2018 Pastors Conference:
Conversational Bodies: Recovering the Spiritual Practice of Conversation in Our Churches

Featuring Keynote Speaker C. Christopher Smith
Author of Slow Church & Senior Editor of The Englewood Review of Books

October 8, 2018

Online Registration
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Drawing on his award-winning book Slow Church and his forthcoming book How the Body of Christ Talks, Chris Smith will explore how we have been created in the image of the triune God to live in community, and how conversation is the glue that holds communities together and helps them to flourish. Churches, as the Apostle Paul suggested, can learn much from our human bodies that each exist as an ongoing conversation of members with diverse forms and functions.

Amid the fragmentation of our day, it's widely accepted that people of differing backgrounds and perspectives do not know how to talk together, but what if our local churches were hubs where Christians were learning to talk attentively with others? Chris will focus on how churches can create intentional spaces in their life together for conversation, and how they can sustain long-term practices of conversation, even when conflict or tedium sets in. Our churches will be powerfully transformed as we lean into the conversational life, with one another and with our neighbors, for which we were created.

Session 1:  Slowing Down and Being Church

Session 2:  Beginning to Embody Christ in Conversation

Session 3: Sustaining a Conversational Life Together


Keynote Speaker Bio


C. Christopher Smith is Senior Editor of The Englewood Review of Books, a print and online magazine that reviews a wide range of books for an ecumenical Christian audience. Chris lives and writes on the urban Near Eastside of Indianapolis, where he, his wife, and his family are part of the Englewood Christian Church community. He is the co-author of the award-winning book Slow Church (2014), author of Reading for the Common Good (2016), and is eagerly awaiting the spring 2019 release of his book How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church.



8:30 - 9:00 am Breakfast
9:00 - 9:20 am Waiting Worship
9:20 - 10:30 am Welcome & Session I  - Slowing Down and Being Church
10:30 - 11:00 am Break
11:00 - 11:45 am

Report on what's new at ESR with Acting Dean Matt Hisrich

11:45 - Noon Break
Noon - 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 - 2:15 pm Session II - Beginning to Embody Christ in Conversation
2:15 - 2:45 pm Break Out Groups
2:45 - 3:00 pm Small Group Sharing
3:00 - 3:20 pm Break
3:20 - 4:30 pm Session III - Sustaining a Conversational Life Together
4:30 - 5:00 pm

Small Group Discussions

5:00 - 5:15 pm Small Group Sharing & Closing Worship