Better Know a Theologian: An Introduction to the Life & Thought of Dorothy Day


“Don’t call me a saint. I don’t want to be dismissed that easily.”

The Academy for Faith & Life at Brentwood Christian Church presents “Better Know a Theologian: An Introduction to the Life & Thought of Dorothy Day”

The purpose of this series is to help participants become familiar with key theologians in the Christian tradition, particularly those whose work is of particular significance for the church and society.

In this introduction to the life and thought of Dorothy Day, we will follow the lead of scholars like Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty (author of Dorothy Day for Armchair Theologians) to engage how “Day’s tireless work on behalf of the marginalized arose from and articulates a deeply theological commitment to the Reign of God and the dignity of all God’s children.”

“If theology is about more than books and libraries, lecture halls and dusty debates; if theology is instead about lived experience, especially the experiences of those living at the margins of society’s care and concern; if, in short, theology is about the real needs of real people, then Dorothy Day was one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century. In spite of having no formal training in theology, Day’s work and writing on behalf of the poor and oppressed bears eloquent testimony to the creativity and courage of her theological vision. Her journalism for the Catholic Worker and her advocacy for the poor, women, ethnic minorities, and others come together to form a consistent theology of the church and its ministry to the world.”

About the Academy for Faith & Life
The Academy for Faith and Life at Brentwood Christian Church provides an opportunity for participants from both the congregation and the wider community to engage theological and ethical topics in an in-depth manner not usually found in conventional church study groups. The Academy for Faith and Life explores topics related to religion and culture that is similar to what might be found at the university (and at times even the seminary) level. It provides tools for cultivating individual and societal transformation, all based on an approach to Christianity that values both the mind and the heart.

Pope Francis commenting on the legacy of Dorothy Day:

“Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.”

To sign up or learn more, please contact the church office.


Building a Just & Inclusive Community

If your heart beats for a just and inclusive community that celebrates the dignity and equality at the center of Christ’s love, then you’ll want to know about some wonderful opportunities taking place in Springfield October 6-10.

Oct. 6, 1:00 p.m.
Pro-Reconciliation/Anti-Racism Workshop

layout.header.leftDrury University is offering a special half-day workshop on the critical issues of racism and systemic injustice, in partnership with the Pro-Reconciliation/Anti-Reconciliation Team. The afternoon will include speakers, video, interactive experiences and conversation. Attendees will learn to

  • Name and understand key terms/concepts related to racism
  • Describe contemporary and historic examples of institutional racism, white privilege, civil and human rights in the U.S.
  • Articulate a biblical foundation for justice ministry
  • Engage in informed dialogue about current issues of racism and reconciliation in the U.S. and in local communities
  • Begin to develop personal and community-based “Next Steps” to address systemic racism in participants’ own communities.
  • Participants in this workshop will likely be interested in the conversations on race in America that Lyle Foster is currently facilitating on Thursday evenings at Big Momma’s.

Drury University
900 N. Benton
Springfield, MO 65802

Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m.
sharonwatkins-small-225x300The Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), will speak on understanding the role of church as being a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. She is the author of Whole: A call for unity in our fragmented world. In the book, Dr. Watkins brings stories from her wide experience in Christian and interfaith circles, and she shares an invitation to live out God’s unconditional love that heals divisions and divisiveness in both North America and the global community. At the invitation of then President-Elect Barack Obama, Dr. Watkins preached at the National Prayer Service in Washington, D.C. on January 21, 2009, the day after his inauguration. She also served a term on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and offered the call to worship at the President’s second National Prayer Service in 2013.

Central Christian Church
1475 N. Washington
Springfield, MO 65802

Oct. 9, 10:00 a.m.
mjRev. Dr. Mark Johnston, Executive Director of the GLAD Alliance (Gay, Lesbian, and Affirming Disciples), will speak on the importance of providing inclusive places of welcome and hospitality for LGBTQ people. Dr. Johnston earned his Ph.D. in Pastoral Psychology from Boston University in 1993, and is a licensed psychologist in Massachusetts. He worked as a therapist with LGBT clients and their families for over 25 years before accepting the call as Executive Director of the Open & Affirming Ministry program in July of 2013. He now lives in San Francisco with his partner Shannon Halkyard and their stubborn and energetic Jack Russell Terrier Fannie Mae. He is an avid sailor, cyclist, and scuba diver, and wannabe linguist.

Brentwood Christian Church
1900 E. Barataria
Springfield, MO 65804

Oct. 9, 6:30 p.m.

© Jim Mayfield 2007

© Jim Mayfield 2007

Dr. Teresa Hornsby, professor at Drury University, will lead a conversation on her new book, Transgender, Intersex & Biblical Interpretation. Dr. Hornsby received her Masters of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School, as well as a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies from Vanderbilt University. Her research centers primarily on the topics of sexuality and gender in the Bible. When not teaching, researching and writing, she brews beer and plays drums in a Riot Grrrl band.

Brentwood Christian Church
1900 E. Barataria
Springfield, MO 65804

Conversations on race in the U.S., facilitated by Lyle Foster

Lyle Foster

Lyle Foster

If you have been longing to discuss issues of race in our country and our city, your opportunity has come.

Lyle Foster, owner of Big Momma’s Coffee and Espresso Bar and a member of the sociology faculty at Missouri State University, will lead a series of Community Conversations on Thursday evenings this fall.

“The United States is in a period of challenge and difficulty when it comes to issues of race and inclusion in our society,” Lyle says. “In our city, many wonder if this is the future or if there is anything that we can do to make a difference, at least in Springfield. The talks are intended to be an open forum to talk honestly about how we got here and maybe explore a few basic steps to understand and pursue some healing.”

The conversation series will begin at 7 pm, Thursday, Sept. 8, at Big Momma’s, 217 E. Commercial St., and, depending on interest, continue for six weeks. Families are welcome, but Lyle suggests that children be at least 12 years old because of the subject matter. For more information, call 417-865-9911.

Find your place at The Table, a new worship service beginning Oct. 12

Brentwood Table LogoWe invite you to find your place around the Table of Christ’s unconditional love, where we celebrate the community & equality at the heart of Jesus’ life & ministry that inspires us today. Sundays at 10 a.m. beginning Oct. 12th.

Why does Brentwood call itself a Bible Belt Alternative?
Newcomers will find that our congregation serves as a progressive, Bible Belt Alternative in the Springfield area. We are an open and affirming congregation that believes church should be a place where everyone is welcome, regardless of race, age, status, sexual orientation or gender. We take the Bible seriously but not always literally, believing that faith should value both the mind and the heart (you can learn more about our beliefs here and our vision here).

How do I know which worship service to visit?
If you are new to Brentwood and are wondering which of our three Sunday worship services you’d like to visit, you might wish to head on over to our worship page where you can find a description of each service. We have a traditional worship service at 9:00 a.m., a progressive worship service at 11:00 a.m. (each of which meet in the upstairs sanctuary), and, beginning Oct. 12, the Table at 10:00 a.m. (which will meet in our downstairs worship space — if you visit the Table, use the south doors adjacent to the parking lot in the back of the church building).

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

You are invited to participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. March and Celebration on Monday, January 21. The march, sponsored annually by the Springfield chapter of the NAACP, will begin at the Mediacom Ice Park at 9:30 am. The ice park will open at 8:45 am for marchers to gather. The route has changed this year – marchers will head west to Jefferson Street after crossing the MLK Bridge – and will conclude at the Gillioz Theater with a celebration of diversity and inclusion.