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Keynote Speakers

 

Opening General Session
The Good Funeral
Monday, October 21, 9:45 – 11:45 a.m.

Dr. Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
Thomas Lynch, Writer and Funeral Director, Milford, Michigan

Champions of meaningful funerals, seminary professor Rev. Dr. Thomas Long and funeral director Thomas Lynch will share thoughts about the challenges facing "the good funeral." They will address the issues that have led to the distrust of funeral directors, the sometimes strained relationships between members of the clergy and funeral directors and the tendency of modern funerals to exclude the body from the service. There is much you will glean from their insights about the value of a meaningful funeral. (1 CE hour)

Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, is the author of many books, including The Witness of  Preaching and Accompany Them With Singing: The Christian Funeral. Named by Baylor University as one of the 12 most effective preachers in the English speaking world, Rev.  Long is a writer, thinker, theologian and teacher of national renown. 

Thomas Lynch, a writer and funeral director, has taught with the graduate program in  creative writing at the University of Michigan and held the McDonald Chair at Candler  School of Theology at Emory University. The Undertaking, based on his life's work as a funeral director in Milford, Michigan, became an Emmy Award winning PBS documentary film by the same name.

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 Dr. Thomas Long

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Thomas Lynch

General Session
Building a Better You
Wednesday, October 23, 12 – 1:30 p.m.

Bryan Dodge, professional speaker, author and radio show personality

Popular professional speaker, author, coach and radio show personality Bryan Dodge will open your mind and heart to help you focus on the most essential aspects of life so that you can reach your full potential with your family and your business. His unique stairstep method for achieving excellence will keep you on the cutting edge. Learn how to have the best year of your life, create consistent upward growth and get energized. Dodge's life-changing, humorous stories will inspire and encourage you. The best part of his message? It's memorable and a lot of fun! (1 CE hour)

bryan-dodge-3b-color_webBryan Dodge


Special Engagement
Why Funerals Matter
Wednesday, October 23, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

Dr. Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
Thomas Lynch, Writer and Funeral Director, Milford, Michigan

Dr. Thomas Long and Thomas Lynch, preacher and funeral director, respectively, understand the value of funeral rituals and clearly articulate the elements that are necessary for a good funeral. This is a rare opportunity for clergy, hospice and funeral directors to hear ideas and strategies for growing a sense of community and cooperation among caregiving professionals who support and care for the dying and those who have experienced a death. (Up to 1.5 CE hours)