The National Black Evangelical Assn., founded in Pasadena 25 years ago during the period of intense civil rights struggles, returns to that city for its national convention next week and the launching of a new instrument for teaching about "black theology."
The Institute for Black Theology and Thought will conduct seminars in six U.S. cities over the next 12 months, said the Rev. Aaron Hamlin of Portland, Ore., national director of the 600-member association.
"Its purpose will be to develop understanding of how black experience relates to the general culture and to overcome misconceptions about black theology. It is not a separatist philosophy," Hamlin said.
The institute, which also has publishing plans, will be led by the Rev. William H. Bentley of Chicago, a former association president and one of the first black graduates of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena.
Bentley will also preside over several workshops on institute plans during the five-day convention at the Pasadena Hilton and address the formal opening session Wednesday evening.
The Rev. E. V. Hill of Los Angeles will preach at the pre-convention rally Tuesday night at the hotel.
Japanese Buddhist scholar Yoshinori Takeuchi will deliver the third annual Blaisdell Lecture at the Claremont Graduate School at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Albrecht Auditorium. Takeuchi, a priest in the Takada sect of Shin Buddhism, will speak on "An Encounter Between Being and Nothingness." He will also be the principal speaker at a seminar on affinities between Buddhism and a school of Western philosophy called Process Thought at 3 p.m. Friday at the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity in Claremont. Both events are free and open to the public.
Black theologian James Forbes of New York City will keynote the Friday night opening of the second Festival of Life conference at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, a series of workshops and celebrations expected to draw about 1,000 people.
The 235-church Southern California District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which recently dedicated its new offices at the denomination-related Christ College Irvine, will open its three-day annual convention Friday at the Anaheim Hilton with a mid-afternoon report by its president, the Rev. Loren T. Kramer. The district will hold a Communion service that night in the theater-in-the-round sanctuary of Melodyland Christian Center.