to join Lipscomb’s undergraduate student body each Tuesday at 10:55 a.m. in Allen Arena for its weekly chapel service, now called The Gathering.

January and February are a particularly exciting time to try out The Gathering as the university will host a number of nationally known authors, speakers and spiritual experts in the coming weeks. Here are a few.

Jan. 21: T.B. Boyd (Martin Luther King Jr. Day service)
Jan. 28: Shauna Niequist
Feb. 11: Michael Johnson (Relationship Week)
Feb. 24: Randy Harris (Nurture Conference)

Jan. 21

T.B. Boyd speaks at Martin Luther King Jr. Day service

T.B. Boyd III, president and CEO of R.H. Boyd Publishing, a leading producer of literature and church supplies for more than 100 years, will speak at Lipscomb University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day chapel service.

Boyd was elected president and CEO of R.H. Boyd Publishing (then called the National Baptist Publishing Board) in 1979, following a long family tradition that began with founder Richard Henry Boyd, a former slave who became a preacher after emancipation and saw a need to include the African American experience within the available religious literature of the day. More than 100 years later. R.H. Boyd Publishing produces millions of periodicals distributed to churches, individuals and book stores throughout the United States and the world.

Boyd is the fourth president of the family-run business. He began working in the company’s bindery and mailing rooms as a high school student and became a full-time employee in 1969 after graduation from Tennessee State University. He worked his way up, coordinating the construction of a new corporate headquarters; becoming a member of the board of directors in 1976, and compiling and introducing a new hymnal – the National Baptist Hymnal – which became one of the best-selling books in America.

Jan. 28

Popular author Shauna Niequist speaks

Chicago author and blogger Shauna Neiquist, www.shaunaniequist.com/, will speak at The Gathering and participate in a special question-and-answer session at 4 p.m. in the Swang Center’s Stowe Hall (formerly room 108), which is also free and open to the public.

Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet and Bread & Wine. She writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life: friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God.

As a follow up to her two bestselling books, Bittersweet and Cold Tangerines, author and blogger Niequist wrote Bread & Wine, the perfect read for those who love food and value the community and connection of family and friends around the table.

Bread & Wine is a collection of essays about family relationships, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. This mix of Anne Lamott and Barefoot Contessa is a funny, honest and vulnerable spiritual memoir.

Bread & Wine is a celebration of food shared, reminding readers of the joy found in a life around the table. It’s about the ways God teaches and nourishes people as they nourish the people around them. It’s about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two.

Feb. 11

Michael Johnson kicks off Relationship Week before Valentine’s Day

Michael Johnson, co-founder and the dean of dating at Future Marriage University, will speak at The Gathering to kick off a week of relationship building activities for students and the community.

Future Marriage University, www.F-M-U.com, was established in 2003 with a mission to equip the church to empower individuals to prepare for marriage just as they would a successful career: intentionally, intelligently – and in advance. Toward that end, Johnson speaks to college students, youth and young adults sharing practical, passionate Biblical truths about sex, dating and relationships. He calls it love education: the missing link between the sex education provided in middle school and the premarital counseling most don’t get until they’re already coupled up.

Feb. 24

Randy Harris speaks as part of Nurture 2014

Randy Harris is on the Abilene Christian University faculty but is beloved in Nashville as he taught for 10 years at Lipscomb University and preached at Donelson Church of Christ.

Harris' colleagues in the College of Biblical Studies at Abilene jokingly call him "the only Church of Christ monk." Harris undertook a 40-day silent prayer retreat at the remote Lebh Shomea House of Prayer outside Sarita, Texas, on the famed King Ranch. The experience consisted mainly of silently contemplating God's mysteries, with some spiritual direction and a dose of manual labor thrown in.

He will speak at The Gathering as part of Nurture 2014. A two-day conference held by Lipscomb’s Institute for Christian Spirituality and featuring nationally recognized leaders in Christian spirituality.

Focused on spiritual formation, the conference also includes a contemplative prayer service and special sessions led by Lipscomb University and ICS faculty on spiritual direction, missional formation, spiritual formation for adolescents and more.

To register for Nurture 2014, go to ics.lipscomb.edu or contact Frank Guertin at 615.966.5352.