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2018 Conference Update: The featured lineup

01 Dec 2017 2:51 PM | Christine Hides (Administrator)

Curious.Church, the 2018 CEF national conference, features an outstanding lineup of speakers & artists. Read more about them below. As a bonus, each purchase you make through the links below supports the work of CEF.  Inspired by the lineup? Register before January 31, 2018 for the best rate!

Brian McLaren

Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity” – just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good. He is an Auburn Senior Fellow and a leader in the Convergence Network, through which he is developing an innovative training/mentoring program for pastors, church planters, and lay leaders called Convergence Leadership Project. He works closely with the Center for Progressive Renewal/Convergence, the Wild Goose Festival and the Fair Food Program‘s Faith Working Group.

John Roberto

John Roberto is the president and founder of LifelongFaith Associates, an organization dedicated to nurturing faith growth for all ages and generations in the parish and at home. John is the editor of Lifelong Faith, a quarterly journal, works as a consultant to churches and national organizations, teaches courses in lifelong faith formation, conducts workshops across the U.S., and is the author of books and program manuals in youth ministry, family ministry, and intergenerational faith formation. John is coordinator for the Faith Formation 2020 Initiative (www.faithformation2020.net); and also works on the Vibrant Faith Ministries team as project coordinator of the Faith Formation Learning Exchange (www.faithformationlearningexchange.net). 

Mary Scifres

Mary Scifres is an internationally-recognized speaker, teacher & author, bringing both inspiration & expertise for 21st century leadership. As a motivational speaker, Mary inspires hope with her enthusiasm, her unwavering faith in people, and her undaunted confidence in the future. With an engaging, relational style, Mary ignites creativity from the stage as well as the boardroom, helping audiences recognize and explore possibilities for themselves and their organization.

​As an expert in generational theory, Mary diagnoses systemic troubles that arise from intergenerational differences in work ethos and convention. Working with management teams to bridge the generational gap between older, more experienced leaders, and younger, emerging leaders, Mary unleashes the innovative potential of leaders, both old and young, and strengthens the bonds of community and cooperation.

Carrie Newcomer:

Carrie Newcomer’s songwriting has impressed the likes of Billboard, USA Today, and Rolling Stone, which wrote that she “asks all the right questions.” Newcomer speaks and teaches about creativity, vocation, activism, and spirituality at colleges, conventions and retreats. She has shared the stage with performers like Alison Krauss and writers like Parker J. Palmer, Jill Bolte Taylor, Philip Gulley, Scott Russell Sanders, Rabbi Sandy Sasso and Barbara Kingsolver. Newcomer has written two collections of essays and poetry as companion pieces to recent albums: A Permeable Life: Poems and Essays, and The Beautiful Not Yet: Essays, Poems and Lyrics. In 2016, Goshen College awarded her with an honorary degree of Bachelor’s of Music in Social Change during a ceremony in which she delivered the college’s commencement speech. Newcomer lives in Indiana.


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