Schedule & Featured Speakers
April 27–30, 2023 • Washington, DC
"The Sacred and the Civic: Voices of Faith in the Public Square"
Note: a more detailed schedule will be available soon.
thursday, april 27
3:30 pm: Conference registration begins
4 pm: Orientation for new members
5:30 pm: Choral Evensong with Bishop Gene Robinson
6:30 pm: Dinner at the Cathedral
friday, april 28
8:30 am: Morning Prayer with Bishop Robinson
8:45 am: Breakfast
9:30 am: The Civic and the Sacred: Keynote Address by Cathedral Canon Historian Jon Meacham
10 am: Featured Speaker: Amanda Tyler, Baptist Joint Committee
12:30 pm: Lunch
1:30 pm: Faith and Governing: A Conversation with US Congress Chaplains the Rev. Dr. Barry Black and the Rev. Dr. Margaret Kibben
5:30 pm: Wine and cheese reception
6:30 pm: Dinner hosted by the Episcopal Preaching Foundation
8:30 pm: Open socializing and gathering at the Virginia Mae Center
saturday, april 29
8:30 am: Morning Prayer with Bishop Robinson
8:45 am: Breakfast
9:30 am: Featured Speaker: Shaun Casey, author of Chasing the Devil at Foggy Bottom
12 pm: Noon Prayer with Bishop Robinson
Following Noon Prayer, attendees will have the rest of the day open. Explore the National Mall or the Waterfront, shop, relax at the hotel, visit the Smithsonian and more. Special behind-the-scenes and other thematic Cathedral tours will be available until 3 pm.
sunday, april 30
9:30 am: Breakfast
11:15 am: Sunday Holy Eucharist with Reserved Seats
12:20 pm: Conference ends
Canon Historian, Washington National Cathedral
Jon Meacham holds the Carolyn T. and Robert M. Rogers Chair in the American Presidency at Vanderbilt University, where he is also a distinguished visiting professor and co-chairs the Vanderbilt Project on Unity & Democracy. A biographer and contributing editor at Time, he lectures widely in the United States on history, politics, and religious faith, and is the Canon Historian of Washington National Cathedral.
He is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope; The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels; The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross and American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation and more. (Jon’s books are on sale in the Nave, along with Guest Speaker Shaun Casey’s new book, Chasing the Devil at Foggy Bottom: The Future of Religion in America.)
A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Society of American Historians, Meacham has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, and Garden & Gun. Meacham is also a regular guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and other broadcasts.
Born in Chattanooga in 1969, Meacham was educated at St. Nicholas School, The McCallie School, and graduated in 1991 from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, with a degree summa cum laude in English Literature; he was salutatorian and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He lives in Nashville and in Sewanee with his wife and children.
The Rev. Dr. Barry Black
Chaplain, United States Senate
On June 27, 2003, Rear Admiral Barry C. Black (Ret.) was elected the 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate. He began working in the Senate on July 7, 2003. Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, Chaplain Black served in the U.S. Navy for over 27 years, ending his distinguished career as the Chief of Navy Chaplains. The Senate elected its first chaplain in 1789.
Commissioned as a Navy Chaplain in 1976, Chaplain Black’s first duty station was the Fleet Religious Support Activity in Norfolk, Va. Subsequent assignments include Naval Support Activity, Philadelphia, Pa.; U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.; First Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa, Japan; Naval Training Center, San Diego, Calif.; USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA 3) Long Beach, California; Naval Chaplains School Advanced Course, Newport, R.I.; Marine Aircraft Group THIRTY-ONE, Beaufort, S.C.; Assistant Staff Chaplain, Chief of Naval Education and Training, Pensacola, Fla.; and Fleet Chaplain, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Va.
As Rear Admiral, his personal decorations included the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two medals), Meritorious Service Medals (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals (two awards), and numerous unit awards, campaign, and service medals.
Chaplain Black is a native of Baltimore, Md., and an alumnus of Oakwood College, Andrews University, North Carolina Central University, Eastern Baptist Seminary, Salve Regina University, and United States International University. In addition to earning master of arts degrees in divinity, counseling, and management, he has received a doctorate degree in ministry and a doctor of philosophy degree in psychology.
