Hurricane Irene – can help/need help center

Dear members and friends of the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville:

Phones and Internet and power are out at the church.  In order to serve your needs we have created this blog post to connect people who need things (housing, a working shower, a spare generator, use of power/Internet) with those who are able to provide those things.

If you can help, or you need something, please leave a comment on this post.


A parable of hell…and…welcome honored guests!

First – I acknowledge the title of this entry sounds rather…strange. But to explain. I will be on vacation for the next several weeks, and we have an all-star cast of preachers lined up to reflect on the rest of the topics in our sermon series, “Questions from the Floor”: Jill Cifelli, Tom Baker, Louise Johnson, Leigh Stuckey. I’ve invited them to blog in this space too, if they wish – just an invitation, no pressure. I’m looking forward to reading what they might have to offer, if they choose to do so. I hope you keep tuning in.

Second, this past Sunday, I was faced with the challenge of preaching on the following “question from the floor”: Is there a hell? Since there is so much to say about the subject – at least as far as I’m concerned – and since such discussions can become so abstract, I chose to make the mainstay of the sermon a parable, offered as an invitation to imagine life, heaven and hell as an extended metaphor. The parable is meant to illustrate some of the historic teachings of the church about hell. I’ve reprinted it here, and invite any to comment. I have not provided the rest of my sermon, since it’s still in outline form. In a way, I wish I’d left it at this.

A Parable of Heaven, Hell and the House We Live In.

Here’s what I’d like you to imagine first. Imagine that there is a house that exists in your heart. In fact, such a house exists in every human heart, although we’re almost never aware of it. And because this is imagination and anything is possible, imagine that you are standing outside this house right now. It’s a two-story Victorian house, beautifully painted in bright vivid colors, surrounded by a garden that is thick with every kind of vine and vegetable, with flowers, and things that are delightful for the human eye and to taste. Beyond the garden is a forest, through which no one can see. And as you look upon this house, you realize that someone has given it to you, as a place to live, because you are loved.

And here’s what you need to know about this house. It’s a real house. It’s even more real than the rock on which you stubbed your toe yesterday, or the golf ball you hit two-hundred fifty yards; it’s real, but the only way to explore it is by means of imagination.

And so you go inside, and you realize that you live here; in fact it’s the house where we all live.

Then you remember that most who live there spend their time on the first floor of this house. It’s a beautiful place, but it’s also an ordinary place, with large windows that look out onto the garden; you can see the vines and flowers, but not beyond them, not past the tall gnarled trees that lie beyond the garden. All of it is room temperature, so comfortable people almost never leave the first floor. People spend their time, making baskets and candles, trading cockles and widgets, hands and arms always busy, cooking meat and tasting pudding. People laugh when they feel pleasure, and cry when the feel pain, on the first floor.

But once in a while, you might find someone asking those busy on the first floor to stop and put down what’s in their hands; someone tries to teach them, to remind them that there’s a second floor to this house, telling them what they will find if they bother to climb the stairs and take a look around, just for a while even.

And so once in a while people do go up to the second floor, which you enter at the top of the stairs through a curtain of pure light. It’s much brighter here. You see art on the walls that looks more real than life itself: on the right is a painting of a red wheelbarrow drawn impossibly with words and not colors, making the thing seem more red than red itself. At the end of the hallway, there’s a clock made of gold that sings instead of telling time.

All of it looks more beautiful because of the light, streaming through those windows.

If you look out of one, you will see the sun, instead of the shade, the reflected light that illumines the furnishings on the first floor below. People look out the windows and from there you can see over the garden, over the ancient trees, into the horizon to see things as they are. Looking through those windows, people see that the world that exists outside the house where they are living is so much bigger than they ever imagined; they yearn to find what lies there, on the golden horizon, someday.

To look out those windows – it does something to them. They sing without words, or even music and simply stay silent. They dance without having ever practiced. They look into each other’s faces as if they were seeing their own faces, more beautiful than they’d ever imagined them to be. The sick and wounded and depressed go there and become well when they discover they can heal others.

And there are some people who spend a lot of time up there; there are people who live there. But most only visit a short while, until they feel the pull of the first floor, of the work they have to do, and the people they have to meet, the food they have to cook and the family they have to tend.

