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Valley Covenant Forums

Valley Covenant Forums is a series of lectures by scholars, authors and other Christian speakers, focusing on a wide range of topics. Forums occur approximately every two months, but the schedule will vary from year to year.

Upcoming forums

September 14, 2019, 7 p.m. – Alex awad

“Holy Land Realities and Our Response”
Join us as Jerusalem-born pastor and author Dr. Alex Awad addresses the history and background of the current situation for Palestinians and Israelis.
Dr. Awad will also speak Sunday morning, September 15, at the 10:30 a.m.
service on conflict in our country and world in a message entitled,
Creative Peace: Jesus’ Analysis of Conflict and Conflict Resolution.

Rev. Dr. Alex Awad was born and raised in Jerusalem. After graduation from St George’s High School, he studied in Europe and then moved to the USA. He finished a BA degree at Lee University and an MA in Education (1976) at North Georgia University. He received an MA in Missions and Evangelism (1989) from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He holds an honorary doctorate from Bethlehem Bible College.

Rev. Awad and his wife Brenda are retired missionaries with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church serving in Israel/Palestine. Until recently he was the pastor of an international church in East Jerusalem and taught courses at Bethlehem Bible College where he served as faculty member, Dean of Students and board member.

Rev. Awad has written, Through the Eyes of the Victims and Palestinian Memories; both books reveal the realities of life under Israeli military occupation. Rev. Awad has written numerous articles that call for justice for both Palestinians and Israelis.


May 10, 2019 – Ken Wytsma

“We Become the Stories We Tell: The Power of Words in the Shaping of Culture”
Ken Wytsma, pastor and author of Redeeming How We Talk, discussed the power of words in shaping the way we think, the cultures we create, and the pursuit of justice in society. Possibly, there has been no time where the proliferation of words and the way in which they are being used has had such an impact on the church. If we are to recover our call to be agents of reconciliation in this world, it will need to begin with the words we use and the care given to how we talk to one another. No matter whether your are a leader, a teacher, or just someone who loves the church, The Stories We Tell Ourselves, will be a relevant and educational time that will leave you encouraged and excited for how God can use you to impact your community.

mARCH 16, 2019 – Kay Marshall Strom

“The Immigration Debate, and Why We Should Care”
Rejecting refugees is a recurring theme in the story of America, the land of immigrants. Today we live in an era of world-wide mass migration—the greatest since World War II. Tens of millions around the globe have been forcibly displaced by conflict, natural disasters, and persecution. This immigrant increase has stirred up society-splitting debates. As Christ followers, our first response is: What does the Bible say? It says plenty. Micah 6:8 is the verse most often quoted by America’s founding generation: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” But even there, two sides arise: Which is most godly, justice or mercy? How does this affect us in the USA? In the Pacific Northwest? In Eugene, Oregon? And in light of these answers, how shall we then live?

Author Kay Marshall Strom has two great loves: writing and helping others achieve their own writing potential. Kay has written thirty-six published books including Daughters of Hope: Stories of Witness and Courage in the Face of Persecution and In the Presence of the Poor. She’s authored numerous magazine articles, and two screenplays. While mostly a nonfiction writer, the first book of her historical novel trilogy Grace in Africa has met with acclaim.