Readers of my books will know that my theology of the powers has been strongly influenced by the works of William Stringfellow. On April 21-23, I will be co-facilitating this upcoming conference on “The Powers in the Midst of Creation” with Bill Wylie-Kellerman, a foremost scholar of Stringfellow who has written extensively on the powers. This retreat marks the 50th anniversary of Stringfellow’s groundbreaking book, An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land. It will take place at Kirkridge Retreat Center outside Bangor, Pennsylvania. Register here.
In Bill Wylie-Kellerman’s words: “I don’t know how he (Stringfellow) did it, but what he writes is always right on time. Prophetic even in the sense of prescience. We hope for a conversation discerning the times.”
Dates: Friday, April 21 at 4pm to Sunday, April 23 at 1pm
Facilitators: Bill Wylie-Kellermann and Sharon Delgado
Cost: $350 The cost includes the programming, overnight accommodations, and meals Friday dinner through Sunday lunch.
“The work of the demonic powers in the Fall is the undoing of Creation.” – William Stringfellow, An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land,
This year marks the 50th anniversary of William Stringfellow’s An Ethic for Christians, his most important and influential book. Stringfellow, theologian, attorney, and regular Kirkridge leader of biblical retreats, wrote to and from a particular moment, so this book served as a primer for protest and resistance to militarism and nuclear weapons in the 70’s and 80’s. It also was a seminal theological work in bringing the “principalities and powers” back into the arena of Christian social ethics. His was a reading which brought them down to earth from spiritual outer space, presaging and setting in motion so much further biblical work of recent decades.
Led by Bill Wylie-Kellermann and Sharon Delgado, two pastors whose lives and ministries have been deeply discerned and formed by Bill Stringfellow’s witness, our common conversation will likewise implicate our lives and work. We will gather in the week of his birth (April 26, 1928) but also auspiciously on Earth Day weekend. Within our query of where Stringfellow’s insights lead us in our present moment, we will include the question of how the powers figure into the assault upon Earth, and how they may be engaged.
Bill Wylie-Kellermann is a nonviolent community activist, writer, and United Methodist pastor living in Wawiatanong/Detroit. He is also is part of the Community at Kirkridge. Bill was a friend of William Stringfellow’s and has done several books on him, including A Keeper of the Word: Selected Writings of William Stringfellow (Eerdmans, 1994), William Stringfellow: Essential Writings, (Orbis, 2013), Principalities in Particular: A Practical Theology of the Powers that Be (Fortress, 2017). He was married to Denise Griebler on Advent’s Joy Sunday, 2013. They have five grandchildren.
Sharon Delgado is a retired United Methodist pastor, author, and longtime activist, whose introduction to William Stringfellow’s writings in the 1980s shaped her theology and ministry deeply. Sharon addresses spiritual communities and secular audiences on issues related to corporate globalization, climate change, economic and environmental justice, and peacemaking, while pointing in the direction of hope in action. She has had many articles published on these themes and is author of The Cross in the Midst of Creation (2022), Shaking the Gates of Hell (Second Edition, 2020), and Love in a Time of Climate Change. Sharon lives in rural Northern California with her husband Guarionex Delgado, near their children and grandchildren.
Registration deadline April 10. Register here.