Clarence Jordan Symposium 2018 - Koinonia Farm

Clarence Jordan Symposium 2018 - Koinonia Farm

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SAVE THE DATE!

Attend the Clarence Jordan Symposium

March 8-10, 2018

Celebrate Koinonia Farm’s 75th Birthday

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Join us in Americus, Georgia, for a gathering to celebrate Clarence Jordan’s prophetic witness by plotting how to build up a new world of peace, community, and racial justice today. In addition to keynotes from leaders of today’s God Movement, the Symposium will offer trainings in nonviolent direct action, moral fusion organizing, and sustaining practices for Christian community.

Intensive pre-symposium trainings will be offered at Koinonia Farm during the day on Thursday, March 8th. Get training in direct-action nonviolence with Fellowship of Reconciliation staff who were in Charlottesville last summer

Our Symposium will be hosted Thursday evening thru Saturday afternoon in Americus, Georgia at the First Baptist Church and the First Methodist Church. It is especially moving to have these two churches host this special event. In 1965, deacons at First Baptist removed a mixed-race group of Koinonia members from a Christmas service. In the fall of 1968, congregants at First Methodist blocked the church doors to prevent African Americans, Clarence Jordan and others from entering.

In plenary sessions, we’ll join song leaders and cultural artists to imagine the new world that God makes possible and hear messages from the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, Kathy Kelly, Ruby Sales, Shane Claiborne, and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.

In workshops, we’ll engage in intergenerational conversation about where we are and where we go from here, inviting elders from the Southern freedom movement to engage with young leaders from today’s justice movements. Ruby Sales will be with us throughout the Symposium as a resident elder, guiding these conversations with her hindsight, insight, and foresight.

On Friday evening, your Symposium registration includes a seat at the historic Rylander Theater for Sumter Player’s live production of The Cotton Patch Gospel Musical, based on Clarence Jordan’s Southern translation of the Gospel story.

Chaired by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, the Symposium is the culminating celebration of Koinonia Farm’s 75th birthday.

Registration includes lunch on Friday and Saturday as well as access to all Symposium events and activities. Pre-Symposium trainings at Koinonia Farm on Thursday require a separate registration. Stay over for a birthday party and a Koinonia Family Reunion to celebrate Koinonia’s 75th birthday on Sunday (also requires a separate registration).

Joining Koinonia Farm as co-hosts are:REGISTER

School for Conversion

Repairers of the Breach

Fellowship of Reconciliation

Red Letter Christians

Pre-Symposium Schedule:

Thursday, March 8th — Pre-Symposium Events will all be held at Koinonia Farm
7:30 am – Registration/Check/Continental Breakfast at Koinonia Farm

9:00 am – Workshops:
Nonviolent Direct Action – Matt Meyer & Sahar Alsalahni
Moral Fusion Organizing – William Barber & Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
Intentional Community – Shane Claiborne, Bren Dubay, & Friends

12:00 pm – Lunch

2:00 pm – All participants come together for facilitated conversation on the Poor People’s Campaign and building up a new world together.

 

Symposium Schedule:

SYMPOSIUM AT FIRST BAPTIST & FIRST METHODIST

Thursday, March 8th

5:00 pm – Registration/Check in at First Methodist Church

6:30 pm – Symposium Opening at First Baptist Church

Our opening night’s mass meeting with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, co-chair the “Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival” and Ruby Sales, resident elder of the Symposium.

 

Friday, March 9th

8:00am- Registration/Check-in at First Methodist Church

9:00 am – Sharing Circles

11:00 am – Building Up Justice with Anton Flores, co-founder of Alterna, witnesses from the New Sanctuary Movement & Ruby Sales; Testimony from Arturo

12:30 pm – Lunch at First Baptist & First Methodist

2:00 pm – Building Up Peace with Kathy Kelly, veteran peace activist and founder of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, witnesses from the Fellowship of Reconciliation & Ruby Sales; Testimonies from Jonah McDonald, Peacebuilders Camp, and Sahar Alsahlani, FOR

4:00 pm – Koinonia Farm tour & Workshops

8:00 pm – Cotton Patch Gospel Musical at the Rylander Theater

 

Saturday, March 10th

9:00 am – Sharing Circles

11:00 am – Building Up Community with Shane Claiborne, witnesses from the new monasticism & Ruby Sales; testimony from David Johnson and the Bruderhof

12:30 am – Lunch at First Baptist & First Methodist

2:00 pm – Workshops, sharing circles, & Koinonia Farm tour

4:00 pm – Mass Meeting and Symposium closing, led by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and co-hosts.

