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New York Times Best-Selling Christian Author to Visit Lees-McRae, Feb. 21-22

New York Times best-selling author and popular faith blogger, Rachel Held Evans will visit campus on February 21 and 22 to present her talk titled, “Keep Christianity Weird.”

Her talk on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Evans Auditorium will address why keeping Christianity relevant in a rapidly changing culture is not about outfitting pastors with skinny jeans, but about rediscovering and reinterpreting the traditional sacraments of the Church–baptism, communion, confession and anointing–in ways that ring true to a skeptical, justice-oriented generation.

On Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the Dotti M. Shelton Learning Commons room 119, Evans will give her talk titled, “My Year of Biblical Womanhood.” Evans will share pictures and stories from her yearlong experiment in biblical literalism, and then engage students in an informal conversation about faith, feminism and biblical interpretation.

Wednesday’s discussion is limited to Lees-McRae students, faculty and staff only.

Rachel has been featured on The ViewThe Today ShowNPRSlateThe BBCThe Washington PostThe Atlantic Monthly, and Oprah.com, according to her website. She also served on former President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.   

She has spoken at “The Festival of Faith and Writing”, the “Q Conference”, Trinity Wall Street, Princeton University, Austin Theological Seminary, “The Gay Christian Network Conference”, “The Wild Goose Festival”, and a wide range of retreats, conferences, universities and churches. 

In 2015, she launched the “Why Christian?” conference, which features fresh, diverse voices responding to the question of why they continue in the faith.

Over the years, she has written several books including Faith Unraveled (2010), A Year of Biblical Womanhood (2012), and Searching for Sunday (2015).

Her visit is part of the Lees-McRae Staley Distinguished Speaker series.

The Staley Distinguished Christian Scholar Series is a project of the Thomas F. Staley Foundation of New York. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Staley of Rye, New York established the Lectureship in the fall of 1969 in memory of their parents, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Staley and Judge and Mrs. H.H. Haynes to promote the Christian message among students at small church-related colleges. Mr. Staley felt that students should have an opportunity to hear from renowned Christian scholars, and therefore he provided endowments for colleges to support the lecture program that bears his name. To this end, the Foundation seeks to bring to the college and university campuses of America distinguished scholars and artists who truly believe, and can clearly communicate the Christian gospel to students.