Updated: March 29, 2021
We will again host virtual Faculty/Staff Christian Forums every other Thursday from 12:00-1:00, beginning February 18 (Zoom links sent via email). Our spring semester theme is “A Caring Community”—a mutual conviction that we are better together.
Feb. 18—“The Inklings, Creativity & Community”—roundtable discussion of the Feb. 12 webinar by the same title, which The Trinity Forum hosted and recorded here (60 min.). Diana Glyer (Azusa Pacific University) reflected on the creative process, particularly the way that creativity thrives within small, creative groups. She has written extensively on the lives and work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and their Oxford community known as The Inklings. Join us via Zoom, for this FSCF session facilitated by Professor Mike Atchison (Biochemistry, Penn Vet).
March 4—“Caring Conversations, Part 1: Empathetic Listening”—As we enter year two of a global pandemic, social distancing eventually takes a toll on everyone. Even if your colleagues, friends or students never bring it up, they may still welcome a person who cares enough to ask how they are coping, practicing self-care, or staying motivated during these times. An essential element in this is empathetic listening. It’s not just students who often feel overwhelmed or unmotivated to “keep calm and carry on.”
March 18—“Penn’s FGLI Students and You”—Panel discussion featuring Lia Howard (SNF Paideia Program), Linda Shieh (PENNCAP) and Sharon Fleshman, Moderator (Career Services). Seventeen percent of Penn undergrads are First Generation Low Income (FGLI students) from various ethnic backgrounds. As faculty and staff who care deeply, you can play a meaningful role in these students’ lives—encouraging, empowering, resourcing, and coaching them. Our panelists will share tips from years of advising, listening well, professional training, and following Christ who calls us to bear one another’s burdens.
April 1—“Caring Conversations, Part 2: Offering Mercy & Grace”—As we learned March 4th (in a 3-minute video by Dr. Brene Brown), “empathetic listening” is most appreciated when there is no agenda. Yet such listening can sometimes turn out to be a “divine encounter” where you can extend words of grace and actions of mercy. Dr. Mike Atchison and Dave DeHuff will share real-life examples of students and professors who have welcomed prayer support during times of personal crisis, and how that sometimes led to spiritual conversations and, occasionally, to a new life in the resurrected Christ.
(Note updates at our Google meeting calendar.)
Dave DeHuff, for the Penn FSCF Steering Group