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Hastings Public Library

January Series 2022 from Calvin University

January Series 2022 from Calvin University

Hastings Public Library is proud to partner again with Calvin University as a remote viewing site for their annual January Series.

See acclaimed authors, scientists, religious figures, media personalities and more as they discuss topics relevant to today's world. See the schedule below.

You can go to Calvin's campus, come to the Library and watch with friends or even watch remotely via live streaming, available until midnight of each day's broadcast. Go to for more information.

Calvin University January Series

Monday January 10
Angela Williams Gorrell
“The Gravity of Joy” 

Angela Gorrell is assistant professor of practical theology at Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University. She previously served as an Associate Research Scholar at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture where she worked on the Theology of Joy and the Good Life project.  Less than a month into her study she was confronted with three family tragedies that left her questioning whether joy can even exist in a world where suicide and opioid addiction steals lives away.  In her book, The Gravity of Joy , she uses her search for authentic, grounded Christian joy to reflect on the larger societal need for joy as a counteragent to the despair all too prevalent in the twenty-first century. Inviting action in response to the tragedies of addiction and suicide, she articulates a vision for communities that yearn for joy and “walk together through the shadows” to find it.

Tuesday January 11
L. Gregory Jones
“Trusting Institutions: Rediscovering the Power of Christianity’s Surprise”

Dr. L. Gregory Jones is the newly appointed president of Belmont University in Nashville. Greg previously served as Dean of Duke Divinity School (1997-2010 and 2018-2021). Between 2010 and 2018, Greg served in a variety of roles, including Vice President and Vice Provost for Global Strategy and Programs at Duke University, and also as Provost and Executive Vice President of Baylor University. He has also served in strategic advisory roles with several foundations. He is the author or editor of 19 books and authored more than 200 essays/articles. He is known for books on forgiveness, Christian leadership, and social innovation. His most recent book is the co-authored Navigating the Future: Traditioned Innovation for Wilder Seas (2021). Greg is known as a leader and strategist whose creative engagement has helped institutions across the world and in local communities to create transformational resource models. Greg’s global imagination has guided business, education, and religious leaders in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States. He is passionate about re-shaping cultures within and across organizations and coined the term 'traditioned innovation' to capture how he re-frames complex challenges to seize significant opportunities. He is known for an entrepreneurial mindset as well as emphases on character and purpose in higher education. Greg serves on the boards of the John Templeton Foundation, the McDonald Agape Foundation, and the India Collective. He is an ordained United Methodist pastor.


Wednesday January 12
Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers
“Keeping it Nuanced: How to Have Grace-Filled Political Conversations”  (tentative title)

Sarah and Beth co-host the popular podcasts, Pantsuit Politics and The Nuanced Life and co-authored I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversation (2019). They are two Christian women from opposite sides of the political spectrum who contend and prove that people from opposing political perspectives truly can have calm, grace-filled conversations about politics. Pantsuit Politics has been featured in The Atlantic, The Guardian, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and Parents and Elle magazines.  Both Sarah and Beth attended Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, and then received their Juris Doctors (Sarah from American University and Beth from the University of Kentucky). Sarah began her career as a congressional staffer, campaign aide, blogger and social media consultant. She lives in Paducah, Kentucky, where she served a term as a city commissioner and sits on the board of numerous civic organizations.  Beth has practiced law and served as a human resources executive and business coach. Beth lives in Union, Kentucky, and serves on several local boards of directors. Sarah and Beth speak frequently to universities, businesses, and civic organizations about improving political dialogue. Sarah shares life with her spouse, Nicholas, and children Griffin, Amos, and Felix; Beth with her spouse, Chad, and children Jane and Ellen. Sarah’s dog, Cookie, and Beth’s dog, Lucy, are beloved and frequent contributors to their work.

Thursday January 13
Reuben Miller
“Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration”

Reuben Jonathan Miller is a sociologist, criminologist and a social worker who teaches at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration where he studies and writes about race, democracy, and the social life of the city. He has been a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton New Jersey, a fellow at the New America Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and a visiting scholar at the University of Texas at Austin and Dartmouth College. A native son of Chicago, he lives with his wife and children on the city’s Southside.  Halfway Home shows that the American justice system was not created to rehabilitate. Parole is structured to keep classes of Americans impoverished, unstable, and disenfranchised long after they’ve paid their debt to society. Informed by Miller’s experience as the son and brother of incarcerated men, this book captures the stories of the men, women, and communities fighting against a system that is designed for them to fail. It is a poignant and eye-opening call to arms that reveals how laws, rules, and regulations extract a tangible cost not only from those working to rebuild their lives, but also our democracy. As Miller searchingly explores, America must learn to acknowledge and value the lives of its formerly imprisoned citizens.