Chaplain Black has been selected for many outstanding achievements. Of particular note, he was chosen from 127 nominees for the 1995 NAACP Renowned Service Award for his contribution to equal opportunity and civil rights. He also received the 2002 Benjamin Elijah Mays Distinguished Leadership Award from The Morehouse School of Religion. In 2004, the Old Dominion University chapter of the NAACP conferred on him the Image Award, “Reaffirming the Dream — Realizing the Vision” for military excellence.
Chaplain Black is married to the former Brenda Pearsall of St. Petersburg, Fla. They have three sons: Barry II, Brendan, and Bradford.
Dr. Shaun Casey
Author and Professor of Religion and Global Affairs
Dr. Shaun Casey is a senior fellow with the Luce Project on Religion and Its Publics at the University of Virginia and a Pulaski Institution non-resident fellow. In his new book Chasing the Devil at Foggy Bottom: The Future of Religion in America, Casey offers poignant commentary on topics central to this year’s conference theme.
He served as director of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and professor of the practice in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University from 2017 to 2021. He previously was U.S. special representative for religion and global affairs and director of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs. He has also served as professor of Christian ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and held positions at the Center for American Progress and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Casey has written on the ethics of the war in Iraq, as well the role of religion in American presidential politics. He is the author of The Making of a Catholic President: Kennedy vs. Nixon 1960 and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Political Theology. Casey holds a B.A. from Abilene Christian University, MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and M.Div. and Th.D. in religion and society from Harvard Divinity School.
The Rev. Dr. Margaret Kibben
Chaplain, United States House of Representatives
In her final active-duty assignment in the Navy, Chaplain Margaret Grun Kibben was the U.S. Navy’s 26th Chief Chaplains, serving as the director of religious ministry for the Department of the Navy, advising the Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Commandant of the Coast Guard on all matters pertaining to religion in their respective services. She led a community of 2,500 active and reserve officers, and enlisted religious ministry professionals. Prior to this assignment, Chaplain Kibben served as the 18th Chaplain of the Marine Corps and Deputy Chief of Chaplains.
A native of Warrington, Pa., Chaplain Kibben entered active duty in 1986 through the Navy’s Theological Student Program. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Goucher College, Towson, Md., and Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, N.J., and a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, Newport, R.I. Kibben served as a senior fellow, United States Institute of Peace, Washington, D.C.
Her Navy assignments included the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland; the Chaplain Corps Resource Board, Norfolk, Va.; command chaplain aboard USS San Diego (AFS 6); and Fleet Chaplain, U. S. 3rd Fleet. Kibben served as the command chaplain, responsible for religious ministry to Combined Forces Command Afghanistan.
With the U.S. Marine Corps, Chaplain Kibben served aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.; as chaplain to Headquarters and Service Battalion, Security Battalion, the Brig, Marine Corps Air Facility and HMX-1. She also served with the Marines of Second Force Service Support Group Camp Lejeune, N.C., deploying to Turkey and Norway. Later she was assigned to the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico as the doctrine writer for Religious Ministry.
Following her retirement, Margaret established Virtue In Practice, LLC, a business dedicated to moral, ethical, and spiritual executive leader advisement. She also served as a consultant to the Department of the Navy’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.
Chaplain serves on both military and civilian-boards. The Princeton Theological Seminary Board of Trustees and the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, and the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
Her personal awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (two awards), the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), and the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards).
On January 3, 2021, Chaplain Kibben was elected by the House and sworn in by Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the 61st Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives.
Executive Director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty
Amanda Tyler is executive director of BJC (Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty), leading the organization as it upholds the historic Baptist principle of religious liberty: defending the free exercise of religion and protecting against its establishment by government. She is the lead organizer of BJC’s Christians Against Christian Nationalism campaign and co-host of BJC’s Respecting Religion podcast.
