Worship Services

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In addition to Department of Religion programs, Denominational Houses and religious organizations at Chautauqua Institution offer religious services, lectures, and low-cost housing options during the nine-week CHQ Season.

The term “denomination” in CHQ usage is a very inclusive term meaning an institutional faith organization. The 16 denominations at CHQ include the African American Denominational House (AADH), Baha’i Faith, Baptist, Catholic, Christian Science, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Episcopal, Chabad-Lubavitch Community (Orthodox Jewish), Hebrew Congregation (Reform Jewish), Lutheran, Presbyterian, the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker), United Church of Christ (UCC), United Methodist, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship(UU) and Unity. Eleven of these denominations have Denominational Houses on the grounds.

Religious organizations (not denominations) at CHQ that offer religious services, programming and/or housing include the International Order of the King’s Daughters and Sons (IOKDS), Chautauqua Christian Fellowship (CCF), and the Ecumenical Community of Chautauqua (ECOC).
Sunday Morning Worship: Rabbi Sharon Brous    Amphitheater
Rabbi Sharon Brous is a leading voice in reanimating religious life in America, working to develop a spiritual roadmap for soulful, multi-faith justice work in Los Angeles and around the country. She is the senior and founding rabbi of IKAR, which was started in 2004 and has become a model for Jewish revitalization in the US and beyond. With the goal of reinvigorating Jewish practice and inspiring people of faith to reclaim a moral and prophetic voice, IKAR quickly became one of the fastest growing and most influential Jewish congregations in the country. Today it is credited with sparking a rethinking of religious life in a time of unprecedented disaffection and declining affiliation. Brous’s 2016 TED talk, “Reclaiming Religion,” has been viewed by more than 1.3 million people and translated into 20 languages. In 2013, she blessed President Obama and Vice President Biden at the Inaugural National Prayer Service, and Mayor Eric Garcetti at his inauguration in LA in 2017. She spoke at the Women’s March in Washington, DC in 2017, and at the national launch of the Poor People’s Campaign and the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in 2018. Brous was named #1 on the Newsweek/The Daily Beast list of the most influential Rabbis in America, and has been recognized by The Forwardand the Jerusalem Post as one of the fifty most influential Jews. She was featured on the cover of TIME magazine in 2018 based on Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms. Brous is in the inaugural cohort of Auburn Seminary's Senior Fellows program, which unites top faith leaders working on the frontlines for justice. Brous also sits on Mayor’s Interfaith Collective and on the faculty of the Shalom Hartman Institute-North America and REBOOT, and serves on the International Council of the New Israel Fund and the national steering committee for the Poor People’s Campaign. Rabbi Brous is a graduate of Columbia University, was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.
Vesper Service: Rabbi Sharon Brous    Hall of Philosophy
Rabbi Sharon Brous is a leading voice in reanimating religious life in America, working to develop a spiritual roadmap for soulful, multi-faith justice work in Los Angeles and around the country. She is the senior and founding rabbi of IKAR, which was started in 2004 and has become a model for Jewish revitalization in the US and beyond. With the goal of reinvigorating Jewish practice and inspiring people of faith to reclaim a moral and prophetic voice, IKAR quickly became one of the fastest growing and most influential Jewish congregations in the country. Today it is credited with sparking a rethinking of religious life in a time of unprecedented disaffection and declining affiliation. Brous’s 2016 TED talk, “Reclaiming Religion,” has been viewed by more than 1.3 million people and translated into 20 languages. In 2013, she blessed President Obama and Vice President Biden at the Inaugural National Prayer Service, and Mayor Eric Garcetti at his inauguration in LA in 2017. She spoke at the Women’s March in Washington, DC in 2017, and at the national launch of the Poor People’s Campaign and the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in 2018. Brous was named #1 on the Newsweek/The Daily Beast list of the most influential Rabbis in America, and has been recognized by The Forwardand the Jerusalem Post as one of the fifty most influential Jews. She was featured on the cover of TIME magazine in 2018 based on Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms. Brous is in the inaugural cohort of Auburn Seminary's Senior Fellows program, which unites top faith leaders working on the frontlines for justice. Brous also sits on Mayor’s Interfaith Collective and on the faculty of the Shalom Hartman Institute-North America and REBOOT, and serves on the International Council of the New Israel Fund and the national steering committee for the Poor People’s Campaign. Rabbi Brous is a graduate of Columbia University, was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.