Friday January 14
Rick Steves (virtual)
“Why Travel Makes Us Better Global Citizens”

Rick Steves is a popular public television host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. But above all else, Rick considers himself a teacher. He taught his first travel class on his college campus in the mid-1970s — and now, more than 40 years later, he still measures his success not by dollars earned, but by trips impacted.  Rick is the founder and owner of Rick Steves' Europe, a travel business with a tour program that brings more than 30,000 people to Europe annually. Each year, the company contributes to a portfolio of climate-smart nonprofits, essentially paying a self-imposed carbon tax. Rick spends about four months a year in Europe, researching guidebooks, fine-tuning his tour program, filming his TV show, and making new discoveries for travelers. The remainder of the year he lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.


Monday January 17
LaTasha Morrison
“Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation”

LaTasha Morrison is the founder of Be the Bridge, a nonprofit organization that aims to raise awareness of racial inequality and systemic injustice in the United States by focusing on actions for justice, reconciliation, and unity. Working with more than 600 churches and ministries, Be the Bridge trains ambassadors to educate, start respectful discussions, and build interracial and cross-cultural relationships. Morrison, a certified trainer in cultural intelligence and unconscious bias, was selected for a residency with Facebook’s Inaugural Community Leadership Program in September 2020 for her “ability to transform the way people support each other through community.” Be The Bridge’s Facebook group, founded in 2015 with about 70 members, now has an online community of over 72,000 members in 48 states, providing a safe and positive space to ask questions and understand the racial disparities and injustices.


Tuesday January 18
Max Stossel
We’ve Been Sneaking into Your Brain: the True Impact of Social Media”

Max Stossel is an Award-Winning artist named by Forbes as one of the best storytellers of the year and the Youth & Education Advisor for the Center for Humane Technology, an organization of former tech insiders dedicated to realigning technology with humanity (as featured in The Social Dilemma). Before working with CHT, Max was a media strategist with an extensive background in social, running

social media for multinational brands, and later working for a social media company where he designed some of the notification structures to distract people that he now raises awareness about.  He has spent the past five years speaking with 100,000+ students, parents, and educators around the world about social media's impact on our lives and creating resources to help manage that impact. Max provides a unique and much needed perspective on the role of technology in our homes, schools and in our society.          


“Words that Move” – A special evening performance (local only) of spoken word by Max Stossel will take place at 7:00 p.m. 

Max's show was selling out theaters all over pre-COVID and is currently being produced into a digital special. Spanning across five continents, from Lincoln Center in NY to the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, his performances have been described as mind-expanding, profound, and hilarious all at once.

Max's work has been translated to fourteen languages, won multiple film festivals, and has been viewed over 20 million times online.


Wednesday January 19
Admiral James Stavridis
“China & Cybersecurity: Security Concerns of the 21 Century”

Admiral James Stavridis is a retired 4-star admiral in the U.S. Navy who led the NATO Alliance in global operations from 2009 to 2013 as Supreme Allied Commander with responsibility for Afghanistan, Libya, the Balkans, Syria, counter piracy, and cyber security. Subsequently, he served for five years as the 12th dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Earlier in his naval career, he also served as Commander of U.S. Southern Command, with responsibility for all military operations in Latin America from 2006-2009. He holds more than 50 medals, including 28 from foreign nations. In 2016, Admiral Stavridis was vetted as a Vice Presidential candidate by the Hilary Clinton campaign, and after the election was invited to meet with President Elect Trump to discuss a cabinet level position in the Trump Administration.Admiral Stavridis is a highly sought after expert in the areas of cybersecurity, geopolitics with an emphasis on US China relations, NATO, innovation, strategic communications and leadership.


Thursday January 20
Colum McCann
“Making Peace with Stories”

Irish-born international bestseller Colum McCann is among the world’s foremost storytellers, moving seamlessly from the Troubles in Ireland to the Romani camps of Eastern Europe to the dizzying heights of the World Trade Center to the real-life friendship of two fathers, one Jewish and the other Palestinian, who lost their daughters to the conflict in the Holy Land.  Known as a writer of style and substance, hailed by critics and readers alike, he is known as a poetic realist and a literary risk-taker, a writer who is known to tackle the dark in order to get through to the light.  McCann is also a co-founder of the global charity Narrative 4 which brings young people from all over the world together to “walk in one another’s shoes.” “It’s an act of radical empathy,” says McCann, “we’re looking to develop a generation of truly empathetic leaders.” Narrative 4 has facilitated the sharing of over 48,000 stories across 20 states and 12 countries.


