As we seek to be more inclusive as a congregation, you’re invited to attend a Bible workshop on inclusion and exclusion in the Bible led by the Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, president of Claremont School of Theology Saturday, March 3, 10 am-12 noon in Room H1.

The Bible is a complex and complicated anthology and does not provide easy answers to matters of belief, faith, and faithful living. Reading the Bible within its social, religious and historical contexts is important to arrive at understanding and the construction of meaning for our life and faith as we deal with issues of inclusion and exclusion.

The Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan is the 7th President and Professor of Hebrew Bible at Claremont School of Theology. He began his tenure on July 1, 2013. Before coming to CST, he was Dean and Professor of Hebrew Bible of the Theological School at Drew University from 2011 to 2013. He earned his Ph.D. in Old Testament studies at Emory University. Dr. Kuan’s research and teaching interests include ancient Israelite and Near Eastern history, Asian and Asian American hermeneutics, the Book of Job, as well as approaches to biblical instruction for the churches. His full bio is at the end of this post.

Participants at the workshop will:

  • Learn how to read the Bible within its social, religious and historical contexts.
  • Better understand issues of inclusion and exclusion from a Biblical perspective.
  • Find scripture-based answers to questions about who’s in and who’s out in the Kingdom of God.

At Paradise Valley United Methodist Church, we’re working to create a community of faith where everyone is valued and feels welcome. Our new invitational statement says, “We invite you to join us on a shared journey of life and faith, open to all, regardless of age, ability, economics, color, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, politics, theology or anything else that might separate us from each other. Whoever you are and wherever you may be on your spiritual journey, you’re invited to walk with Christ in community with all of God’s children, and embrace the endless possibilities of God’s unconditional love.” This event is hosted by the Diversity Ministry Team. You’re invited to journey further into PVUMC’s vision to have a “love that crosses all barriers and embraces all people.”

This workshop is free and open to the public and may be of particular interest to other United Methodist Churches in the Desert Southwest Conference who are seeking ways to be more inclusive and looking for answers in scripture.

On-site childcare is available with a 48-hour advance reservation. Call 602.840.8360, ext 134. Call the number again if you need to cancel.

Rev. Dr. Kuan will also preach Sunday morning, March 4 at all three worship services.

Dr. Kuan’s Bio

Dr. Kuan previously served on the faculties of the Pacific School of Religion and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California from 1991 to 2010. He also served as Old Testament Editor for the multi-volume New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible from 2006 to 2009. He was a member of the Council of the Society of Biblical Literature from 2007 to 2012.

Dr. Kuan began his career serving as an associate pastor from 1980 to 1983 in Malaysia. In 2002, he became an ordained elder and full member of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. He was the chair of his annual conference Commission on Religion and Race from 2006 to 2010. He is a two-time delegate to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences, in 2004 and 2012. He served as a director of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry from 2004 to 2012, and as the Vice President of the board and chair of the Division of Higher Education from 2008 to 2012. He currently serves on the University Senate of The United Methodist Church and chairs the Commission on Theological Education.

As a theological educator, Rev. Kuan is a strong proponent of religious pluralism and passionately committed to justice issues in the global and local contexts. As a biblical scholar, Dr. Kuan has long been a visible advocate for LGBT equality in churches and society. Beginning in the early 1990s, he has been teaching against the misuse of biblical texts towards lesbian and gay Christians. He served as an expert witness both in the investigation of the Sacramento 68, a group of United Methodist clergy, who co-officiated the holy union of a lesbian couple and in the church trial of a lesbian clergy in Seattle. He has marched and spoken out publicly in rallies and press conferences, as an Asian Pacific Islander clergy in support of LGBT equality and marriage. He was honored by Asian & Pacific Islander Family Pride for “loving and supporting LGBT members despite sometimes strong social criticism and disapproval” in 2009. In 2004, the Reconciling Ministries of the California-Nevada Annual Conference named him the winner of the Turtle Award for “sticking his neck out” for the LGBTQ community. In 2011, the Conference Commission on Religion and Race of the California-Nevada Annual Conference presented him with the Melvin G. Talbert Award for Racial Justice.

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