Sunday Morning Worship: Rev. Zina Jacque    Amphitheater
Zina Jacque is the Lead Pastor at the Community Church of Barrington in Illinois. She has served on the staffs of multicultural, urban, and suburban churches, and has done extensive work in the areas of education, counseling, and support programs. Jacque was the founder and first Executive Director of the Pastoral Counseling Center of Trinity Church (Episcopal) in Boston. In this role she implemented training on mental health issues for local pastors and led the Center in the delivery of direct service hours to economically disenfranchised people across greater Boston. The center is now in its 18th year and remains a unique center serving the greater Boston area. Previously Jacque served as the Protestant Chaplin at Bentley College, and as the Executive Director of the Boston Ten Point Coalition, where she served as a key member of the Boston program of violence reduction: Operation Ceasefire. Prior to entering ministry Rev. Jacque completed a 20+ year career in higher education serving in senior positions at Northwestern, the University of Chicago, Mills College (Oakland, CA), and the University of California (both Santa Cruz and the Office of the President). Jacque holds a Ph.D. in Theology (Practical Theology) and a Masters of Divinity degree (Summa Cum Laude) from Boston University, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a B.A. from Northwestern University. She has served as an adjunct professor of Pastoral Care at the University of Chicago and Boston University. She serves on the boards of the American Baptist Churches USA (Board of General Ministries), Journey Care Hospice and Palliative Care Center, National Senior Campuses, Samaritan Counseling Center of Northwest Illinois, and the Barrington Area Ministerial Alliance, among others. But what is most important to her is this, she is a child of God, formed and filled with God’s love. She believes we are each sent into the world to live out our gifts and talents for the good of the whole, and that, as Christians, we are meant to be the channel through which all of the families of the earth are blessed.
Vesper Service: Rev. Zina Jacque    Hall of Philosophy
Zina Jacque is the Lead Pastor at the Community Church of Barrington in Illinois. She has served on the staffs of multicultural, urban, and suburban churches, and has done extensive work in the areas of education, counseling, and support programs. Jacque was the founder and first Executive Director of the Pastoral Counseling Center of Trinity Church (Episcopal) in Boston. In this role she implemented training on mental health issues for local pastors and led the Center in the delivery of direct service hours to economically disenfranchised people across greater Boston. The center is now in its 18th year and remains a unique center serving the greater Boston area. Previously Jacque served as the Protestant Chaplin at Bentley College, and as the Executive Director of the Boston Ten Point Coalition, where she served as a key member of the Boston program of violence reduction: Operation Ceasefire. Prior to entering ministry Rev. Jacque completed a 20+ year career in higher education serving in senior positions at Northwestern, the University of Chicago, Mills College (Oakland, CA), and the University of California (both Santa Cruz and the Office of the President). Jacque holds a Ph.D. in Theology (Practical Theology) and a Masters of Divinity degree (Summa Cum Laude) from Boston University, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a B.A. from Northwestern University. She has served as an adjunct professor of Pastoral Care at the University of Chicago and Boston University. She serves on the boards of the American Baptist Churches USA (Board of General Ministries), Journey Care Hospice and Palliative Care Center, National Senior Campuses, Samaritan Counseling Center of Northwest Illinois, and the Barrington Area Ministerial Alliance, among others. But what is most important to her is this, she is a child of God, formed and filled with God’s love. She believes we are each sent into the world to live out our gifts and talents for the good of the whole, and that, as Christians, we are meant to be the channel through which all of the families of the earth are blessed.