But there’s something else about this house. There’s a basement. Why is there a basement? It has to be part of the design. A house has to have a foundation, a basement. And it never was a place where people were meant to go, but someone, one day, found the door – more like a utility hatch you can pry open. And he went in, down into the darkness; he thought he was a pioneer, an explorer. But soon enough he led others, certainly many others followed him down there into the basement. Into the dark.

They discovered that there was a place where they could fulfill their immediate desires, without anyone seeing them, down there in the darkness. They were together in their aloneness. They could scratch any itch that came to them, fill any immediate pleasure. And what was most appealing about this place: they were convinced they were free, because they could do exactly what they wanted.

There in the basement, it’s a place where wounds do not heal. People go down into that basement to enjoy their injuries; to compare them to those others whose wounds cannot be seen, only described and deliciously tended.

Down there in the darkness, people are able to do what they will – they trade revenge and savor envy, and cherish their hatreds, lashing and cutting each other in the shadows. Some partake in the ultimate feast of the people of the dark: taking life itself from one another.

Most people go down there, and get scared enough to go back upstairs right away. Some visit regularly. Many visit so long that it gets harder and harder to survive the sting in their eyes and the soreness in their joints when they return to the first floor. And others, still others have gone so far down in that basement, for so long in the dark that they cannot return, ever, because they have lost all power over the darkness. And that is the greatest irony. Because darkness has no power at all. It is simply the absence of light. These are the people who have forgotten that light exists at all.

Amendment 10A and…Hell

Last Sunday was installment two in our new sermon series, “Questions from the Floor.” The topic: “How will Amendment 10A affect the Presbyterian Church (USA) going forward?”

My approach was simply to describe some of the major developments that occurred during the 30+ years through which the Presbyterian Church has struggled through the issue of whether to ordain gay or lesbian Christians. I won’t repeat that material here – there are a number of websites that describe in great detail those developments, and how 10A changes the mix (be grateful for any suggestions, if any want to offer). I’m more interested in whether there are folk out there who wanted to weigh in on the issue.

I spoke also of Acts 15, and how that chapter might be instructive to the church as it struggles through controversy, conflict and disagreement. During its first experience with a hugely divisive issue – whether Gentiles should become Jews in order to be Christian – the two marks of that decision were:

* The leadership – in the person of James – made a firm and clear decision. (No. Gentiles don’t need to become Jewish.)

* But the leaders were very conscious that the firmness and clarity of the decision not be a reason to be insensitive to those who lost the argument – they dictated that Gentiles abstain from certain behaviors that would have been particularly offensive to their Jewish brothers and sisters.

Lastly, I also noted how Paul and Barnabus parted ways at the end of Acts 15 – over an argument that didn’t seem to matter much in the end. The question is: though Christian unity is of highest value, does it have integrity for Christians to part ways, and sever fellowship – knowing that God will judge the rightness or wrongness of our cause?

Again, I’m interested in what any who may have tuned in have to say here. We had an excellent conversation after the service – about 50 people crammed into the air conditioned Youth Room!

IF there are folk out there – weigh in!

And feel free to weigh in on this Sunday’s topic: “Is there a hell?” Wish me luck.

Grace and peace,


Questions from the Floor – Part I: Family Values? Whose?

This Sunday, we began a new sermon series called Questions from the Floor. This series is the brainchild of my colleague Louise, who compiled a list of questions that came from…you! Each of the nine sermon topics came from responses to our request for questions/topics that are of interest to members of the congregation.

I got to make the first pancake, with an easy question, dontcha think. Thus: “What would Jesus think of so-called ‘Family Values’?”

I received a number of bits of feedback on the sermon – but before I share them with you, let me give you just a brief rundown on what I said (or at least attempted to).

I spoke first about how we ought to be careful drawing to clean a line between what Jesus said, and our own context. “Family Values” comes out of a context that is so very particular to our culture and politics – whose implications are very foreign to the culture and context in which Jesus taught and lived.

I then offered a working definition of “family values” (because the question here really does in a way hinge on another question: whose “family values”?) I assume the questioner meant this: first, any discussion of “family values” implies that the nuclear family ought to be the means (institution) by which society is rightly ordered – such an organizing institution is the way God intended for society to be organized. And we define family as husband/wife and 2.3 kids. Second, we then associate values that enhance and strengthen such families, as defined, to be “family values.” Thus, “Honor thy father and mother” is an example of the quintessential “family value”.

