C.S. Lewis Summer Institute on the Web

Conference-Audio-SI14The Oxbridge 2014 C.S. Lewis Summer Institute may have come and gone; however, the Foundation staff and those who attended are continually inspired by what was an intellectually, artistically, and spiritually-engaging conference! It is for this reason that we wish to share the various articles, pictures, and videos of those who experienced our C.S. Lewis Summer Institute, all in the good company of friends among the “dreaming spires” of Oxford and the riverside beauty of Cambridge.

Eric Metaxas, friend of the Foundation and keynote speaker for Oxbridge 2014, shared a video of his first plenary address “The Meaning of Meaning: Chance or the Dance?” that took place during our opening night at the University of Oxford. Plenary speaker Dr. Greg Thornbury of King’s College shared his address “Christian Virtures That Inspire Atheist Philosophers” on his Twitter account, as well. You can also watch Metaxas’ and Thorburys’ addresses through the Foundation videographer Ralph Lindhardt’s YouTube channel.

Interested in reading about the conference? Conference volunteer Sarah Clarkson has written two lovely articles about her time at Oxbridge 2014 titled “Oxford Again” and “Evensong and Sunlight.”

After arriving back in the States, our friend and 2014 afternoon session leader Melanie Jeschke did a radio interview featuring her experience at the conference and her book series.

Finally, for those of you who would like a  visual presentation of what goes on during one of our C.S. Lewis Summer Institutes, conference volunteer Emmeline Dobson used the program Storify to create a collection of stories, pictures, and videos (all shared by Foundation staff, faculty, and attendees) to give our readers a taste of what it was like to be a part of Oxbridge 2014. You can view Emmeline’s collection by following this link: https://storify.com/emeraldsong/a-cs-lewis-oxbridge-2014-story.

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Word of Grace – September 8, 2014

Monday Grace

Dear Friends,

Then Esau said, “Let us journey on our way, and I will go along side you.” But Jacob said to him., “My lord knows that the children are frail and that the flocks and herds, which are nursing, are a care to me; and if they are overdriven for one day, all the flocks will die. Let my Lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my Lord to Seir” (Gen 33:12-14).

Jacob was known for his shrewdness and his work ethic, not his tenderness. He made a sharp bargain to take his brother Esau’s birthright. He cheated his brother out of their Father Isaac’s blessing. When his Uncle Laban cheated him out of a promised reward for seven years of service, Jacob worked another seven years for what he wanted. He ultimately outsmarted the scheming Laban and became a rich man in the process. Read more »

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Word of Grace – September 1, 2014

Monday Grace

Dear Friends,

There is a correction necessary to last week’s message (8/25/14). Mt. St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, not 1982.
. . .
I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and going hungry, having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress (Phil 4:10-14) Saul of Tarsus was a “get-it-done” guy.

His education, energy, religious devotion, and intelligence brought him to the attention of the religious leadership. He was just the man to eradicate the growing movement of believers in the crucified Jesus.

“Recant or die” was his method of dealing with the believers. Saul imprisoned and killed them. Why spend time arguing about beliefs, when you can eliminate the believers? Read more »

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Word of Grace – August 25, 2014

Monday Grace

Dear Friends,

This week’s message is a bit of a travelogue about a worship experience that I had late Thursday afternoon, July 3, near Astoria, Oregon. I hope it refreshes you during these hot days.

Late afternoon sunlight floods over the Clatsop Spit. Everything is flowing at high tide. Five and six foot swells off the North Pacific crash on and over the South Jetty that seeks to prevent the migrating sands from overtaking the shipping channel at the mouth of the Columbia River.

The northwest wind blows in an uninterrupted stream off the open sea. It bends the beach grass and the pines to its will and scours the beach down to a hard pan depositing the excess grains in the dunes. Read more »

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Remembering Chris Mitchell

On the eve of the last of four celebrations we are hosting that mark the life and death of C.S. Lewis, we at the C.S. Lewis Foundation find ourselves shocked and profoundly saddened at the news of another death that has come to us too soon.

Others have written well of the life and impact of Dr. Christopher Mitchell, the former director of the Marion E. Wade Center. We feel his loss particularly due to his wonderful time leading two Summer Seminars in Residence at the Kilns in 2008 and 2011. Those who had the pleasure of hearing Chris’s enthusiastic and informative talks will remember many of those moments for a lifetime; we certainly cherished hope of working together again in the years to come.

A personal memorial note from Andrew Lazo:

I personally got to know Chris during several research trips to the Wade Center and will miss him sorely. He breadth and depth of knowledge not only of the Wade’s seven authors, but also of historical theology always dazzled me. But even more, his kindness toward me and his warm hospitality both at the Wade and in the beautiful home he made with Julie and his children I count as golden moments. My greatest memories are of much excited talk, not only of the Inklings, but also of his favorite musicians such as Béla Fleck and Phil Keaggy.

It blessed me to take Chris to his first concert with Phil, the man who started me on Lewis, and to introduce these two kind men to each other. For me, each encounter with Chris was filled with life, passion, learning, and was always marked by his incredible energy and that constant, joyful twinkle in his eyes.

C. S. Lewis said that when he became a man, one of the childish things he put away was the desire to be grown up and the fear of appearing childlike. Chris Mitchell certainly embodied this principle as well; with an almost boyish enthusiasm fueling his depths of study and wisdom, Chris eagerly looked forward to what lay before him, and generously shared all he was learning and each exciting plan that lay before him.

But for all this, Chris delighted most in being a dad, and in loving Julie through the years. Once when I was visiting the Wade, Chris came to ask a favor. He had a previous commitment; would I mind taking Walter Hooper to dinner? Of course I accepted, and I’ll cherish that meal for the rest of my life. Chris’s commitment? Attending his son’s soccer game. His commitment to the childlike remains for me a permanent and inspirational memory.

Not only did Chris continue to change in order to become like a child, he also continued to change lives of those he met, with a generous and bright joy that will continue to form his legacy. Losing him leaves this world darker, even as his legacy serves to light our way.

Because of Chris Mitchell, so many of us too seek to follow Christ more deeply, as Chris followed Him, and to shine like the stars of the heavens.

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