Embrace Conference 2022 – Asbury University
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Embrace Conference 2022

November 8-9, 2022

Watch and Listen to Embrace Conference Chapel on Wednesday, November 9, 2022

by Sara Clark, Asbury Collegian Feature Editor

The Embrace Conference is a two-day event focused on understanding and engaging the practice of racial reconciliation. Hosted by Asbury’s Office of Intercultural Affairs, the conference focuses on racial reconciliation and justice through a Wesleyan theological understanding.

“The Embrace Conference goes hand in hand with Initiative III of Imagine 2022- an initiative created to cultivate a culturally responsible Christian community that practices hospitality, mutuality, redemptive social action and grace-filled reconciliation,” said AVP for cultural affairs, Esther Jadhav.

On Nov. 8-9, Asbury University hosted its fifth annual Embrace Conference. This year’s focus was on the exploration of hospitality. The conference met with the hope to build better members of the Asbury community and featured two keynote speakers, Bishop Claude Alexander and Dr. Mac Pier.

Alexander currently serves in a North Carolina church with a global ministry reaching thousands of people internationally and acts as a chair on the board for Christianity Today.

“However I feel welcome, how do I make someone else feel that way,” said Alexander. “It is also to see others as having something to offer that currently those with whom I am, do not.”

He wants to view others from a close proximity following their journey at Asbury.

Alexander also has co-authored a book, “Required: God’s Call to Justice, Mercy, and Humility to Overcome Racial Division” with Pier.

Pier cofounded Concerts of Prayer in 1988, which focuses to advance the power of prayer across New York City. He, along with author Tim Keller, co-founded the Church Multiplication Alliance, which focused on uniting prayer.

According to Asbury, planting the church catalyzed 300% growth of evangelical Christianity in Manhattan. Asbury also reported his biggest desire was for “gospel movements” to transform the lives of the most vulnerable citizens.

In 2008, he founded The New York Leadership Center to catalyze and train Christian leaders. This eventually was renamed Movement.Org a little while later. Pier said he was passionate to see the body of Christ come together across denominational, ethnic, geographical, and socio-economic lines.

The Embrace Conference intent is to “cultivate a culturally responsible Christian community that practices hospitality, mutuality, redemptive social action, and grace filled reconciliation.” Dr. Esther Jadhav, who works with intercultural affairs, helped with the production of this event. She explained that “crossing cultural boundaries is a biblical sentiment.” The objective of this annual event is to mix with the diverse populations and learn how to interact with people of a different culture, especially as students prepare for the workforce.

Dr. Brian Hull, professor of youth ministry, said the conference 2022 was a formative experience. “Personally, I was challenged to exercise my agency more in all my spheres of life for justice,” he said. “Professionally, I was challenged to help students talk about and learn about issues of hospitality and racial justice more in the classroom.”

You are invited to join us November 8-9, 2022, for Asbury University’s 5th annual Embrace Conference, where we will explore Hospitality. The Embrace Conference is informed by the university’s strategic plan which is to cultivate a culturally responsible Christian community that practices hospitality, mutuality, redemptive social action, and grace-filled reconciliation. For the past four years, we have focused on each of these key emphases.

This year, we will look at hospitality with our keynote speakers Bishop Claude Alexander and Dr. Mac Pier, who will discuss how hospitality in our relationships with the racial and ethnic other encourage and invite us to participate in the greater kingdom work of becoming and being the people of God, the kingdom of God. We will take a deeper dive into how we can address and model efforts towards addressing racial divisions in our churches and in society.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Bishop Claude Alexander

Since 1990, Bishop Alexander has served as the Senior Pastor of  The Park Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, where it has grown into a global ministry of thousands with weekly international reach. He has addressed national/international leaders in the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, and India.

He is a Past President of the Hampton University Ministers Conference, the oldest and largest interdenominational gathering of African-American clergy in the United States.  Currently, he serves on the boards of Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, BioLogos,  Movement.Org, and the Trinity Forum. He provides leadership as chair of the Board of Christianity Today Board of Directors, and of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Board of Trustees and as Vice Presiding Bishop of the Kingdom Association of Covenant Pastors.

He is the author of Required: God’s Call to Justice, Mercy and Humility to Overcome Racial Division coauthored with Dr. Mac Pier, Necessary Christianity –  What Jesus Shows We Must Be and Do, and the soon to be released Becoming The Church – God’s People in Purpose and in Power.

Dr. Mac Pier

Dr. Pier has been catalyzing Christian movements most of his adult life. In 1988, he co-founded Concerts of Prayer, a prayer movement which has strengthened and united pastors and advanced a culture of prayer across the New York City Metro area for the last 30 years. To date, 2,000+ churches have participated. In 2003, he, with Dr. Tim Keller, also co-founded the Church Multiplication Alliance. The CMA’s emphasis on united prayer and church planting catalyzed the 300% growth of evangelical Christianity in Manhattan from 1989-2009.

Mac’s desire is for citywide “Gospel Movements” to measurably transform the lives of their most vulnerable citizens. To that end, in 2008, he founded The New York City Leadership Center (subsequently renamed Movement.Org in 2018) to catalyze and train Christian leaders. Movement Day Expressions, an initiative of Movement.Org launched in 2010, is a gathering of ministry, marketplace, governmental and nonprofit leaders who are passionate to see the Body of Christ come together—uniting across denominational, ethnic, geographical, and socio-economic lines. Movement Day Expressions are currently taking place across the globe.

Mac is the author of several books including A Disruptive Gospel, A Disruptive Generosity, and A Disruptive God. A Disruptive Gospel was named by Outreach Magazine as an outreach resource of the year in 2018. His most recent book Required, is co-authored with Bishop Claude Alexander.