Scott Bader-Saye, acting dean of the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, will bring an important conversation to Abilene in September.

scott_badersayeBader-Saye will lead a conference Sept. 14-15, “Fostering Civil Conversation,” at the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, 602 Meander St. The conference, which includes dinner on Friday night and breakfast on Saturday morning, is open to the public. A $10 contibution is requested.

A conference on civil conversation is timely due to the already-contenious elections coming in November. The current cultural and political polarization is based, in part, on fear. Each side imagines that they need to fear the other, and each side has particular issues that cause them fear.

But when a conversation is dominated by fear, we tend not to be our best selves, we tend to be reactive, and we tend to tune out voices we don’t already agree with. In these presentations, Scott Bader-Saye will lead us through a theological discussion of fear – its roots and its effects – so that we can become more aware of how fear drives our perception and our decisions. From there, he will lead a discussion of how political conversations might become more civil and more fruitful if we were able to set aside our excessive, and often unfounded, fears. The goal of these presentations is not to change anyone’s mind on a particular political issue, but to help us approach these issues from a place of courage and faith.

Bader-Saye’s most recent book is “Formed by Love,” a contribution to the series “Church’s Teaching for a Changing World.” He is also the author of Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear” and “Church and Israel After Christendom.” He has contributed chapters to The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics and The Cambridge Companion to the Gospels. He received his degrees from Duke University, Yale Divinity School, and Davidson College. As an active layperson, he has served in volunteer and staff positions for youth ministry and adult formation in various churches, most recently as Theologian in Residence at St. Julian of Norwich Episcopal Church in northwest Austin.


WHAT: Fostering Civil Conversation
WHEN: 6-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14 and 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, Sept. 15
WHERE: Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, 602 Meander St.
WHO: Scott Bader-Saye, acting dean and president and professor of Christian ethics and moral theology at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin.
RSVP: 677-2091 or
COST: $10 contribution requested


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