Public Lectures and Events

These events are free and open to the public.

SCHEDULE UPDATE: The Dawe Lecture originally scheduled for March 16, 2020, has been postponed to March 1, 2022.


The 2022 Dawe Lecture “Cruciform Mindfulness”

Presenter: Dr. Roger Gench, Theologian in Residence, Second Presbyterian Church

Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2022, 7:30 p.m.

Location: Watts Chapel, Union Presbyterian Seminary, 3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA

About the Lecture:

Dr. Roger Gench will explore the connection between the Buddhist notion of mindfulness and Christian theology and spirituality of the cross.  It will articulate a foundation for the Christian life in which activism and spirituality are integrally related, part of the same footprint, rather than disconnected or addenda to each other.

About the Presenter:

Roger Gench retired in 2019 from seventeen years of service as the senior pastor of The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington DC. He has also served as the pastor of Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland.  He has spent the last thirty years connecting the contemplative arts and theological reflection to the practice of community organizing.  He currently serves as Theologian in Residence at Second Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia. He is an alum of Union Presbyterian Seminary, where he completed a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics.

Click here to view the event flyer.

The Dawe Lecture series is funded through The Donald and Nancy Dawe Fund for Emotional and Ethical Growth. The Fund was established thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Coleman Longan honoring Donald and Nancy Dawe. Dr. Dawe was professor emeritus of Union Presbyterian Seminary until his death in 2012.

The lecture series, which is held annually at Union Presbyterian Seminary, pays tribute to Dr. and Mrs. Dawe and promotes ethical and religious understanding. Because of Professor Dawe’s long-standing interest and commitments in the area of multi-religious and multi-cultural understanding and interfaith dialogue, this lecture series seeks to contribute to deepened awareness and insight in these areas of intellectual and especially practical religious concern.


Previous Carl Howie Center Events – October 14 – 15, 2019

Our 2019 Howie Center Events leaders were The Many, a musical group passionate about creating music for people to sing together about peace and justice and a world where all belong.

The Many is a creative collective that believes there is power in singing together – “it changes things inside us and around us” – and their vision is to create music we can sing together that’s honest, full of questions, full of faith and doubt, full of longing. These are not songs about a God who only loves some of us.  This is not head in the clouds “worship music” – but feet on the ground, heart in hands, scars revealed, wild and holy, liturgically-seasoned music of resistance, reconciliation and restoration. This is music made for people to sing with each other, in churches, in living rooms, in basements and bars…anywhere, everywhere… in spirit and in truth.

The Many features vocalists, Darren Calhoun, Leslie Michele and Hannah Rand (pictured above), along with guests and collaborators. Gary and Lenora Rand are co-directors of The Plural Guild, the music/arts/liturgy resource group which produces The Many.

The full schedule of events for the 2019 Howie Center Events was as follows:

  • Monday, October 14, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. – Workshop, Worship as a Catalyst for Social Justice: Creating Liturgy for Justice/Inclusion
  • Monday, October 14, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – An Evening with The Many: Worship, with Teaching and Q & A Sessions
  • Tuesday, October 15, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. – Creative Workshop Choices (participants select one)
    • Worship Song-writing / Worship Song-selection, or
    • Writing Liturgy
  • Tuesday, October 15, 11:00 a.m. – noon – Panel Discussion with the Many, facilitated by Professor Rich Voelz

To view the full workshop and event descriptions, click here.

The Howie Center Events are free and open to all and are designed to bring community members together through the intersection of science, art, and theology. In addition to the Howie Center Events, the Many will also be leading Community Worship on the Richmond campus in Lake Chapel in the Early Center on Wednesday, October 16, at 11:45 a.m.

The Carl Howie Center for Science, Art, and Theology sponsors presentations through which church leaders (including seminarians) recognize and engage the insights and implications of the interplay of science, art, and theology for theological expression and the practice of ministry.  The Center generously provides funding for lectures, seminars, and displays at Union Presbyterian Seminary once or twice a year, featuring artists, scientists, and/or theologians in conversation about a particular topic.