'The Sacred Art of Conversation: Practicing Presence in an Age of Distraction'

Millis to present Luther College Religion Forum lecture Sept. 17

Ever wonder where the art of conversation is going in today's world of ever-increasing technology use? Forming habits that help people be more present in their surroundings and reclaim the foundational importance of conversation in life are key concepts presented in the Religion Forum featuring Diane Millis.

Her lecture, titled "The Sacred Art of Conversation: Practicing Presence in an Age of Distraction," is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall on the Luther campus, and is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Millis is the author of the recently released book "Conversation--the Sacred Art:  Practicing Presence in an Age of Distraction" which may be purchased for $16.99 at the event. There will be a book signing immediately following the lecture in the lobby of the Center for Faith and Life.

In her lecture, Millis will offer stories, insights and practices from many faith traditions to increase people's awareness of the deep, natural holiness waiting to be unlocked in everyday encounters. The world's religious and spiritual traditions invite people to be fully present to one another. Many people are finding that in an effort to maintain more connections with people, the depth of the connection is compromised.

Millis specializes in contemplative spirituality, interfaith dialogue, spiritual direction and narrative. She is the founder and director of the Journey Conversations Project, facilitating conversations for spiritual growth and relationship building in educational, ministry and workplace settings throughout the country. Millis served as the founder of "Companions on a Journey," a program for the theological exploration of vocation, funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. She is currently at work producing "Lives Explored," a video narrative series featuring stories of vocation, for the Collegeville Institute funded by the Lilly Endowment. 

Educated at the University of Minnesota, Millis holds bachelors and masters degrees in communication studies and a doctoral degree in family studies and human development. Millis has a passion for working with young adults and she brings more than 20 years of experience teaching undergraduates in public and church-related colleges and universities, including the University of Minnesota and the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University.

Millis will co-lead the Journey Conversations Interfaith Dialogue retreat from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15th, on the Luther campus. The retreat is open to the public but registration is required by emailing ministry@luther.edu.

The visit is sponsored by Luther's Religion Department and College Ministries.