St. Stephen’s is known for the quality, breadth and depth of speakers who visit the parish, including renowned theologians, writers, poets, and monks. Our speakers series has become a resource not only for this parish but for the larger church and the community.
Past speakers have included Barbara Brown Taylor, John Philip Newell, Harvey Cox, Anne Lamott, Mary Oliver, Jane Hirshfield, Jon Meacham, Becca Stevens, Martin Laird, Lauren Winner, Martin Smith, the brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, and many others.
All events are open to the general public. You do NOT have to be a member of St. Stephen's to attend. Many, though not all, of these events have a suggested donation, but please do not allow this to be a barrier--see the information at the bottom of this page about suggested donations.
Books by our speakers are available in the Bookshop @ St. Stephen's.
November 4, 2019, 7 p.m.: Dr. Louise Aronson
Author of 'Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life'
In the 21st century, what does it mean to be an elder? How old is old? 60? 70? Older? As people live longer, elderhood can encompass a much larger portion of a person's life than childhood and adolescence. What does this mean for us as individuals, and for our culture, as the proportion of the population of elders to children, youth, and adults continues to grow?
Dr. Aronson's book is a New York Times bestseller. This geriatrician and professor of medicine will be here to discuss her findings, and why she is so optimistic about aging. Reservations for her talk are available HERE. Please note: while we often suggest a donation of $25 for a major speaker, we want our community events to be available to all; for this event, we are providing an opportunity for you to select the amount you can donate. (If you want to donate even more, please call the parish office at 804.288.2867; we can take your reservation and donation by phone.)
In the meantime, read her book (available in our bookshop), and watch a recent interview on CBS This Morning.
Dr. Aronson has also been interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air With Terry Gross. Listen here.
Coming in 2020: Marilynne Robinson
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author will speak at St. Stephen's on October 1, 2020.
Robinson is the recipient of a 2012 National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama, for "her grace and intelligence in writing." She is the author of Gilead, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Home, winner of the Orange Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Lila, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her first novel, Housekeeping, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Robinson's nonfiction books include The Givenness of Things, When I Was a Child I Read Books, Absence of Mind, The Death of Adam, and Mother Country, which was nominated for a National Book Award. She teaches at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and lives in Iowa City.
Several of Robinson's books are available in the Bookshop @ St. Stephen's. Tickets for her talk will be available in the spring of 2020.
St. Stephen's also offers a variety of retreats and workshops and the Sunday Forum meets at 10:10 a.m. in the Large Fellowship Hall between our 9 and 11:15 a.m. services. The Forum often welcomes guest speakers; more details about the Forum schedule for 2019-20 will be available here.
A word about suggested donations
We suggest a donation of $25 to attend most events (unless noted otherwise); this usually covers the expenses of our bringing these outstanding writers, teachers and thought leaders to you. We want our speakers to be accessible to all, and we know that some people will be able to donate more than $25, and others less. If you plan to pay the suggested donation, you may reserve your place online. If you prefer to pay a different amount, please stop by the parish office to register, or call 804.288.2867.
Previous speakers in 2018-19
Former Lt. Gov. John Hager, September 18, 2018
Dr. Jean Twenge, October 11 (cancelled due to inclement weather)
Barkley Thompson, October 28
Paul-Gordon Chandler, November 11
John Philip Newell, November 11
Barbara Brown Taylor, November 15
Temple Cone, January 31, 2019
Pico Iyer, March 28, 2019
Please call the parish office at 804.288.2867 if you have questions.