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John P. Colatch, Lafayette’s director of religious life and College chaplain, made a presentation at the 11th annual Helen Barrett Montgomery Conference, sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies Program at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS), in November.

He has also been invited to be keynote speaker at Allegheny College’s GLBT Studies Colloquium in March.

At the CRCDS conference Colatch presented material from his doctoral thesis “Welcoming the Stranger: Practices of Hospitality as a Prophetic Witness to Gay and Lesbian Persons in the United Methodist Church.” In 2004 Colatch completed a doctor of ministry degree in transformative leadership from CRCDS.

Themed “Hospitality: Living Out Our Abundance,” the conference honored and reaffirmed hospitality as a basic tenet of faith, said Stephanie Sauve, dean of women and gender studies at CRCDS.

“Long before hospitality became a service industry, it was a mandate for how a person of faith treated a stranger and guest in their midst. Today, hospitality is about serving one another to secure financial reward, rather than serving to show gratitude to God, who has so richly blessed our lives,” Sauve said.

Colatch took over his Lafayette post August 1, 2004, after serving for 10 years as chaplain and campus pastor at Allegheny, where he also designed and taught two courses, Death and Dying in Western Culture and American Christianity and Social Justice: From Finney to King and Beyond. He and his wife, Connie, are the parents of a daughter, Carly, who is a senior at Allegheny, and a son, Zachary, a sophomore at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

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