November 23, 2016

Hate or Hospitality: A Community Conversation

Join us for our Fall 2017 Discussion Panel:

 October 1, 2017, at Putnam City Original Auditorium

5300 NW 50th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73122

Featuring our panelists:

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Dr. Richard Beck

Richard Beck is an author, speaker, blogger and Professor of Psychology at Abilene Christian University. Beyond his books –Unclean, The Authenticity of Faith, The Slavery of Death, and Reviving Old Scratch–Richard’s published research covers topics as diverse as the psychology of profanity to judgments of Christian art to attachment to God. Every Monday Richard leads a bible study for fifty inmates at the maximum security French-Robertson unit. And Monday-Friday on his popular blog Experimental Theology Richard will spend enormous amounts of time writing about the theology of Johnny Cash, the demonology of Scooby-Doo or his latest bible class on monsters.
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Imam Imad Enchassi

Dr. Imam Imad Enchassi grew up in the Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon. His experiences as a child surrounded by war and conflict have shaped his passion as an adult for promoting unity and understanding. When asked about living through the massacres in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, Enchassi says, “Sometimes, I think God exposed me to so much hatred and violence so that I can be a voice for love and peace.”

After moving to the United States at the age of seventeen, Enchassi began a long journey in education, receiving business management degrees from South Plains College and Southern Nazarene University and, then, completing his masters in management from the University of Phoenix. He used those degrees to excel in the restaurant industry as a regional director and advisor for nearly two decades.

In 2004, Enchassi made a career move, turning his previous part-time volunteering activities into a full-time commitment by becoming the founder and executive director of the Mercy Education Foundation – a multi-million dollar project creating the first accredited Islamic school of Oklahoma City. During that time, he also became the founder, imam, and president of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City (ISGOC). In that role, he studied overseas at the Daawa University Institute and the University Institute for Islamic Studies in Lebanon, where he received his bachelors, masters and doctorate degree in Islamic Studies. In addition, he earned a certificate of “Apostolic Succession”*  earned by a selected few.

Besides being the senior Imam at ISGOC, the chairman of Islamic studies and Chaplain at Oklahoma City University, an adjunct professor of Islamic studies at both Phillips Theological Seminary and St. Paul School of Theology, advisory board member of CAIR, advisory board member of Wilbery School of Religion (Oklahoma City University), Enchassi is also in charge of organizing outreach and curriculum with the Muslim and non-Muslim communities throughout the state of Oklahoma. He is a highly sought after public speaker, and he is regularly booked to address audiences at academic institutions, government functions, and interfaith events to offer his expertise in Muslim principles, comparative religions, interfaith dialogue and human rights.

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Rev. Lori Walke

Rev. Lori Allen Walke, a native of the Bible Belt and raised a Baptist, preaches and teaches progressive Christianity with a Southern style.  Now serving as the Associate Minister at Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, Lori was a scholarship athlete for Oklahoma State University, where she received her undergraduate degree in Political Science (2005) and graduate degree in Health Care Administration (2006). Passionate about social justice and the public good, she earned her Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 2009 and passed the Oklahoma Bar exam the same year.

Like many in the Millennial Generation, Lori was brought up as a conservative Christian and grew dissatisfied with traditional answers and expectations. After sifting through the good, the bad, and the ugly, she still felt an undeniable pull towards the Church and parish ministry.  She earned her Masters of Divinity from Philips Theological Seminary (2011) and was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2012.  She is a member of the UCC’s Next Generation Leadership Initiative, a 20-year focus on energizing and sustaining younger, emerging UCC local church pastors.  Lori lives in Oklahoma City with her philosophy-loving attorney spouse, Collin Walke, and their beloved mutt, Tenzin.