Penn Faculty-Staff Christian Forum

Updated: February 17, 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.”

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 in Crunch Times”–As we enter year two of a global pandemic, social distancing takes its toll on everyone sooner or later. Even if your colleagues, friends and students never mention the topic, they may still welcome a safe person caring enough to ask how they are coping, practicing self-care, or staying motivated during these times. A key phrase is empathetic listening. Hint: it’s not just students who often feel overwhelmed or unmotivated to simply “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“Your Micro-story’s Power to Encourage”(This builds on “Caring Conversations,” March 4.) Many today are surprised, comforted or encouraged when someone they respect admits how they too battled discouragement this academic year, yet were heartened when God providentially “showed up” in that predicament. Is it time to update your own “spiritual journey” narrative with a recent “micro-story” of where God has met a very real need or answered a very honest prayer?? A key phrase is ask permission

In this season of unprecedented challenges, we are better together. Join us in praying for the Lord to show himself strong in each other’s lives and in our university community. (Note updates at our Google meeting calendar.)

Dave DeHuff, for the FSCF Steering Group: Mike Atchison; Gina Barrett; Sharon Fleshman; Phil Gehrman; Alex Lin, M.D.; Ray Townsend, M.D.

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