During the Symposium, to facilitate on-going reflection, questions from resident elder Ruby Sales will be processed in intergenerational sharing circles during workshop times.

Information and skill-sharing will also be offered on themes including:

“Friendship-driven Politics” with Marcus Rempel

“Roots and power of African-American Resistance & Worship,” with Josina Guess, Lora and Solomon Smothers

“Love Crosses Borders,” with Anton Flores-Maisonet

“Finding Freedom From Slaveholder Religion,” with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

“The Movement Makes Us Human,” Joanna Shenk on the wisdom of Dr. Vincent Harding

“Vocation as Recovery, Resistance, and Renovation,” with Tim Otto and friends

For more details about speakers & schedule, visit School for Conversion’s event page.

Koinonia Family Reunion:

Sunday, March 11th

11:00 am – Welcome & Brunch

12:30 pm – Gather around the farm to reminisce, to see old friends or make new ones, to watch Briars in the Cotton Patch, to meet with today’s members for a question and answer session. Other than sharing a meal together, we are leaving the day fairly unstructured to leave plenty of time for conversation.

6:00 pm – For those who can stay, you are welcome to join the community for Gathered Worship.

Workshops:

FRIDAY

From Politically-Driven Friendship to Friendship-Driven Politics with Marcus Rempel

Through songs, embodied exercises, stories and analysis, this workshop will take participants through a three-stage process to awaken our imaginations to a way of being together that is not based in being over against the other, but proceeds from being with the other. The insights of Christian thinkers Ivan Illich and Rene Girard form the theoretical basis for this exploration.

Marcus Rempel is an author, speaker, songwriter and founding member of Ploughshares Community Farm in rural Manitoba, where he lives with is wife and teenage daughters. The author of Life at the End of Us Versus Them, Marcus spends summers market gardening and winters cutting wood and pursuing various creative projects.


Reclaiming Kumbayah: The Roots and Power of African American Resistance & Worship (Friday Only) with Josina Guess, Lora & Solomon Smothers

In a mixture of story telling and song, this workshop will explore the roots of popular freedom and protest songs that emerged from African American communities in the South and have been embraced as freedom songs by people around the world. Participants will learn some original songs from contemporary freedom movements as well.

Josina Guess is a freelance writer and homesteader with her husband and children in Comer, GA. A former member of the Koinonia Board, she lived for six years at Jubilee Partners, a daughter community of Koinonia. Josina was born in Alabama, grew up in Washington, DC and learned the Freedom Song tradition from Ysaye Maria Barnwell and Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Lora Smothers teaches at Athens Christian School. Former CEO of the Freedom to Grow Unschool in Hull, GA, she loves to sing with her husband, Solomon Smothers. Solomon is the regional director of Action Ministry in Athens, GA. He enjoys writing songs and singing with Lora and their daughter.

 

Executing Grace with Shane Claiborne (Friday only)

Based on his exploration of justice, retribution, and redemption, detailed in his book Executing Grace, Shane Claiborne offers a powerful and persuasive appeal for the abolition of the death penalty. Shane tells stories of horrific pain and heroic grace. He recounts interviews with victims of violent crimes, survivors of death row, lawyers, experts, and even an executioner. Shane explores the contrast between punitive justice and restorative justice, questioning our notions of fairness, revenge, and absolution. These stories raise questions like: Should we kill those who kill to show that it’s wrong to kill? Is anyone beyond redemption? What does it look like when grace gets the last word?

Shane is a prominent speaker, activist, and best-selling author. He worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and founded The Simple Way in Philadelphia. Shane heads up Red Letter Christians (RLC), a movement of folks who are committed to living “as if Jesus meant the things he said.” RLC is a co-host of this event and is partnering with local groups to host Jesus & Justice Revivals across America.

 

Love Crosses Borders with Anton Flores-Maisonet (Friday only)

When fear seeks to erect walls in our hearts, laws, and borders, the God movement must demonstrate a prophetic alternative with a fierce love. For over 15 years, Casa Alterna has lived a life of welcoming hospitality to newcomers from Latin America. Via stories that inspire, Anton will remind us how love crosses borders. With particular emphasis on solidarity with immigrant communities, every participant can be informed and inspired to counteract a culture of fear with incarnated love.

