'The Church As Peacemaker' is theme of MC's February Meetings

February 5, 2007
Contact: Jessica Abbott, Communications Assistant
865.981.8085; jabbott@maryvillecollege.edu

Maryville College's annual February Meetings, scheduled for Feb. 22-23 at Maryville College. Entitled "The Church as Peacemaker," the meetings will be led by Rt. Rev. Ken Newell, former moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

A life-long resident of Belfast, Newell's lectures will share the broad historical and theological context of the conflict and reconciliation among churches in Northern Ireland while also sharing his personal experiences as a church leader.

"Rev. Ken Newell's commitment to the grace of friendship across boundaries, throughout the struggle in Northern Ireland, offers an example of the gospel's healing power, both in his particular setting and throughout the world," said MC campus minister Rev. Anne McKee. "I am sure that he has much to teach us about being peacemakers in our daily lives."

Newell, who was the subject of a recent book by Ronald A. Wells about reconciliation between church leaders during the troubles in Northern Ireland, has worked with Father Gerry Reynolds, a Catholic priest in the Redemptorist Order.

In 1999, Rev. Newell recognized by the international movement Pax Christi, an International Peace Award for peace building on a grassroots level in Belfast. In 2006, Newell was given an Order of the British Empire (OBE) by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his work for reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

Newell holds a bachelor of arts degree in classics (1964), a bachelor of divinity degree (1967), and a master of theology degree (1970), all from Queen's University in Belfast.

Since 1877, February Meetings have offered the College and local community an annual opportunity to reflect on Christian faith and action. In years past, guest speakers and special music have been highlights of the condensed lecture series, which is open to all members of the College community, people in the area, and visitors. Maryville College, one of 65 colleges related to the Presbyterian Church USA, remains in a voluntary covenant relationship with the Church. Many faiths are represented in the student body.

Newell will lead three services in Maryville College's Fine Arts Center Music Hall.

  • Thursday, Feb. 22: 11:00 a.m. – "Exodus from Apathy: Here I am Lord. Send Somebody Else!"
  • Thursday, Feb. 22: 7:00 p.m. – "Reconciliation: The Forgotten Vision Inspiring the Mission of Jesus"
  • Friday, Feb. 23: 11:00 a.m. – "The Message of Jesus Christ: Radically Reducing Our Prejudice Levels"

For more information about February Meetings, contact Rev. Anne McKee, MC Campus Minister, at 865.981.8298 or anne.mckee@maryvillecollege.edu. Kathleen Farnham, Director of Church Relations, may also be reached at 865.981.8217 or kathleen.farnham@maryvillecollege.edu.

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,198.