Tyler’s constitutional law analysis and advocacy for faith freedom for all have been featured by major news outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CBS News, ABC News, CNN, and MSNBC. Religion News Service named Tyler one of “2022’s rising stars in religion,” and she regularly preaches in Baptist churches, speaks at denominational gatherings, and leads sessions on college campuses and with community groups of all sizes.
A member of the Texas and U.S. Supreme Court Bar, Tyler has experience working in Congress, in a private legal practice, and serving as a law clerk for a federal judge. She testified before Congress in 2022 about the ways in which Christian nationalism proves cover for white supremacy and in 2018 about threats to religious liberty around the world.
Originally from Austin, Texas, Tyler grew up hearing about the cherished Baptist principles of religious liberty and the separation of church and state as a member of Highland Park Baptist Church. Because she was committed to these principles, Tyler sought out BJC when she moved to Washington to attend Georgetown University, and she began volunteering in the office.
Tyler graduated from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in foreign service, magna cum laude. She was hired by BJC to serve as assistant to the general counsel, working closely with Brent Walker, James Dunn, Melissa Rogers and Holly Hollman. During this time, she wrote columns for Report from the Capital, drafted statements on religious liberty issues, presented educational programs, and coordinated the broad coalition in support of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.
Tyler left BJC to enroll in The University of Texas School of Law, where she received her J.D. with honors. In 2019, the school named her their “Outstanding Young Alumna.”
Following law school, Tyler worked in private practice and served as a law clerk for a U.S. district court judge in Dallas, Texas. She later joined the staff of U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett in Austin and Washington, D.C. In Austin, Tyler served as the congressman’s district director, leading the staff in the development and execution of an outreach agenda for a 7-county congressional district, as well as serving as a spokesperson for his office. She later served as Rep. Doggett’s counsel for the Ways and Means Committee.
Tyler was named executive director of BJC in 2016, and she began her tenure in January 2017. A member of First Baptist Church of Washington, D.C., she lives in the city with her husband, Robert Behrendt, and their son, Phelps. Tyler also serves on the board of the Center for Faith, Justice, and Reconciliation.
Bishop V. Gene Robinson
IX Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire (retired)
The Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson was elected Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire on June 7, 2003, becoming the first openly gay and partnered bishop in historic Christianity. Despite national and international efforts to derail his ordination, he was consecrated a Bishop on Nov. 2, 2003, and was invested as bishop on March 7, 2004. Since his retirement, he as served as part of the worship team at Washington National Cathedral.
Most recently, Bishop Robinson served as Vice President of Religion and Senior Pastor at the Chautauqua Institution, in western New York State, and previously served for nearly five years as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Auburn Seminary, New York City.
Bishop Robinson has spent his career speaking and writing on national and international LGBT issues, race, poverty and immigration reform. In addition to being a popular speaker in the U.S. and abroad, he has regularly written opinion columns on a variety of topics for The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, and Time.com.
Robinson graduated from the University of the South in 1969 with a B.A. in American Studies/History. In 1973 he completed the M.Div. degree at the General Theological Seminary in New York, and was ordained a deacon and then a priest in that same year. In 1975, he moved to New Hampshire where he founded Sign of the Dove Retreat Center, in Temple, N.H.
He has done AIDS work in the United States and in Uganda and South Africa, been an advocate for antiracism training in his diocese and the wider church, advocated for debt relief for the world’s most impoverished nations, and lobbied for socially responsible investment within and beyond the church.
His book In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God (Seabury Press) was published in 2008. Bishop Robinson has been particularly active in the area of full civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Working at the state, national and international levels, he has spoken and lobbied for equal protection under the law and full civil marriage rights. He has been honored by most LGBTQ organizations for this work.
Bishop Robinson was invited by President-elect Barack Obama to give the invocation at the opening inaugural ceremonies at the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2009.
In 2012, he authored God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage (Knopf) contributing to the national debate about marriage equality. He has been the subject of two feature-length documentaries: For the Bible Tells Me So, premiering at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, and Love Free or Die, also premiering at Sundance, in 2012, winning the Special Jury Prize.