Greetings! I’m glad you’re here. If you’re a regular, you know this was a big week for BioLogos with the launch of the new website. Yesterday President Haarsma described it using the metaphor of a new house. That feels right to me. Looking beyond the dust and boxes, there are new, exciting places to explore, and it’s a better fit for our growing BioLogos family.
But moving into a new house means leaving an old one behind, and that brings some nostalgia. When I first joined the BioLogos staff in early 2010, I had read every page of the website, and many of them I had read multiple times over. It was polished, but I loved helping to make it better. That first year, one of my main duties was to expand the carefully-curated selection of articles and identify new voices to write for the site. I also blogged regularly myself, which was a rewarding way to keep learning and synthesizing ideas.
As time went on, the needs of our fledgling organization changed, and so too my duties. I had the privilege of organizing one of our premier Celebrating Creation conferences in New York City. I helped organize and teach a summer workshop for high school science teachers. Along the way I did a lot of relationship building, and some speaking and writing, too.
Then in 2012, Something Happened. My husband and I had a baby girl, Lucy! Eighteen joyful months later, we moved with BioLogos from San Diego to Grand Rapids, and a few months after that, in the middle of the worst winter in recent history, our son Josiah was born.
Lucy’s arrival coincided with a new role for me at BioLogos, which suited my new part-time status quite well—project leader of the Evolution & Christian Faith (ECF) program. A panel of 8 experts in various fields worked with us at BioLogos to write and circulate a Request for Proposals (RFP). A whopping 225 grant applications came in! Of the 86 invited to submit a more extensive proposal, we awarded 37 grants to individuals and teams from across North America and Europe. It was exciting to all of us to discover just how many people were eager for opportunities to produce quality materials exploring evolution and faith.
Over the past three years, the leaders of the 37 grants have become important members of the BioLogos family. They come from a wide range of denominations and traditions within evangelical Christianity, and their expertise touches just about every relevant field--the arts, biblical studies, chemistry, biology, education, history, ministry, philosophy, psychology, sociology, theology, to name a few alphabetically.
Each summer we gathered together for a few days to share ideas and build relationships with one another. Gordon College and St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University, were ideal locations for our group of 70-80 to meet in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, we continued the in-person fellowship but with a twist: we added open registration and a call for papers. About 250 people gathered in downtown Grand Rapids for the Evolution & Christian Faith Conference. Another 150 people joined via live streaming. By all accounts the conference was a terrific success, with many people begging us to make this an annual event. The other bloggers and I will be featuring some of the many plenary lectures and parallel session talks from time to time. We will also share some of the great resources coming out of the ECF program, and invite ECF participants to comment on their work.
I look forward to interacting with you all again on this blog! Look for a mix of topics over the next few months--new resources, developments in biology, musings on design, personal stories, book reviews, pieces I write, and pieces by guest authors. A veritable potpourri. Whatever your view on origins and evolution, I hope you feel welcome here--our house is your house!