Cook to lead Maryville College's annual February Meetings

“Vocation and the Centered Life” is theme for 2003

January 16, 2003

The Rev. Beth Luton Cook, director of the Office of Church Ministries Education at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, will be the speaker for Maryville College’s annual February Meetings, scheduled for Feb. 9-11.

Held annually since 1877, February Meetings emphasize spirituality, faith and outreach. In years past, guest speakers and special music have been highlights of the condensed lecture series, which is open to members of the college community and people in the area.

Cook, a minister in the United Methodist Church and ordained elder in the North Georgia Conference, completed her master’s degree of divinity at Candler School of Theology. Her undergraduate degree from Baldwin Wallace College is in health, physical education and recreation, and she has completed graduate work in recreation administration at the University of Georgia. As an active member of Embry Hills United Methodist, Cook is involved in worship, book and movie discussion groups and teaching a young adult Sunday School class. The movie discussion group led the way to an invitation to write a monthly column in the Georgia Wesleyan Christian Advocate entitled “A Movie and a Chat,” in which she reviews films and suggests theological insights for group discussion.

This year’s theme for February Meetings is “Vocation and the Centered Life,” marking the inaugural year of the Maryville College Initiative on Vocation. In the fall of 2001, the College received a $2 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to fund its five-year Initiative and since then, the College has established the Center for Calling & Career, implemented the Isaac Anderson Fellowship for Church Leadership, renovated the House in the Woods for use as a retreat center, and hosted vocation- and ministry-themed workshops for students, faculty members, parents and ministers.

Dr. Thomas Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler, will open the Meetings at 7 p.m., Feb. 9 at New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville. Cook will share “The Vocational Flame Within Us” at 7 p.m., Feb. 10, in the Lawson Auditorium of Fayerweather Hall. On Feb. 11, she will address “Clues, Cues and Distractions” at 11 a.m., and “Centered, Joy-Filled Living” at 7 p.m., also in Lawson Auditorium.

All sessions are free of charge and open to the public.

“Since the College recently initiated a number of programs that allow students to explore issues related to vocation, the February Meetings this year will help us deepen our reflection on what it means to live out our calling in the world,” said the Rev. Anne D. McKee, campus minister at the College. “One person’s particular calling might be lived out in a profession, another’s in family relationships, and another’s in service to those in need in the world. But each person has been put on the Earth for a purpose.

“ Rev. Cook can help us discover that purpose, and develop passion for filling it,” she added.