WHAT: The provost’s office at Valparaiso University presents “Dialogue and Discernment: Seek First to Understand,” which is a series of events designed to provide meaningful instruction to the Valpo community on how to have civil discourse over irreconcilable differences. The series is an opportunity to engage in respectful conversation regarding some of today’s most challenging issues.

The first event in the series is entitled “A Conversation about Same-Sex Marriage.”

The event is free and open to the public.

WHO: Four panelists will be featured in conversation centered around the topic of same-sex marriage.

Featured panelists include:

  • Matthew Vines is the author of “God and the Gay Christian: The Bible Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.” He is known for his groundbreaking speech, “The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality,” in which he counters anti-gay interpretations of the Bible.
  • Reverend Michael Cooper serves as the pastor of Metropolitan Community Church Illiana in Portage, Ind. Initiated within gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, the Metropolitan Community Church movement has transformed the lives of those cast aside by exclusive interpretations of Christianity with a radical Christ-centered theology of inclusivity and acceptance. Metropolitan Community Churches have been forces for spiritual transformation, community development, and justice work around the world.
  • Tim Goeglein is the senior advisor to the president and vice president for external relations at Focus on the Family in Washington, D.C. He served in high-level government posts for the past two decades, including working as special assistant to President George W. Bush. He was the president’s principal outreach contact for conservatives, think tanks, veteran’s groups, faith-based groups, and some of America’s leading cultural organizations. Goeglein authored the political memoir “The Man in the Middle: Faith and Politics in the George W. Bush Era.”
  • Henry L. McClendon Jr. has served in a variety of Christian ministries over the past 30 years, including 20 years as associate minister at Metropolitan Community Tabernacle in Detroit. He is currently in his 10th year as pastor of Berean Chapel of Detroit and serves as a member of the Moody Bible Institute’s Michigan Theological Seminary Advisory Board.

WHEN: Thursday, March 31, 7–9 p.m.

WHERE: Duesenberg Recital Hall, Center for the Arts, Valparaiso University