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CONFERENCE: Ethiopia Symposium


Date(s) - Friday 09/14/2018
8:30 am - 5:30 pm





NOTE: Make sure to register for both days if you wish to attend Day 1 and Day 2.

Ethiopia Symposium
DAY 1 – September 14, 2018
8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Tickets: $40 registration fee includes lunch and afternoon reception.  (Register via Eventbrite)


8:30-9:15 a.m.
9:15-9:30 a.m.
Welcome and Introduction
Roberta Ahmanson
9:30-10:15 a.m.

The Living Churches of an Ancient Ethiopian Kingdom
Mary Anne Fitzgerald
Journalist on African affairs and author of Ethiopia: The Living Churches of an Ancient Kingdom, 2017
10:15-10:45 a.m.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Täwahədo Church: Glimpses into Its History and Tradition
Fr. Dr. Mebratu K. Gebru
Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College, University of Toronto
10:45-11:00 a.m.

11:00 a.m.-11:30 p.m.

The Songs of Africa: The Ethiopian Canticles
Michael Glerup
Executive Director, Center for Early African Christianity, Religious Freedom and Society in Africa
11:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

In Situ: The Ethiopian Timkat Celebration
Rev. Joel C. Elowsky
Professor of Historical Theology, Director of the Center for the Study of Early Christian Texts, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Followed by a discussion with morning speakers and Q&A
Moderator: Michael Glerup
12:30 p.m.- 2:00 p.m.

AFTERNOON: Congregation, Conservation and Confrontation
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

The Role of Ethiopian Orthodox Churches in Conserving Bio-diverse Resources in Ethiopia
Alemayehu Wassie
Forest Ecologist
2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Church Forests and Human Flourishing: Opportunity for a Virtuous Cycle
Scott Sabin
Executive Director, Plant with Purpose
3:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m.

The Church Forest Project and its Implications for Local and Global People, and Landscape Health
Meg Lowman
Senior Scientist, Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability
Lindsay Chair of Botany
California Academy of Sciences
3:30-4:00 p.m.

Images of the invisible
Kieran Dodds
Award-winning photographer focused on the interplay between environment and culture
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Discussion with afternoon speakers and Q&A
Moderator: Mary Anne Fitzgerald
5:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

Exhibition walk-through
Curator: John Silvis and Kieran Dodds

Day 2 – Saturday, 15th September 2018
4:00 p.m.- 5:30 p.m

Challenges: The Future of the Church in Ethiopia and in the U.S.
Tickets: Free  (Sign up via Eventbrite)


The Impact of Islam on Ethiopian Christianity
Desta Heliso
Faculty, Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology

Poverty, Community Health, and the Ethiopian Church: Opportunities and Challenges
Rev. Jason Polk
Coordinator of Spiritual Ministries, Ethiopia ACT

Ethiopian American Youth and Young Adults in Los Angeles
Afomia Seleshi
Founder of Young in America Ministry of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Rev. Joel C. Elowsky, Ph.D.
5:30 p.m.

Exhibition Reception with poetry by California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia and a musical performance



How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Please contact Ann Hirou –

What if I can only attend one day?  
Tickets are registered for individually.  So if you can only make one day (ie. Day 1), please only register for tickets for that day.  Tickets for day 2 is to help us anticipate how many guests to expect.

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