Friday January 21
N.T. Wright
“Galatians in Three Dimensions”

Nicholas Thomas (N.T.) Wright is one of the world’s leading New Testament scholars and a world authority on the apostle Paul. He is the author of over 80 academic and lay-level books such as Surprised by Hope, The Day the Revolution Began and Paul: A Biography (writing under the name Tom Wright for a general audience).  Wright is ordained in the Church of England and, among other roles, served as Bishop of Durham between 2003 - 2010.  Since 2010, Wright has been Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews and is currently teaching at Oxford. He is much in demand as a lecturer around the world and author of the bestselling For Everyone commentary series, the Kingdom New Testament Bible translation, and the recently published Galatians Biblical Commentary. 


Monday January 24
G. Sujin Pak
“Wrestling with the Word: Biblical Interpretation through Church History”

Underwritten by The Stob Lecture Series

Dr. G. Sujin Pak currently serves as the Dean of the School of Theology at Boston University.  She is an expert in the history of Christianity with a focus on the early modern period, the Protestant Reformation, and the history of biblical interpretation. She has taught courses on the history of Christianity, the Protestant reformers, the history of biblical interpretation, and medieval female mystics. Through her several major publications, lectures, and invited presentations, she has made a significant impact on her field. As a teacher, Dr. Pak encourages her students to master not only a variety of perspectives, but also the social contexts whence those perspectives emerged. She prizes diversity in her teaching, as well as in her scholarship.

Tuesday January 25
Simply Three in Concert & Conversation

The electrifying string trio of Glen McDaniel, Nick Villalobos, and Zack Clark, together known as Simply Three, has been captivating audiences worldwide with high-octane performances since 2010. Acclaimed as “having what it takes” (Boston Philharmonic) and “highly imaginative and well played” (Maine Today), Simply Three continues to receive praise for their ability to impress listeners with a multitude of genres that span a wide variety of artists and composers. By reshaping convention through this style of genre hopping, the trio continues to seek the true essence of classical crossover with original works as well as innovative arrangements that showcase their technical virtuosity and heartfelt musicality.  With an ever-growing online popularity, Simply Three is creating a renewed excitement for instrumental music through inventive music videos that have captured the hearts of millions of YouTube viewers across the globe. Furthermore, their works have gained great critical recognition by publications such as The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, and, as well as mainstream artists themselves. 

A special evening performance (local only) will take place at 7:00 p.m.


Wednesday January 26
Col. Nicole Malachowski
Harnessing Headwinds of Change”

Col. Nicole Malachowski, USAF (Ret.) defies stereotypes. Yes, she was a jet fighter pilot, but if you think you know her based on that, you’d be wrong. A leader, a combat veteran, the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, a White House Fellow, and an inductee into both the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, Nicole’s distinguished 21-year Air Force career exceeded her wildest dreams. But the dream came to an end when a devastating tick-borne illness left her struggling greatly to speak or walk for almost nine months. An indomitable spirit, Nicole fought back against overwhelming odds and prevailed. Drawing on stories from her career and personal life, Nicole inspires audiences to rethink the challenges they face every day. She urges them to go beyond resilience and become resurgent. Nicole empowers people with three key beliefs: failure and risk are the price of entry for achieving something great; sometimes you need to yield to overcome; and her personal mantra – “nobody wants to lead a scripted life.”


Thursday January 27
Brad Montague
Amplify Good”

Brad Montague is a writer and director on a mission to create meaningful things for kids and former kids. He is creator of the hit web series "Kid President", author of the New York Times bestseller “Kid President's Guide to Being Awesome” and recently released “The Circles all Around Us” and “Becoming Better Grownups”. He is a popular storyteller both online and in real life with stories of birds, balloons, and floating people which have captured the imaginations of classrooms, boardrooms, and households throughout the world. As an illustrator his work is regularly featured in Joanna Gaine's The Magnolia Journal. He lives and works in Tennessee.


Friday January 28
Gary Schmidt
“In the Tangles of Our Minds:  Why Stories Move Us”

Gary D. Schmidt is the best-selling author of children’s literature and young adult fiction, including the Newbery Honor and Printz Honor book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, the Newberry Honor book The Wednesday Wars and the National Book Award finalist Okay for Now.  His most recent novel, Just Like That, was published this past January. He also contributed to the Star Wars anthology From A Certain Point of View: Star Wars (2017) by writing the only chapter from Yoda's point of view.  Schmidt received his undergraduate degree in English from Gordon College in 1979. Thereafter he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, receiving an MA in English in 1981 and then a PhD in medieval literature in 1985. He joined the faculty in the Calvin University English department in 1985.

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