Sunday Morning Worship: Rev. David Anderson    Amphitheater
Dr. David Anderson, founder and President of the BridgeLeader Network (BLN), is one of the world’s leading authorities on building bridges across the deep divides of race, faith, culture, and wealth. His global work has brought hope and healing to communities, families, and people in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America including work in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, during recent civil unrest around issues of race and police brutality. Wherever there is a divide, Anderson seeks to build a bridge through relevant and intelligent conversation. His insight, vision, and passion have made him a widely sought speaker, writer, and consultant for major national and international events and policy initiatives. He has appeared on ABC, CNN, FOX, BET, TBN and C-SPAN television networks, and has been interviewed on more than 2,000 radio stations worldwide. Anderson is the bridge-building voice in the Nation's Capital as host of the daily radio talk show "Real Talk with Dr. David Anderson" on WAVA (105.1 FM) – the most listened to Christian talk station on the East Coast and the 2nd most listened to Christian talk station in the nation. Dr. Anderson also hosted “Real Talk with Dr. David Anderson” on ABC2 in Baltimore, Maryland, for 4 seasons. Dr. Anderson earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 2001 from Oxford Graduate School's American Centre for Religion and Society Studies in the US, while studying and defending his essays at Oxford University in England. Dr. Anderson currently serves as the Chancellor of Omega Graduate School (formerly Oxford Graduate School). As the founder and senior pastor of Bridgeway Community Church located in Columbia, Maryland, Dr. Anderson reaches a dynamic, multicultural congregation of over 5,000 weekly attendees from more than 52 different nations, and their services are viewed online in over 100 countries. Dr. Anderson is the author of several books on race and diversity, including Letters across the Divide and Multicultural Ministry, the award-winning Gracism: The Art of Inclusion, and I Forgrace You: Doing Good to Those Who Have Hurt You. In 2010, Dr. Anderson edited and co-authored the acclaimed Multicultural Ministry Handbook: Creatively Connecting to a Diverse World. His newest book, How to Think like a Gracist, along with all of Dr. Anderson's resources, are available at EmbraceGracism.com. You can learn more about Dr. Anderson and his work at AndersonSpeaks.com. Dr. Anderson and his family reside in Ellicott City, Maryland.
Vesper Service: Rev. David Anderson    Hall of Philosophy
Dr. David Anderson, founder and President of the BridgeLeader Network (BLN), is one of the world’s leading authorities on building bridges across the deep divides of race, faith, culture, and wealth. His global work has brought hope and healing to communities, families, and people in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America including work in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, during recent civil unrest around issues of race and police brutality. Wherever there is a divide, Anderson seeks to build a bridge through relevant and intelligent conversation. His insight, vision, and passion have made him a widely sought speaker, writer, and consultant for major national and international events and policy initiatives. He has appeared on ABC, CNN, FOX, BET, TBN and C-SPAN television networks, and has been interviewed on more than 2,000 radio stations worldwide. Anderson is the bridge-building voice in the Nation's Capital as host of the daily radio talk show "Real Talk with Dr. David Anderson" on WAVA (105.1 FM) – the most listened to Christian talk station on the East Coast and the 2nd most listened to Christian talk station in the nation. Dr. Anderson also hosted “Real Talk with Dr. David Anderson” on ABC2 in Baltimore, Maryland, for 4 seasons. Dr. Anderson earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 2001 from Oxford Graduate School's American Centre for Religion and Society Studies in the US, while studying and defending his essays at Oxford University in England. Dr. Anderson currently serves as the Chancellor of Omega Graduate School (formerly Oxford Graduate School). As the founder and senior pastor of Bridgeway Community Church located in Columbia, Maryland, Dr. Anderson reaches a dynamic, multicultural congregation of over 5,000 weekly attendees from more than 52 different nations, and their services are viewed online in over 100 countries. Dr. Anderson is the author of several books on race and diversity, including Letters across the Divide and Multicultural Ministry, the award-winning Gracism: The Art of Inclusion, and I Forgrace You: Doing Good to Those Who Have Hurt You. In 2010, Dr. Anderson edited and co-authored the acclaimed Multicultural Ministry Handbook: Creatively Connecting to a Diverse World. His newest book, How to Think like a Gracist, along with all of Dr. Anderson's resources, are available at EmbraceGracism.com. You can learn more about Dr. Anderson and his work at AndersonSpeaks.com. Dr. Anderson and his family reside in Ellicott City, Maryland.