I offered thoughts mostly around what Jesus might have thought (humbly admitting the challenge of translating his teaching to our context) about the first part: did God intend for society’s primary or exclusive organizing principle to be the nuclear family? Setting aside the fact that “family” meant something different in Jesus’ time, I made the case that it would be very hard, taking all of the instances when Jesus specifically mentions family, that he felt this specific institution  represents God’s intention for the ordering of society. In most instances when Jesus speaks specifically of the institution of family, he speaks disparagingly of it. In the text I read for the sermon, Jesus’ own family (his mother and brothers) are seeking an audience with him. His response: “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers…? Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:48-50) In Luke, his words are even stronger: “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26) Jesus seemed to question every loyalty – to clan or to state or to emperor – that distracted human beings from the kind of primary loyalty he taught: citizens of the Kingdom of God hold a radical loyalty to God and to neighbor; for Jesus, water (that is, baptism) is thicker than blood.

To the original point I made, however: we can’t be too quick in translating those words as meaning Jesus was “anti-family” – to be sure. Jesus was speaking out of an apocalyptic context. That is, he was speaking with the kind of urgency that comes when you expect that the whole world as we know it is about to end. So was Paul. Such was the thinking of those in his movement. That’s a good reason to put aside subsidiary loyalties, like family, clan, country, and so forth – or at least, to put them in proper perspective. But we know, the world’s end has not occurred in the couple millennia that follow Jesus’ ministry. We need a more stable way to organize ourselves; family – not a bad means to practice the values that Jesus taught.

And Jesus did practice good “family values” in his ministry. Jesus’ expressed compassion for his mother at the cross, asking Peter to care for her (women had no social safety net outside the protection of a male-dominated society). He upheld the rights of widows and orphans, and advocated for children to care for parents. The values of fidelity, of covenantal responsibility, are primary marks of the ethics of Jesus.

But, to conclude, it’s hard (for my money) to say unequivocally that Jesus held as sacrosanct one model of “family” as the right and proper way to express the values of the Kingdom, which he taught. Such may argue that we do well not to make an idol out of one particular kind of family. Indeed, Jesus taught that our real family consists of those who are our fellow brothers and sisters in the Kingdom. But whatever way we might organize ourselves as family, it seems clear that Jesus would have insisted that the relationships implied in them be governed by the kind of covenantal and sacrificial love that he literally embodied.

Feedback on the sermon. Several people mentioned their responses to the sermon. One person – a clergy colleague in attendance – mentioned that another consideration in Jesus’ teaching about family is the fact that his suspicions of family as an institution also stemmed from the fact that the society in which he lived was so patricentric – so male dominated. The father and eldest son owned the property, and dominated the family life. Jesus was seeking to promote a more egalitarian ethic.

Another person observed (and I’ll quote him) “that the term ‘family values’ refers (in my experience) to a wide range of issues and behaviors that can be connected to the idea that the nuclear family is the optimum framework for organizing human life. What occurs to me is that Jesus’s frequent excoriation of hypocrites is relevant here, in that some of the most vocal advocates of ‘family values’ have turned out not to practice what they preach. Perhaps the ultimate family values are honesty, fidelity and reverence (?) in our commitments to others.”

Yet another couple, who caught me at Chamber’s Walk, expressed surprise at the radical notion the sermon implied: what do you mean my real family consists of members of the church! How does that work?

Perhaps the speakers (I’ll not name them, since I may not be accurate about their input!) might care to comment further – if they are reading along here.

Future Blog Entries. I’m hoping (no promises) that I can keep up the blogging discipline through the series – for my part. There will of course be a host of other speakers – and I am hoping that perhaps they too can weigh in using this medium.

Stay tuned!



Sexuality: How Do We Have the Talk?

First: please insert here my much-to-self-referential brooding about…sin and forgiveness…the weakness of the flesh…writer’s block…the insane schedule of a parish Pastor. Having intended to keep up with my blogging discipline, I see I have failed terribly. BUT, ’tis a new year. And I hope to do better in 2011.

