OC hosts new monastic leader for lecture

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Oklahoma Christian University will host distinguished spiritual writer Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove for a free lecture on Thursday, Sept. 12.

Wilson-Hartgrove has authored several books on New Monasticism and Christian spirituality, including his latest book, The Awakening of Hope, and Becoming the Answer to Our Prayer, which he co-wrote with fellow New Monastic leader Shane Claiborne.

Wilson-Hartgrove’s lecture at Oklahoma Christian will draw on themes from his book, The Wisdom of Stability. He will speak on the Christian mission to cultivate stability by rooting yourself more deliberately in the place where you live, truly engage with the people you are with, slow down and participate in simpler rhythms of life, and live in ways that speak to the deeper yearnings of the human heart.

The event, part of OC’s McGaw Lecture Series, begins at 7 p.m. in OC’s Judd Theatre. A question-and-answer session and a book signing will follow. For more information, call (405) 425-6300 or email events@oc.edu.

“I am thrilled to have Jonathan on OC’s campus. His writings and, more importantly, his life have inspired many to join God’s mission in the world, especially to those at the margins of society,” said Ben Langford, director of OC’s Center for Global Missions. “My goal is that Jonathan will be a conversation partner with OC students and churches in the community as we continue to seek God’s will and discover what it means to be His people in the world. He will challenge us and point us in a direction that will allow us to live more fully in the story God is telling in the world.”

Wilson-Hartgrove literally wrote the book on New Monasticism, the 2008 release, New Monasticism: What It Has to Say to Today’s Church. In 2003, he and his wife Leah founded the Rutba House, a house of hospitality where the formerly homeless are welcomed into a community that eats, prays and shares life together.

He also directs the School for Conversion, which pursues community with children through classes in prisons and in community-based education around the country. He also is an associate minister at the historically black St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, N.C.

During his Oklahoma visit, Wilson-Hartgrove also will be the guest speaker for OC’s third-annual GO Retreat, sponsored by the university’s Center for Global Missions and Outreach student missions group. The retreat is for OC students who have participated in previous mission projects or who are interested in future mission work.