Henderson Leadership Conference 2024

Henderson Leadership Conference 2024

“Faithful Resistance: Choosing Christ over Empire” with Diana Butler Bass and Leah Schade

Sept. 22-24, 2024

Celebrating 40 Years of Henderson Lectures

National elections can stir up conflict, anxiety, and fear. Our churches feel these tensions too. Preachers take great care to sidestep partisan politics from the pulpit, yet still touch a nerve on one side or the other (or both). Administrative meetings take on the tenor of point/counter-point news debates. Bible study groups wonder aloud how faithful Christians can interpret Scripture so differently in applying it to current events. Meanwhile, concerns about election violence threaten our wider communities, as Christian imagery and language are co-opted by movements of political extremism and hatred.

How should Christian leaders respond? Ignoring these dangers will not make them go away in society or sanctuary. A better approach may be faithful resistance: engaging in the difficult work of peacemaking in congregations and communities facing partisan polarization. With inspiring lectures, strategies for preaching in and beyond election season, and creative exploration of what resistance can look like, this year’s Henderson Leadership Conference will equip pastors and congregants to choose the way of Christ over the empires of the world.

The 2024 Henderson Lectures will be delivered by award-winning author, speaker, and preacher Diana Butler Bass, one of America’s most trusted commentators on religion and contemporary spirituality, especially where faith intersects with politics and culture. Dr. Bass will deliver three lectures, one of which—on Monday evening—is free and open to the public. **These lectures will not be recorded and must be seen in real time. They will not be available at a later date.**

Following these three lectures, Leah Schade will lead two large group workshops with table breakouts. The first is “How Can We Heal Our Divides? Approaches for Navigating Politics with the People We Love,” and the second is “Preaching Across the Divide: Strategies for Sermons in the Election Season.”

For in-person attendees, there will also be opportunities to explore art as resistance. Attendees have the option to visit the Maxo Vanka Murals at St. Nicholas Croatian Church in Millvale (transportation will be provided), and will also be invited to participate in a communal creation of art using provided materials, as a visible and tangible response to all we are hearing and learning throughout the conference.