Beyond using the start of a fresh, new year to renew my blogging discipline, there’s another reason for restarting a conversation here (for any who might happen to tune in). This past Sunday, our scheduled preacher, Chad Ensz, our Intern for Pastoral Care and Education, was unable to make it back from South Dakota because of weather. Of course, the reason they pay me the big bucks is to be able to fill in when such a situation occurs.

I decided that I would pull an old “story-sermon” from the file, which I find to be the easiest kind of sermons to “repreach”. By story sermon, I mean a short story – an imagined narrative that illuminates the biblical text – used as a sermon, told in the style of “reader’s theater”. It’s a story-sermon I had preached for the congregation I served in Palo Alto, California, about nine years ago, entitled “Pip Marihart”.

Just to give a bit of context about the community for which I had originally preached this: First Pres Palo Alto is a very progressive congregation, one that was very comfortable with allowing the full participation of gay and lesbian Christians in the life of the church. If you wish to read that story, you may discover that the original context illuminates something about the content of this story – the struggle of Joseph reflects in some ways the struggles and concerns of that congregation, and seek to mirror the very counter-cultural decision that Joseph made in Matthew’s Christmas narrative.

I realized that by preaching it in Lawrenceville, there may be some danger of things getting “lost in translation.” A story about two gay men to elucidate an Advent/Christmas text may have been difficult for some of the people in the congregation to hear.

Hence my reflections today. I realize that a conversation about human sexuality is a talk we, as a congregation, need to have at some point. (And, as the parent of a ten-year-old, the slight tongue-in-cheek reference to that conversation we often try to avoid is intended…and I admit perhaps is to some degree reflective of my own reluctance).

So – here are some questions for any who may have tuned in. First – I’d be very interested in anyone’s thoughts and reactions to the story/sermon. Though born of necessity, I felt that this story would serve as a good place for us to begin having a conversation on this subject – because it’s a story. There’s no abstract reasoning, no overt “preaching,” no position I’m taking on the issue. The intent is and was to provoke thinking and reflection on the biblical text and the issues in play.

Second – I’d be interested in any thoughts about this question: how does a congregation have a healthy conversation about human sexuality – specifically, about the issue of homosexuality? How can we have such a conversation in light of the fact that there are no doubt people in the congregation who disagree on interpretation of the Bible and how it guides us on this subject? What do we do when I (as the person who has been set apart to preach and teach the Bible) have the advantage of the pulpit, while others do not?

If there are any out there who wish to comment- love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, I wish you every good blessing in this New Year.

In Christ,


I Can’t Get No…Satisfaction

Is it possible that Mick Jagger has really nailed it, in describing the prime spiritual malady of our times? Well – maybe for all times?

This Sunday’s sermon (sermons – plural – as I’ll also be preaching this text at WINK) will focus on Isaiah 55, especially the first few verses, which contain Second Isaiah‘s beautiful vision for “satisfaction”.

So, a few questions, for anyone to ponder or…gee whiz, even respond. (Note: I may also use these questions on Sunday at WiNK…)

  • Do those who are victims of the sin of gluttony really enjoy food?
  • Why do you think our nation has experienced a dramatic increase in obesity (and if you click that previous link, DO play the little cartoon showing just how dramatically it has increased).
  • If you were to imagine “satisfaction” – what would that look like, feel like, be like?
  • And lastly – and perhaps most importantly – what would such an experience do to us?

Now, keep in mind too that this is Rev. Vamos’s turn to speak on the theme of stewardship – that is, why should Christians actually give? Why do they give? How is it that Christians are generous people? How would the experience of “satisfaction” change our waistlines? Our bottom lines? Could it change the health of our coastlines and skies?

Love to hear your response – and perhaps help me reflect on this before Sunday.


Extra credit for those with time (and calories?) to burn. Check out this very simple video. What other reasons might there be for the increase in obesity?

And a final question: If we were to be more satisfied with what we eat, would we eat less?

What is Postmodernism?

Back on the blog horse, and dipping my toe in. (Aha! Master of the Mixed Metaphor! To dip my horse hoof in? My blog’s equine lower digit…?)

This year, as I return to my blogging habit (it’s been a very very busy fall), I am of the mind to make this space much more topical, much less a preview of the sermon…but we’ll see how that goes.

Here’s the first topic, designed to get discussion going. Ready?

