St. Andrew’s announces first ‘Faith and …’ speaker for next week

January 29, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

STAFF REPORT – On Thursday, Feb. 4 at 4:30 p.m. St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church will present a unique series of installments program called,  “Faith and …” that will begin with historian Steven E. Woodworth. Woodworth’s first presentation in the series will be called, “Faith and … brotherly conflict.”

This free, online speaker series examines the history of religion in America. Mo. Michelle Robertshaw, the pastor at St. Andrew’s, longed to do more than educate the listener with another set of prominent speakers. She wanted each lecture to present, in context, the reminder that true faith leads us to do good for ourselves and our communities, even in times of conflict.

Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer and Civil War expert Woodworth is from Texas Christian University. Professor Woodworth has written more than 30 books on the Civil War, which makes him uniquely qualified for this topic. His discussion: While God Is Marching On: The Religious World of Civil War Soldiers, reminds us that soldiers on each side of the Civil War devoutly believed that God was on their side.

The young men, North and South, who marched away from their homes to fight in the Civil War were destined for many surprises when they reached the fighting fronts. For some of them the biggest of those surprises was the discovery that their foes worshiped the same God, believed the same theology, sang the same hymns, and accepted largely the same teachings. Perhaps more starkly than any other conflict, the Civil War presented the incongruous spectacle of co-religionists at war with each other.

Those who attended the Friends’ Civil War Symposiums several years ago remember Woodworth as one of the most provocative Civil War historians. Through the diaries, letters, and reminiscences of common soldiers, Woodworth illuminates religious belief from the home front to the battlefield, where thoughts of death and the afterlife were always close at hand.

“Faith and …” continues in March with another free online lecture, featuring Penn Law Professor Sarah Barringer Gordon. A well-known author and media commentator, Gordon is hailed as an expert on religious liberty in America and how it developed over the course of our American history. Her current book is “Freedom’s Holy Light: Disestablishment in America, 1776-1876.” It illuminates the historical relationship between religion, politics, and law.

Kimberly Gladding Whipple will be the moderator of the series. Go to standrewsbocagrande.org and click on the link to register for the Zoom presentation. As you listen, type in any question for Woodworth and Kimberly promises to get to as many questions as time permits. Any questions regarding registration, call or email Kimberly at (847) 217-4421 or kimisce2@gmail.com.