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Tenth annual Lewis Preaching Series starts Saturday

By Jim C. Dunkin

For the Salisbury Post

 Saturday, Feb. 21, and Sunday, Feb. 22 will be the 2015 Lewis Preaching Series. In 2004 a gift was given to honor the 24 years of service to First Presbyterian Church by the Rev. Doctor Robert M. Lewis by establishing a preaching series. Through the event, well-known preachers would be invited to Salisbury. The purpose of the event is not only to introduce the guest preacher to this community of faith, but also to invite individuals from other churches to hear and learn from these treasures of the church.

The series began in 2006 with Dr. Tom Long. There have been wonderful well-known preachers following Long. We have welcomed Dr. John Bell, Dr. William H. Willimon and many more.

This year’s guest is Dr. William J. Carl III, president and professor of homiletics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He will be the 12th preacher welcomed to First Presbyterian. Carl will preach at all three worship services on Sunday. His sermon title is “You’re Somebody!” Sunday evening he will speak on “The Marks of an Alive and Growing Church” at 6 p.m. in Lewis Hall.

Saturday, Carl will speak from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the Education Building (308 W. Fisher St.). His topic will be “Brains, Bodies, Beliefs and Behavior.” This lecture explores the many facets of the brain that help create who we are as human beings. It offers a philosophical and ethical perspective on the mind-body equation contrasting a more Hellenistic/Cartesian dualism that separates mind and body with a more holistic, Hebraic view that unites them, and how the two influence how healthcare providers look at us as patients.

The lecture will examine the impact of our brains on how we make moral decisions, develop our beliefs and keep our minds active throughout our lives thus helping delay dementia and Alzheimer’s. It will look at the terrible twos, the teenage brain and how men and women process information as well as the fascinating field of neuroplasticity.

Carl has been lecturing on the brain at medical schools and medical conferences for the past 15 years. Saturday morning is open to all who are interested.

Carl came to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2005, after 22 years of being the senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Dallas, Texas, and five years as adjunct professor at Austin Theological Seminary. He has also taught at Union Seminary in Virginia and the University of Pittsburgh.

Carl earned a bachelor of science in religion, philosophy and greek from the University of Tulsa; a master of divinity from Louisville Seminary; and a doctorate of philosophy in rhetoric/communication from the University of Pittsburgh.

He has also received three honorary degrees: doctor of divinity from Presbyterian College, doctor of humane letters from Sterling College, and doctor of science from Waynesburg College.

Carl has spoken at churches, colleges, and universities in the United States and abroad, including England, South Korea, Russia, India and China. As well as preaching and speaking, Carl has done extensive work in writing and editing.

He is an ethics consultant to major corporations, an active member of the International Neuroethics Society and the National Association of Corporate Directors, as well as currently serving on the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education.

We are very excited to welcome Carl and hope that all will feel welcome to attend and be inspired and nurtured in our faith development. For more information see the website at First Presbyterian Church: www.salisburyfirstpres.org.

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