[Sound of empty warehouse. The echo of water dripping in the background].

What is Postmodernism? And why does it matter?

I came across this very succinct and interesting (and well done, in my opinion) video about just that question. I think it does a very very good job of responding to a question to which (characteristically) there IS no answer, at least no ONE answer. There are only answers.

Watch it and then read on…:

What does this mean in terms of one’s relationship to and experience of faith? Does it matter if we believe in even the possibility that there is such a thing as “truth”? How does one hew to a Christianity that indeed does make some pretty serious claims about the Truth with a capital T, in an era in which the postmodern soup we’re swimming in holds that there is no Truth, just your truth and mine?

So – will leave it at that. Love to hear your thoughts. Are you a postmodernist? And if so, how would you define that?

As for the sermon this Sunday – I have not completely jettisoned the idea that a spin through some of the texts for Sunday is a good idea. But my hope is to be more oriented here toward the questions, than the conclusions.

So…the texts: 2 Timothy 2:8-15, and Luke 17:11-19. Here are the questions rattling around in my head as I prepare for the sermon on Sunday:

IN the 2 Timothy passage, I wonder: how does Paul arrive at such a state, wherein he can say, “If we have died with him, we will also live with him…”? He seems to understand his suffering as purposeful, useful even, “for the sake of the elect.” As an aside, I wonder what Paul would make of his own letter in light of postmodernism.

PERHAPS more on my mind are questions about the Luke 17 passage.

* How are gratitude and healing related? This is where I think I’m going in my sermon.

* More specifically, do we assume that all 10 lepers were indeed “healed”? The Greek word in verse 14 is: Katharizo. To be made clean. Extra credit for those who do a bit of word study on it. Does this word imply that they were all “healed”? The next line reads, “then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back….” The word here for healed is Iaomai. Is that different from “being made clean”? Extra extra credit: what does it mean that Jesus says at the end of the story, in verse 19, “…your faith has made you well?”

For now, that’s all from the grab bag. Love to hear from (*gulp*) anyone out there.


Jeff V.

Four Ways to Have a Conversation – Post Mortem

First – a brief word about my personal M.O. I am an ENFP according to the Myers-Briggs type indicator. When I took this test – er, I mean “inventory” (they make a big deal about how it’s not a psychological “test”) – phrases like, “works in creative bursts of inspiration,” leaped out at me. I had for so many years despaired of my work habits, which often seemed so driven by creative flights of fancy, less by the kind of sheer willpower I so envied in those who did read the books and articles, organize the note cards, finish two days before the paper was due.

All to say – I’ve been lazy lately. No blogging (insert here ironic statement about lack of readers anyway).

But this week, was inspired just to write a couple thoughts, mostly in response to last Sunday’s sermon.

The title of the sermon was, “Four Ways to Have a Conversation.” A more didactic approach, it was an attempt to share what I learned in one of the courses I took this past spring for my DMin degree – a course called “Engaging the Narratives of Other Religions.”

I dealt with the question: in light of the fact that Christianity makes a very exclusive claim to truth (“I am the way, the truth, the life; no one comes to the Father but through me”), what do we make of the truth claims of other religious traditions? Just because we in the West have inherited this tradition – Christianity – what gives us the moxie to say that this Way (the way of Jesus) is the only way to “salvation”?

Here is the result of that effort.

Though I often feel so uncomfortable preaching a sermon like this – Jeff the wannabe seminary professor, trafficking in highfalutin abstract ideas – I received feedback that indicated it was very helpful to people. I also appreciated the approach that the learning itself provided. Presenting four “models” for interfaith dialogue, which were partly the subject of the course, provided some tools for people to think for themselves about how they approach that question I posed above. No preacher-guy telling folk what to believe. (Though several people readily guessed which model most closely fits my own thinking).

In any case – wanted to post it here, to see if there might be any wishing to comment further.


Jeff V.

PS – here’s another subject I may cover this week, if the inspiration strikes: “flash mobs”. Anybody out there familiar with this phenomenon? How cool would it be if we were to get together a PCOL “flash mob”? Gospel as performance art? Secret rendezvous in Palmer Square? Or would that just be plain scary?