Sunday Morning Worship: Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III    Amphitheater
With civil rights advocacy in his DNA, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III built his ministry on community advancement and social justice activism. As Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Ill., Dr. Moss spent the last two decades practicing and preaching a Black theology that unapologetically calls attention to the problems of mass incarceration, environmental justice, and economic inequality. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Moss is an honors graduate of Morehouse College, who earned a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Chicago Theological Seminary. He returned to Yale in 2014 to present the famed Lyman Beecher lectures. The three-day event included an in-depth discourse on the subject of "The Blue Note Gospel: Preaching the Prophetic Blues in a Post Soul World." The lectures, which demonstrated a homiletic blueprint for prophetic preaching in the 21st century, were the foundation of his latest book, Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul World: Finding Hope in an Age of Despair, published in 2015. His earlier publications include: Redemption in a Red Light District, and The Gospel According to the Wiz and Other Sermons from Cinema. He co-authored The Gospel Re-Mix: How to Reach the Hip-Hop Generation with three other contributors, and Preach! The Power and Purpose behind Our Praise, with his father. Dr. Moss was named to the inaugural Root 100, a list that “recognizes emerging and established African-American leaders who are making extraordinary contributions,” according to the publication’s Website. Honorees range between ages 25 to 45, and their accomplishments and successes transcend media headlines or statistics. With a unique gift to communicate across generations, Dr. Moss’ creative bible-based messages have inspired young and old alike. His intergenerational preaching gift has made Dr. Moss a popular speaker on college campuses, and at conferences and churches across the globe. Highly influenced by the works of Zora Neale Hurston, August Wilson, Howard Thurman, Jazz, and Hip-Hop music, the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the pastoral ministry of his father, Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. of Cleveland, Ohio, have been primary mentors for his spiritual formation. The former pastor of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga., his first pastorate, where the church grew from 125 members to over 2100 disciples during his tenure, Dr. Moss is an ordained minister in the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the United Church of Christ. He is on the boards of Auburn Seminary and the Faith-In-Place/Action Fund, and is chaplain of the Children’s Defense Fund’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Child Advocacy Conference. Dr. Moss is also a Senior Fellow in the Auburn Seniors Fellow Program. Married to his college sweetheart, the former Monica Brown of Orlando, Fla., a Spelman College and Columbia University graduate, he and Monica are the proud parents of two creative and humorous children, Elijah Wynton and Makayla Elon.
Vesper Service: Rev. Dr Otis Moss III    Hall of Philosophy
With civil rights advocacy in his DNA, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III built his ministry on community advancement and social justice activism. As Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Ill., Dr. Moss spent the last two decades practicing and preaching a Black theology that unapologetically calls attention to the problems of mass incarceration, environmental justice, and economic inequality. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Moss is an honors graduate of Morehouse College, who earned a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Chicago Theological Seminary. He returned to Yale in 2014 to present the famed Lyman Beecher lectures. The three-day event included an in-depth discourse on the subject of "The Blue Note Gospel: Preaching the Prophetic Blues in a Post Soul World." The lectures, which demonstrated a homiletic blueprint for prophetic preaching in the 21st century, were the foundation of his latest book, Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul World: Finding Hope in an Age of Despair, published in 2015. His earlier publications include: Redemption in a Red Light District, and The Gospel According to the Wiz and Other Sermons from Cinema. He co-authored The Gospel Re-Mix: How to Reach the Hip-Hop Generation with three other contributors, and Preach! The Power and Purpose behind Our Praise, with his father. Dr. Moss was named to the inaugural Root 100, a list that “recognizes emerging and established African-American leaders who are making extraordinary contributions,” according to the publication’s Website. Honorees range between ages 25 to 45, and their accomplishments and successes transcend media headlines or statistics. With a unique gift to communicate across generations, Dr. Moss’ creative bible-based messages have inspired young and old alike. His intergenerational preaching gift has made Dr. Moss a popular speaker on college campuses, and at conferences and churches across the globe. Highly influenced by the works of Zora Neale Hurston, August Wilson, Howard Thurman, Jazz, and Hip-Hop music, the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the pastoral ministry of his father, Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. of Cleveland, Ohio, have been primary mentors for his spiritual formation. The former pastor of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga., his first pastorate, where the church grew from 125 members to over 2100 disciples during his tenure, Dr. Moss is an ordained minister in the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the United Church of Christ. He is on the boards of Auburn Seminary and the Faith-In-Place/Action Fund, and is chaplain of the Children’s Defense Fund’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Child Advocacy Conference. Dr. Moss is also a Senior Fellow in the Auburn Seniors Fellow Program. Married to his college sweetheart, the former Monica Brown of Orlando, Fla., a Spelman College and Columbia University graduate, he and Monica are the proud parents of two creative and humorous children, Elijah Wynton and Makayla Elon.
