BLOWING ROCK — Since its inception in 2018, the Visiting Scholar program at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church has brought clergy members from across the country to Blowing Rock. This year, the event will be held virtually on Sept. 13-14 and feature Christine Yoder, a professor at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Ga.

Rev. Kathy Beach of Rumple Memorial said that Yoder presented a Sunday School series to the church’s congregation online in May, and that event was their first experience working together.

“She was a gift to work with and to learn from,” Beach said. “She has a gentle spirit but she is incredibly insightful, grounded in her faith and does a great job of connecting real issues in life today to our faith and the scriptures.”

Yoder’s theme during the weekend will revolve around “desiring wisdom in turbulent times,” according to Rumple Memorial’s website.

The program consists of one Q & A opportunity from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13, which will be moderated by Davis Hankins of the Appalachian State University Religion and Philosophy Department, followed by a sermon during the church’s regular worship service that begins at 11 a.m. Yoder will also deliver two lectures as the visiting scholar, both at 5:30 p.m., on Sept. 13 and Monday, Sept. 14.

Beach said that each event will be streamed on the church’s YouTube channel at

“The scholar program has been a wonderful benefit to this church,” Beach said. “We have been challenged to dig deeper into the Old Testament and see its connections and wisdom for our Christian faith. We have been intentional in our study of the Old Testament, and I have tried to preach from it more often, since (Brent) Strawn was with us two years ago. We have been encouraged to consider the beauty and vastness of God’s good creation and a new Creation Care Committee has been formed at the church since last year’s scholar, Norman Wirzba, was here.”

The Visiting Scholar program on Sept. 13-14 will be available for anyone who wishes to join. Community members can tune in via YouTube or by requesting a Zoom link by emailing

“We actually hope that many folks outside of the church family will participate,” Beach said. “This is something that the planning committee considers an important part of this event — it is an outreach to the community and not simply something that helps with the spiritual formation of church members.”

To learn more about Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church in Blowing Rock, its Visiting Scholar program or its community events, visit

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