Paul vs. The Fundamentalists

Feeling rather guilty for not writing here for the last several weeks – and then (in Pauline fashion!) I realize that I do well not to make more of myself than I ought. Might I hear his voice saying: “Yeah, right: feel guilty, disappointing all those THOUSANDS of blog readers who have been dying of thirst these past few weeks, yearning to receive just a drop of your enlightened wisdom.”

Thanks, Paul, for keeping it in perspective.

And, so…Paul. There’s a random way to begin again. With Apostle Paul. But that is indeed where I’m headed these next few weeks. The beginning of a 3-part sermon series on Galatians. I’ll be preaching on Paul’s rant to the Galatians (well, officially, it’s an “epistle” – that literary form that was common in his time – namely a letter, read in public, by which a person wrote to a community to connect, correct, corral, and teach). But as we shall see, it’s really a kind of loving rant to people whom Paul dearly loves, but seem to have gone way off track.

There’s a lot there that’s abstract, but beneath it all is something of a real drama. We see Paul at his most ticked off – at one point wishing that those who are trying to circumcise folks among the new Christians in the Galatian church might have “the knife slip” in their circumcising…meaning…he wishes they would castrate themselves. Check it out. (Galatians 5:12)

Tell us how you really feel, Paul.

The first sermon, this Sunday, will focus on 1:11-24, but I really hope that anybody reading these words might simply pick up and read the whole book. Read a chapter at a time, or you can read the whole thing in about 20 minutes or so.

But, in this first sermon, I’ll be talking about the context of Galatians, which has to do with some teachers who crept in after Paul had established the church there and started preaching a “different gospel” than the one Paul taught them. Namely, one that enjoined the new Christians to think that what Paul taught was “Christianity lite.” These folks (called “the Judaizers”) were proclaiming that to be a “real” Christian, one had to become Jewish, and adhere to the rigorous and strict fundamentals of the Jewish dietary and purity laws.

The territory I’m going to explore this Sunday has to do with this: Paul is battling fundamentalism. A perversion of Christian faith that misses the point. In doing so, he is defending his authority as a teacher – and not one proclaiming “his” gospel vs. “their” gospel – but the gospel, one that is capable of transforming human beings from the inside out, making of this humble human flesh, beautiful new creations in God’s image.

So…think of Galatians as Paul vs. the Fundamentalists.

As I think of that theme, I think of one of my cousins with whom I grew up. Certainly one of my favorite cousins; maybe one of the funniest guys I have ever known. Like me, the son of a preacher (or PK as we were most commonly known). Then, when he went off to Brown, he met Jesus. In a big way. After that, I remember arguing with him over the Bible (and argue was the operative word). Instead of the lightness with which he had taken himself and others, I detected that he had become hard, heavy. The world was not seen in color, or even shades of gray – but black and white. There were the righteous and the damned. The good and the bad. There was the right way to behave, and the wrong way to behave. I did not find much grace in it at all, unless you believed in the very narrow version of reality with which he had come to make sense of an ambiguous world.

Not that what we do, or what we believe, does not matter (this we shall explore in the last part of the sermon series). But what’s at stake for Paul – and for us – is a Christianity that transforms us not via a set of rules and regulations, of thou shalts and thou-shalt-nots. What’s at stake is the preservation of a power (via a message) that re-creates people, such that they don’t need those rules. The rules become irrelevant, because what emanates from them is nothing less than the very love of Christ, which has not only claimed their lives, but the whole world.

So – read up, if you would. And if you do a little study – let me know if you see the same thing here. Would love your comments here, or along the way – O you thousands of readers out there.



PS – hope you’re signed up for Revive! I think it will be a blast, and I suggest you not miss it….

The Catastrophe of Success and the Quest for Greatness

Sometimes when you’re short of words, you need someone else’s to bail you out. How cool to hear Cornel West riff on Jesus, Tennessee Williams, John Coltrane, and Anton Checkov – among others.

What does it mean to be a Christian, and to attain “greatness”? And is it possible that the catastrophe of success is in some sense a national disaster? How do we distinguish “cheap American optimism,” from real Christian hope?

Would love your thoughts – and any suggestions for any other video grist for our mill.

In Christ,

Jeff V. (who is off for a couple weeks from the Pulpit – just in time to cram for my DMin studies!)

PS – A reminder that Cornel will be the Friday evening keynoter for Revive!