Anton Flores-Maisonet is co-founder of Casa Alterna, a hospitality house in Georgia devoted to faithful acts of mercy and justice alongside its Latinx neighbors. He has been honored by two Spanish-language newspapers as “Person of the Year,” alongside Alterna, whic was named “Organization of the Year” by Mundo Hispánico, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in Atlanta. Anton holds degrees in social work from Georgia State University and the University of Georgia.

 

We Belong Together: Clarence Jordan’s vision for unity among American intentional communities with David Johnson of the Bruderhof

Although well-known for his leadership in the struggle for racial reconciliation, Clarence Jordan’s greatest hope lay outside the realm of activism and protest. Inspired by the Sermon on the Mount and Acts 2 and 4, he believed that the solution to the problems of racism, war, and poverty was a communal life of koinonia, not merely the attainment of equal rights. In pursuit of this vision, Clarence participated in the vibrant conversation between the American intentional communities of his day, including Celo, Forest River colony, Macedonia, and Woodcrest Bruderhof. In this mutually enriching exchange, Clarence was at his best.

What can the intentional community movement of our day learn from Clarence’s passion for inter-communal unity? How can the lives of our communities grow and be strengthened through similar exchanges today? Join this collaborative workshop to gain new insights into how you can be part of something bigger, and bring your questions, ideas, anxieties, and inspirations.

David was born in Koinonia before relocating with his family to North Dakota at age 5. A Bruderhof member and lifelong teacher, he has worked with children and young people in areas as diverse as Appalachia, Nigeria, and Thailand. He is currently a guidance counselor at the Mount Academy in upstate New York.

 

The Movement Makes Us Human: Engaging the Wisdom of Dr. Vincent Harding with Joanna Shenk

This workshop is an opportunity to engage with the wisdom of movement elder, Dr. Vincent Harding. In 2011 Harding was interviewed at length about his formation in the movement, his part in writing the Beyond Vietnam speech, and his thoughts on nonviolence, racism and community-building. We will use excerpts from the interview, recently published in book form as “The Movement Makes Us Human,” to wrestle with our justice work today. What communities have shaped us? Is pacifism a cop-out for privileged people? Is there gift in whiteness? What does it take to create robust, diverse communities?

Joanna Shenk is associate pastor at First Mennonite Church of San Francisco. She is author of Widening the Circle: Experiments in Christian Discipleship and The Movement Makes Us Human: An Interview with Dr. Vincent Harding on Mennonites, Vietnam and MLK. She is co-producer of The Iconocast podcast and has written for Sojourners, Geez, The Christian Century and The Mennonite.

 

 Farm Tour: Guided Tour of Koinonia
Catch the Trolley in front of First Methodist Church every 40min during  the workshop time. It will deliver you to the farm, where members of the community will give you a guided tour of their history and present life together.

 

SATURDAY

From Politically-Driven Friendship to Friendship-Driven Politics with Marcus Rempel
Same as Friday’s workshop by the same title


Finding Freedom From Slaveholder Religion (Saturday Only) with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Drawing on Frederick Doulgass’ distinction between slaveholder religion and the Christianity of Christ, Jonathan reads the witness of Clarence Jordan and Koinonia Farm as an illuminating example of how we can find freedom from slaveholder religion in the present. In partnership with IVP, this workshop is the official launch of Jonathan’s book Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom From Slaveholder Religion.

Jonathan directs the School for Conversion, a co-host of this event. He is an Associate Minister at St. Johns Missionary Baptist Church and lives with his family and other friends at the Rutba House in Durham, North Carolina. Jonathan serves on the Steering Committee of the “Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival” and is a member of both Red Letter Christians and the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

 

We Belong Together: Clarence Jordan’s vision for unity among American intentional communities with David Johnson of the Bruderhof
Same as Friday’s Workshop by the same title

 

 

The Movement Makes Us Human: Engaging the Wisdom of Dr. Vincent Harding with Joanna Shenk
Same as Friday’s Workshop by the same title

 

Vocation as Recovery, Resistance, and Renovation (Saturday Only) with Tim Otto and Josina Guess

Explore the contribution you can make to the world through this workshop on calling and jobs. Panelists will offer testimonies as to how they’ve escaped being a cog in the machine, and will help you strategize your own path to an adventursome vocation.

