The Simons Lecture Series

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Oxford, North Carolina is proud to announce the start of The Simons Lecture Series, a new ministry that remembers the legacy and gifts of the Rev. Harrison Simons.  Simons, was the longest serving rector at St. Stephen’s from 1970 – 1998.  During his tenure, many new ministries and projects began, including the bookstore ministry, a well-respected institution in Oxford and the state of North Carolina.  He was also instrumental in the formation of Area Congregations in Ministry (ACIM), which currently serves and assists those in need in our community.  Harrison’s passion for the bookstore ministry and his community involvement are the foundation for this new lecture series. 

St. Stephen’s will offer an event several times a year, featuring inspiring, thought-provoking speakers.  This new beginning is rooted in the celebration of and obligation to our faith, church, and the wider community we live-in and serve.   We want each of these three aspects of life to grow and strengthen.  Harrison was committed to this church and the transformation of the Oxford community, and we honor that legacy.

On the evening of April 28, 2016, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church inaugurated The Simons Lecture Series.  We had an elegant dinner and evening with Joseph Cheshire.  Mr. Cheshire is the number one criminal defense attorney in the state of North Carolina, and he comes from a long heritage of Episcopalians; most notably, his great grandfather, Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire, who consecrated our current Sanctuary in 1902. 

The subject of the evening was “Defending the Undefendable”.  

The Second Annual Simons Lecture Series was huge success on Thursday, May 4, 2017 as we welcomed our guest speaker, the Rev. David Crabtree, Head Anchor at WRAL News (NBC) and Deacon in the diocese.  The subject of the evening was “Ethical Decision-Making”.  In addition, on this evening it was honor to welcome as our guests Harrison Simon’s widow, Gene Simons and his son, George Simons.

The 3rd Annual Simons Lecture Series took place on Thursday, May 2, 2019, at 6:30 PM. Our guest was Luke Bretherton, Ph.D.  Dr. Bretherton is professor of theological ethics and senior fellow of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. Before joining the Duke faculty, he was reader in Theology & Politics and convener of the Faith & Public Policy Forum at King’s College, London. He has worked with a variety of faith-based NGOs, mission agencies, and churches around the world, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, Dr. Bretherton has written and published numerous books, and among many honors received the 2013 Michael Ramsey Prize for Theological Writing. His more recent research focused on the intersections between Christianity, radical democracy, globalization, responses to poverty, and patterns of inter-faith relations.

The subject of the evening was “Christianity & Contemporary Politics:  The Conditions and Possibilities of Faithful Witness”.  Our parish and the surrounding community were invited to attend.  The evening was catered by Strong Arm Baking Company.  For more information about the series, please contact St. Stephen’s church office at (919) 693-9740.

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