Looking back on his first season as director of the Department of Religion, the Rev. Robert Franklin is tired. Tired, but happy and full of plans for the future.
Brothers- and sisters-in-arms march under a vaulted arch as music plays and children throw flower petals. It may sound like a Roman triumph, but it’s actually more of a literary one — all part of the festivities for the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle’s Recognition Day.
“I like to say that we use an angle of vision on the weekly themes,” said Joan Brown Campbell, director of Chautauqua Institution’s Department of Religion. “We use them to the extent possible, but they are designed for the morning lectures with a secular point of view. We try to provide an ethical base, a look at lived religion that people will find useful. Our lectures are from a humanitarian, ethical and spiritual point of view and are not just an extension of the morning themes.”
With three taps of the gavel, Chautauqua Institution President Thomas M. Becker will officially close the 2013 Season at Sunday’s 8 p.m. Sacred Song Service in the Amphitheater.
“Is it lawful to do good or harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or destroy it? When we read this text after the fact, the choice seems obvious, but Jesus’ response to his own question set the stage for his destruction,” the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell said.
“I told Tom Becker that this is best job I have ever had.”
In the midst of a very busy Chautauqua day, the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell sat down to reflect on her 14-year ministry as Chautauqua Institution’s director of the Department of Religion. Campbell will retire from her position at the end of the year.
After 14 years of collaborating with Joan Brown Campbell, organist Jared Jacobsen and the Chautauqua Choir will celebrate her contributions to Chautauqua Institution at this Sunday’s 8 p.m. Sacred Song Service in the Amphitheater. Campbell, the director of the Department of Religion, is retiring at the end of the year.
The Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, director of Chautauqua Institution’s Department of Religion, will serve as Week Nine’s chaplain in residence. She will preach at the 10:45 a.m. Sunday morning worship service in the Amphitheater, and she will also share her faith journey at the 5 p.m. Sunday Vespers in the Hall of Philosophy.
She will preach Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. for the daily morning worship service. Although morning worship services usually begin at 9:15 a.m., they will all start 15 minutes later during Week Nine to accommodate early-morning lectures related to the week’s health care theme.
“During the week, I will look at the Scriptures and reflect on the choices people make,” Campbell said. “Scripture calls us to choose life when faced with choices. I think the most interesting one will be on Mary, and could she have said no to God. If she could not say no, what does yes mean?”
The Rev. Joan Brown Campbell has served the Chautauqua community for 14 years as director of the Department of the Religion. In those years, she has fostered a diverse religious community. Campbell’s impressive career at Chautauqua will come to a close with her retirement at the end of the year, but she will be sent off with a bang.
“May all who worship here … find God is at the centre” might well be the motto for the worship services at Chautauqua.