A monthlong study called "Christian Hospitality: Creating a Free and Fearless Space" begins today and continues through Feb. 24 at University Presbyterian Church, 139 E. Alameda Drive, Tempe.
Amy Oden, professor of Christianity at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and an authority on the "radical practice of hospitality in early Christianity," will speak at a private home today and at the church on Sunday. She will preach at worship at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on "Unbending Oneself: Early Christianity and Hospitality." At an adult forum at 11 a.m., her topic will be "Welcome: Everyday Hospitality."
Barry Sargent, director of the Kino Institute of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, will speak at 6 p.m. Feb. 9 at a Tempe home on "Strangers No Longer: Reflections on Reaching Out" and twice on Feb. 10 on "Love of Jesus, Love of Neighbors" at the worship service and "Christian Hospitality as Sacrament" at the adult forum.
On Feb. 16, Tricia Hoyt, director of the Office of Peace and Justice for the Catholic Diocese and adjunct faculty member of Kino, will speak at a home on "A Storied People: The Spiritual Exercise of Hospitality." Her topics at the 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. settings will be "An Upside Down Vision of the World" and "Stretching the Heart: Family and Community Transformed."
It will close with an intergenerational performance of the musical "The Dogs Must Be Crazy" at noon Feb. 24, with doggie bag lunches served at 11:30 a.m.
Each February since 1993, the church has held a mission month with a single spiritual focus. For times and locations of Saturday talks, call (480) 966-6267.