Tim Otto is a pastor and author at the Church of the Sojourners, an intentional Church Community in San Francisco, which has been a sister community to Koinonia Partners since it re-launched as an intentional Christian community. He will be joined by members of the Sojourners community.

 

Farm Tour: Guided Tour of Koinonia
Catch the Trolley in front of First Methodist Church every 40min during  the workshop time. It will deliver you to the farm, where members of the community will give you a guided tour of their history and present life together.

Plenary Speakers:

William J. Barber, II

Rev. Barber is pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. He is President and Senior Lecturer at Repairers of the Breach, a co-host of this event. The chief architect of “Moral Mondays” in North Carolina, Rev. Barber was consecrated bishop in 2017 to train and encourage a “school of prophets” who are dedicated to changing the moral narrative in America. He is the author of The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement.

Ruby Sales

Ruby is a highly-trained, experienced, and deeply-committed social activist, scholar, administrator, manager, public theologian, and educator in the areas of Civil, Gender, and other Human Rights. With a proven track record in conflict resolution and consensus building, Ruby has preached around the country on race, class, gender, and reconciliation, and she has done ground-breaking work on community and non-violence formation. She also serves as a national convener of the Every Church A Peace Church Movement and is a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a co-host of this event.

Anton Flores-Maisonet

 Anton is co-founder of Casa Alterna, a hospitality house in Georgia devoted to faithful acts of mercy and justice alongside its Latinx neighbors. He has been honored by two Spanish-language newspapers as “Person of the Year,” alongside Alterna, whic was named “Organization of the Year” by Mundo Hispánico, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in Atlanta. Anton holds degrees in social work from Georgia State University and the University of Georgia.

Kathy Kelly 

Kathy has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times since 2000. In 1996 she helped to found Voices in the Wilderness to bear witness to peace in US war zones—work that she continues today with Voices for Creative Nonviolence. She speaks often about her experiences with people directly impacted by the US war economy and is the author of Other Lands Have Dreams. Kathy is also a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a co-host of this event.

Shane Claiborne

Shane is a prominent speaker, activist, and best-selling author. He worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and founded The Simple Way in Philadelphia. Shane heads up Red Letter Christians (RLC), a movement of folks who are committed to living “as if Jesus meant the things he said.” RLC is a co-host of this event and is partnering with local groups to host Jesus & Justice Revivals across America. 

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Jonathan directs the School for Conversion, a co-host of this event. He is an Associate Minister at St. Johns Missionary Baptist Church and lives with his family and other friends at the Rutba House in Durham, North Carolina. Jonathan serves on the Steering Committee of the “Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival” and is a member of both Red Letter Christians and the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

 

All the guest rooms at Koinonia Farm have been booked. There are still rooms available at area hotels with special rates for Symposium guests:

Area Hotel Information:

The following local hotels have a special rate under “Koinonia Farm” and breakfast is included:

Quality Inn
1205 S. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd.
Americus GA 31719
229-924-4431
Room rate is $74.00 + tax for reservations made by 2/22/2018

Hampton Inn
1609 East Lamar Street
Americus GA 31709
229-924-3890
Room rate is $89.00 + tax for reservations made by 3/1/2018

Days Inn
1605 East Lamar Street
Americus GA 31709
229-924-4001
Room rate is $77.00 + tax for reservations made by 2/18/2018

The Windsor Hotel has specials rates under “CJS” and does not include breakfast:

The Windsor Hotel
125 West Lamar Street
Americus GA 31709
229-924-1555
Room rates are $103.49 + tax and $206.99 + tax (for suites) for reservations made by 2/8/2018.

 

Until then:

REGISTER FOR THE SYMPOSIUM


Educational offerings are a part of what we do at Koinonia Farm. Thank you for partnering with us to make the 2018 Clarence Jordan Symposium possible by making a donation. Thank you!

 


Or you may use PayPal:


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We use Stripe and PayPal to process our online donations. If you prefer not to make a payment online, that’s no problem! Just give us a call or send a check to:

Koinonia Farm
1324 GA Hwy 49 South
Americus, GA 31719
877.738.1741
[email protected]