News Release: Religion and Ethics

Jan. 6,  2011

'Simple Living' Explored in Emory Lecture Series

Explore the relationship between spiritual and financial well-being by attending “Simple Enough?,” a lecture series sponsored by Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and featuring renowned United Methodist Church pastors and authors the Rev. Adam Hamilton and the Rev. Dr. Paul Escamilla.

Both speakers will address how to live a life of “less” despite being immersed in a culture that entices us with “more.” The lectures are scheduled Feb. 1 and March 29 and are part of Candler’s commitment to decrease educational debt and improve financial literacy among students.

“We want to encourage our students that consuming less, borrowing less and living simply are critical components of becoming faithful and creative church leaders,” says Shonda Jones, associate dean of admissions and student services. “They must be good stewards of their personal finances and those of any institution they serve, rather than be overtaken by debt and the need to consume more.”  

Noting the timeliness of the “simplicity” theme in the midst of an economic downturn, Jones says that Candler is pleased to open up these lectures to the public. “Adam Hamilton and Paul Escamilla are both highly regarded church leaders who are well-versed in the theological rationale for living within one’s means and making good choices for the present and the future,” she says. “We think a good number of people will be interested in hearing what they say about the relationship between spiritual and financial health.”

The lectures are free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

Adam Hamilton lectures Feb. 1, at 7 p.m., Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church. He is the founding pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, which he grew from four to 17,000 members. 

His book “Enough: Discovering Joy through Simplicity and Generosity” (Abingdon Press, 2009) is a source of study among hundreds of UMC churches and invites readers to rediscover the Bible’s wisdom regarding prudent financial practices. The book will be featured in his presentation. Get tickets.

Paul Escamilla lectures March 29, 7 p.m., Cannon Chapel. He is pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Austin, Texas, and author of “Longing for Enough in a Culture of More” (Abingdon Press, 2007), a collection of 25 brief meditations that are used for private and group study. Organized in five topics: The Good Book, The Good Life, the Good Work, The Good Society, and The Good Earth, the essays make the "life of enough" seem a natural next step in the lives of Christians. The book will be the focus of Escamilla’s lecture. Get tickets.

Escamilla’s messages are also the subject of a four-week group Lenten study being offered exclusively to Candler students this spring.

“Offering students the opportunity to read and reflect together on the themes of Escamilla’s book during Lent will help them put practices of simplicity into an appropriate context of the liturgical year,” says the Rev. Ellen Echols Purdum, director of student life and spiritual formation. “During Lent, Christians are called to examine and amend their daily lives—to look at what may be causing us to be out of right relationship with ourselves, with others, with the earth and of course with God. Looking at what’s in our checkbooks and credit card statements is just as important as looking at what’s in our hearts.”

Funding For “Simple Enough?” is provided by a two-year, $50,000 grant from the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

More information is available on the Candler events calendar.

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