NC United Methodist Renewal Groups Host Ecumenical John Paul II ‘Theology of the Body’ Seminar

Thu May 7, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

May 7, 2009 ( - The United Methodist renewal groups Lifewatch and Transforming Congregations have announced that they will host an educational seminar on May 21 in New Bern, NC entitled "Theology of the Body: An Ecumenical Introduction to John Paul II’s Teaching."

Paul J. Griffiths, Warren Professor of Catholic Theology at Duke Divinity School, will deliver the keynote address. He will explore the late Pope’s key concepts and discuss such questions as: What is the real dignity of the created human person? Why were we created male and female, and what does that teach us about God? What is the deepest meaning of human sexuality, and how does spousal love reflect divine love?

"United Methodists and other Mainline believers have been arguing over abortion and homosexuality for decades," said Rev. Karen Booth, Executive Director of Transforming Congregations, "but we haven’t done a very good job of explaining why the arguments even matter.

"John Paul II’s Theology of the Body has a profound message for all Christians about God’s created intent for men and women. It gives us the tools we need to reexamine and challenge our post- modern cultural assumptions about human life and sex."

Delivered from 1979-1984 in a series of Wednesday audiences, Theology of the Body was the first major teaching of John Paul’s pontificate. Papal biographer George Weigel described it as a "kind of theological time bomb set to go off with dramatic consequences, sometime in the third millennium of the Church."

The Lifewatch/Transforming Congregations seminar will be held at the New Bern Riverfront Hilton (formerly Sheraton) Hotel and Marina, 100 Middle Street, New Bern NC. Visit the Lifewatch web site at or contact Rev. Paul Stallsworth at 252-726-2175 for more information.

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