FAIR, Sunstone conferences are this week

Published: Saturday, Aug. 2 2008 12:00 a.m. MDT

Mary Ellen Robertson, director of outreach and symposia for Sunstone, said there are a dozen sessions that directly fit that theme.

"How is the information age affecting their church life?" is a key question the various sessions will directly or indirectly address.

She said since free admission is offered to full-time students with identification, attendance by young adults has soared.

"We've got a lot of great sessions lined up," she said.

There are five pre-symposium workshops to be held on Wednesday, Aug. 6.

If you'd like to sample Sunstone for free, the Wednesday, Aug. 6, 8 p.m. Smith-Pettit Lecture is free. This year it will feature Wade Clark Roof, a professor of religion and society, talking about "Generation and Religion: Subtle Changes and Unresolved Challenges."

There's the usual wide range of topics on the schedule, from the offbeat "Why Are Church Meetings So Boring?" (Aug. 8, 8:45 a.m.) to outrageous "Mormon Nudists: Naked and Not Ashamed" (Aug. 8, 2:15 p.m.) to the intriguing "Mormons and the Cross" (Aug. 7, 8:45 a.m.) and much more in between.

Thursday, Aug. 7, at 8 p.m. will feature the local film screening of "Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons" by Darius Gray and Margaret Blair Young. A discussions will follow the film.

A panel discussion on Aug. 7 will reflect on "The Legacy of President Gordon B. Hinckley," while two earlier panels will be "The San Luis Shrine Missionary Desecration" and "The Texas/FLDS Situation."

Another Aug. 8 panel will examine "LDS Church Media Coverage and Image" and a second will debate "Was Mitt's Run for the White House Good News for Mormonism?" (4:45 p.m.)

One of the Aug. 9 panel discussions will be "Is Mormonism Too American? The LDS Church Beyond the United States."

Sunstone has no official ties to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Note that the sessions mentioned are all from the updated preliminary conference schedule. The final conference schedule won't be available online until sometime this weekend. To see the full Sunstone schedule and for registration details, go to: www.sunstonemagazine.com.

E-MAIL: lynn@desnews.com

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