What does it mean to be sent forth as Christians today? To mark its 30th anniversary, the Craigville Colloquy will encourage participants and presenters to wrestle with that age-old question of mission, outreach and interaction in the world outside the church.
First gathering to explore basic theological matters in the United Church of Christ, the Colloquy has expanded beyond the UCC as an ecumenical gathering for Christian pastors, teachers, lay leaders and seminary students.
"Clergy and laity from across the Northeast and Midwest come back again and again to Craigville because it's an experience that combines intellectual inquiry with rest for the body, mind and soul," said the Rev. Claudia Demick, who leads the planning committee. "It combines the elements of a theological conference, a spiritual retreat, and a summer vacation. In a church that's increasingly hungry for intellectual and spiritual nourishment, the Colloquy has a lot to offer."
This summer's event, a week-long exploration of mission in the 21st-century church from July 15-19, will be held in historic Craigville Village on Cape Cod, Mass. The Rev. Reid Trulson, executive director for International Ministries of American Baptist Churches, is the keynote speaker, and the Rev. Shanell T. Smith, assistant professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Hartford Seminary, will lead Bible reflections.
For 30 years, the Colloquy has offered a unique opportunity for pastors, teachers, seminarians and laity to share a week in theological conversation and Bible study on a subject of importance. Open to members of any denomination, the Colloquy also gives participants a chance to relax with friends, family and colleagues. It offers three continuing-education units.
The colloquy has been held every summer since 1984 at the Craigville Retreat Center, a mission of the UCC's Massachusetts Conference. The quiet village includes Victorian cottages, a village green, and a historic Tabernacle — a simple 19th-century meeting house where Colloquy participants will gather for worship, presentations and workshops.