[FNCA History]
[Rev. Everett K. Bray Visiting Lecturer]

Past Rev. Everett K. Bray
Visiting Lecturers

© FNCA 2018The Rev. Everett K. Bray Visiting Lecturer program brings a prominent Swedenborgian scholar to the Assembly each year for two or more lectures. This person must also be someone who is beyond normal travel distance to camp and who isn't or hasn't been a regular lecturer at the Assembly in the past.

Rev. Bray was a core lecturer at the Assembly from the 1930s through the 1960s and is the patriarch of five generations at the FNCA so far, many of whom have served the FNCA in various capacities over the years.


2015  2016  2017  2018  2019 
2020  2021 



Rev. E. Kent Rogers
© Ros Taylor 2019Rev. Edward Kent Rogers graduated from Bryn Athyn College with a BA in religion. A series of events coinciding with a powerful spiritual experience led Kent, with the help of others, to create the Loving Arms Mission, a not-for-profit fundraising organization dedicated to creating and supporting New Church children's homes. In 1999, Kent moved to Nepal to start the first of these orphanages. In 2002 he married Shovha Budhathoki, a co-worker and Nepali national. Loving Arms Mission has since begun supporting a second children's home in Nepal and a larger orphanage in Kenya. In 2016, Rev. Rogers moved back to the United States with his wife to enroll in theological school where he was ordained into the Lord's New Church in 2019.

Three lectures:
1. "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"
2. "The Lord's Eternal Messages in His Spectacular Healing Miracles"
3. "What is the Heart of a True Church?"


Dr. Rebecca Esterson

Dr. Rebecca Esterson is Assistant Professor in Sacred Texts and Traditions and Dorothea Harvey Professor of Swedenborgian Studies at the Center for Swedenborgian Studies, our theological school in Berkeley CA. She is also the co-editor of the journal Teaching Theology and Religion, which is published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Dr. Esterson earned her PhD from the Graduate Division of Religious Studies at Boston University, her Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem as a visiting graduate student. After receiving her master's degree, she worked at Harvard's Center for the Study of World Religions where she was able to further develop her interest in comparative studies and interfaith learning.

Her teaching and research interests include: Swedenborgian thought and theology, the history of Biblical interpretation, hermeneutics, Jewish-Christian relations, interreligious pedagogy, eighteenth century intellectual culture, and comparative religious studies.

One lecture:
"An Introduction to the Tabernacle of Israel: Cosmos in Miniature"
and she facilitated the Afternoon Book Club.



Rev. Dr. Ray Silverman

Rev. Dr. Silverman currently serves as Associate Professor of Religion and English at Bryn Athyn College in Bryn Athyn PA. He is the editor/reviser of Helen Keller's spiritual autobiography, Light in My Darkness, and has written the introduction to Helen Keller's How I Would Help the World, a USA book awards finalist. His book, The Core of Johnny Appleseed was published in 2012 by the Swedenborg Foundation. 

Ray and his wife Star are certified Marriage Enrichment Trainers, authors, and program developers who lead seminars on spiritual development, creative conflict transformation, and relationship enhancement. Their popular seminar, Rise Above It: Spiritual Development through the Ten Commandments has been taught across America, as well as in Africa, Japan, Korea, France, Brazil, England, Sweden, Australia, and in the Philippines.

Two lectures:
1. "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery. Rise Above Lust — Honor Marriage"
2. "Thou Shalt Not Kill. Rise Above Anger — Be a Life-Giver"


Dr. Soni Werner

Dr. Werner is an Assistant Professor Emerita at Bryn Athyn College (BAC) in Bryn Athyn PA as well as an Adjunct Instructor at Elmira College, Corning Community College, and Alfred University in NY.

Dr. Werner's specialties include developmental psychology, organizational psychology, forensic psychology, and conflict management. At BAC, she guides students as they write their senior essays in business, psychology, or interdisciplinary studies. Dr. Werner is also certified as a Mediator, Conflict Coach, and Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer advocating for abused children. She has recently authored several books, including The Growth of the Female Mind; The Search for Mary Magdalene; and Altruism: Many Kinds of Kindness. Her previous work experiences include being a Human Resource Professional at Corning Inc., co-directing the Corning Children’s Center, teaching in a maximum security prison in Elmira NY, and serving as an organizational psychologist/mediator for small businesses. She has taught at Bryn Athyn College since 1996.

She holds a BA in Psychology and Art from Western Connecticut State University, and a MS and PhD in Child Development from Iowa State University.

Two lectures:
1. "Altruism for the Spiritually Hungry, Thirsty, and Estranged"
2. "Altruism for the Spirtually Naked, Sick, and Imprisoned"


Dr. Devin Zuber
Dr. Zuber serves as core doctoral faculty for the graduate programs in Arts and Religion and Interdisciplinary Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley CA. Prior to that, he taught at the University of Osnabrueck (Germany), the Maximilians University of Munich, and Queens College (CUNY). He holds an MPhil (2007) and a PhD (2010) in English Literature, both from CUNY Graduate Center.

Two lectures:
1. "Caring for Creation: Swedenborgian Ecology"
“A Bird's Life: Sarah Orne Jewett, George Inness, and the Art of (Swedenborgian) Ornithological Conservation — The Fifth Day of Creation”

Dr. Ian J. Thompson
Prominent Swedenborgian scholar and nuclear physicist; theoretical nuclear physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore CA;  Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey UK; a Fellow of the Institute of Physics in London; Fellow at our denomination's theological school: the Center for Swedenborgian Studies in Berkeley CA; author of several books, including Starting Science From God: Rational Scientific Theories from Theism.

Five lectures:
1. "Quantum Physics for Swedenborgians"
2. "The Connection Between Love and Energy, part 1"
3. "The Connection Between Love and Energy, part 2"
4. “Does Consciousness Create Reality?”
5. “The Miracles of Jesus: Spiritual and Natural Laws”

Curtis Childs
Digital media producer at the Swedenborg Foundation and host of the weekly web series Swedenborg and Life on the offTheLeftEye YouTube channel. He has a degree in communication studies from Oakland University. He has appeared on many international radio shows, podcasts, and YouTube shows, such as Talk Gnosis, Sunday Morning Spiritual, The Butterfly Moment, Dark Thirty Radio, We Don’t Die Radio, and much more!

Two lectures:
1. "Hope No One Saw That: How I Ended Up Telling Thousands of Strangers about Evil Spirits and the Five Churches"
2. “The Way Things Really Are: How Heaven and Hell Show Up in the Modern Mind”


[FNCA History]
[Rev. Everett K. Bray Visiting Lecturer]

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