Sunday Morning Worship: Rev. Susan Sparks    Amphitheater
As a trial lawyer turned standup comedian and Baptist minister, Susan Sparks is America’s only female comedian with a pulpit. A North Carolina native, Susan received her B.A. at the University of North Carolina and a law degree from Wake Forest University. After ten years as a lawyer moonlighting as a standup, she left her practice and spent two years on a solo trip around the world, including working with Mother Teresa’s mission in Calcutta, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, and driving her Jeep Wrangler solo from NYC to Alaska. Upon returning home, she entered Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she earned a Master of Divinity and wrote an honors thesis on humor and religion. In May 2007 Susan was installed as the 15th Senior Minister of the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City. She was the first woman pastor in its 170-year history and she remains there to this day. (Y'all come visit!) A featured TEDx speaker, Susan's work with humor, healing, and spirituality has been featured in O (The Oprah) Magazine, the New York Times, and on such networks as ABC, CNN, CBS, and the History Channel. A professional comedian, Susan tours nationally with a stand-up Rabbi and a Muslim comic in the Laugh in Peace Tour. She is also an internationally known preacher and speaker whose wide-ranging clients include the World Bank, colleges and universities, resorts such as Canyon Ranch, religious conventions, and national/regional gatherings for cancer survivors and caregivers (Susan is a breast cancer survivor). In addition to her speaking and preaching, Susan writes a nationally syndicated column through GateHouse Media distributed to over 600 newspapers reaching over 21 million people in 36 states. She is the author of the award-winning book, Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor, and her second book, Preaching Punchlines: The Ten Commandments of Standup Comedy, is due to be released in the summer of 2019. Susan is the 20th recipient of the John L. Haber Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts given by the University of North Carolina (and comedian/alum Lewis Black), as well as a recipient of the Intersections International Award for interfaith work to promote justice and reconciliation among diverse communities. Most importantly, Susan and her husband Toby love to fly-fish, ride their Harleys, eat good BBQ, and root for North Carolina Basketball and the Green Bay Packers.
Vesper Service: Rev Susan Sparks    Hall of Philosophy
As a trial lawyer turned standup comedian and Baptist minister, Susan Sparks is America’s only female comedian with a pulpit. A North Carolina native, Susan received her B.A. at the University of North Carolina and a law degree from Wake Forest University. After ten years as a lawyer moonlighting as a standup, she left her practice and spent two years on a solo trip around the world, including working with Mother Teresa’s mission in Calcutta, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, and driving her Jeep Wrangler solo from NYC to Alaska. Upon returning home, she entered Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she earned a Master of Divinity and wrote an honors thesis on humor and religion. In May 2007 Susan was installed as the 15th Senior Minister of the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City. She was the first woman pastor in its 170-year history and she remains there to this day. (Y'all come visit!) A featured TEDx speaker, Susan's work with humor, healing, and spirituality has been featured in O (The Oprah) Magazine, the New York Times, and on such networks as ABC, CNN, CBS, and the History Channel. A professional comedian, Susan tours nationally with a stand-up Rabbi and a Muslim comic in the Laugh in Peace Tour. She is also an internationally known preacher and speaker whose wide-ranging clients include the World Bank, colleges and universities, resorts such as Canyon Ranch, religious conventions, and national/regional gatherings for cancer survivors and caregivers (Susan is a breast cancer survivor). In addition to her speaking and preaching, Susan writes a nationally syndicated column through GateHouse Media distributed to over 600 newspapers reaching over 21 million people in 36 states. She is the author of the award-winning book, Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor, and her second book, Preaching Punchlines: The Ten Commandments of Standup Comedy, is due to be released in the summer of 2019. Susan is the 20th recipient of the John L. Haber Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts given by the University of North Carolina (and comedian/alum Lewis Black), as well as a recipient of the Intersections International Award for interfaith work to promote justice and reconciliation among diverse communities. Most importantly, Susan and her husband Toby love to fly-fish, ride their Harleys, eat good BBQ, and root for North Carolina Basketball and the Green Bay Packers.