“Light of Life” Series on April 12 to Focus on Key Impacts of Refugee and Immigration Policy

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WILSON, N.C. — March 28, 2018 — Barton College’s newly established “Light of Life Series” provides occasions for learning and dialogue about matters vital to life within our communities as enriched by our faith perspectives. This spring, Barton is excited to expand the reach of this significant conversation as the College welcomes the Reverend Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director of Refugee & Immigration Ministries for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), as this semester’s “Light of Life” Series speaker. On Thursday, April 12, Dr. Stanley-Rea will present “Values in a Vector:  Huddled Masses Ahead” at 7 p.m. in Howard Chapel on the campus of Barton College. The program is open to the public at no charge, and the community is invited to attend.

Dr. Stanley-Rea’s presentation will address such questions as “Where is our nation headed in its values towards refugees and immigrants, and what’s at stake with the changes?  Who are the folks and families impacted, and what are the risks they are facing?  She invites the audience to “Dare to enter into the complex world of refugee and immigration concerns, as we think together about how the world’s news is related to our own neighborhoods, how closely our sacred scriptures are played out (or not) in our policies, and how our prayers and our faith and can be lived out in actions that build possibilities beyond fears.”

About the Speaker — 

As Director of Refugee & Immigration Ministries for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Dr. Stanley-Rea is an employee of Disciples Home Missions (DHM), with her office located in Washington, D.C., on the second floor at National City Christian Church. She works to mobilize Disciples congregations around the country to offer hospitality to immigrants, provide refugee resettlement assistance to refugees, seek justice for farm workers, and engage in advocacy on behalf of refugees and immigrants.  Prior to joining DHM, Dr. Stanley-Rea served for 19 years as the Founder and Executive Director of Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries, which provides wholistic ministries to thousands of refugees annually in California’s Central Valley.

Previously, Dr. Stanley-Rea pastored in North Carolina and California, and served in mission in Seoul and Pusan, South Korea.  She is a pastor, ordained in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and with clergy standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  She is the wife of the Reverend Dr. Woodie Rea, a Disciples Senior Pastor at The Inter-faith Chapel at Leisure World in Silver Spring, Md.  And, she is the sister, daughter, and granddaughter of pastors.  Dr. Stanley-Rea earned a doctor of ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary and a Master of Divinity degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She has studied in Indonesia and China, and lived for many years in a low-income Fresno, Calif., neighborhood nicknamed after a refugee camp in Thailand.  Dr. Stanley-Rea enjoys traveling, running daily, and playing games with her nose-driven beagle.

The “Light of Life “ Series pays homage to Barton College’s motto, Habebunt Lumen Vitae (“They shall have the light of life”), taken from John 8:12, while honoring the College’s historical relationship with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

For additional information about the program or the Light of Life Series, please contact the Reverend Dr. Rodney A. Werline, Leman and Marie Barnhill Endowed Chair in Religious Studies at Barton College, director of the Barton College Center for Religious Studies, and coordinator of the “Light of Life” Series.

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