In a perfect world, parents give their children roots and wings. The Rev. Katharine Rhodes Henderson’s parents gave her roots in the Civil Rights Movement, where people of different faith traditions as well as people who claimed no faith tradition come together out of moral conviction and commitment.
Today, in her role as president of Auburn Seminary, she works to give wings to young leaders from countries torn apart by war through conflict resolution and multi-faith understanding through the Face to Face/Faith to Faith program. Utilizing the Auburn Coach Program, Auburn Media, Groundswell and her blog on The Huffington Post, she teaches faith leaders from a variety of traditions how to be moral leaders in the public square.
“If we wisely invest in the leaders of tomorrow today, we could reap rich spiritual benefits in the years to come,” she wrote in The Huffington Post. “As a seminary president, it’s my business to help support and promote such religious leaders and, equally as important, to recognize the public’s hunger for ‘the real thing.’ ”
Henderson will be the chaplain for Week Three at Chautauqua. Her sermons will all focus on immigration (strangers in a strange land) through the lens of related and intersecting issues: race in America; climate change; aging and Alzheimer’s; relationship to the other; and leadership, asking what we are going to do with our one precious life in relationship to these issues.
She will preach at 10:45 a.m. Sunday at the service of worship and sermon in the Amphitheater. Her sermon title is “Being IN the Way.” She will share her faith journey at the 5 p.m. Vespers in the Hall of Philosophy.
Henderson will preach Monday to Friday at the 9:15 a.m. morning service in the Amphitheater. Her sermon titles include “Strange Fruit,” “Finding our Place in the Family of Things,” “Living in the World Between the Worlds,” “Called to the Fusion Feast,” and “Being ON The Way.”
Henderson has spearheaded numerous programs, including MountainTop, a gathering of faith leaders working toward a multifaith movement for justice. She was named co-recipient of the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize.
She has been featured in outlets including MSNBC, The Washington Post and The New York Times, speaking to issues like moral economy, sex trafficking, immigration, gun violence and LGBTQA equality.
The author of God’s Troublemakers: How Women of Faith are Changing the World, she is a Parish Associate of The First Presbyterian Church in New York City.