Faith & Culture Conversations | Chief Stephen Adkins

Event Information

October 13th, 2021 at 7:00 pm

Join us every second Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom for our new Faith and Culture conversation series.

Parishioners David Coogan and Christine Luckritz Marquis will start off our first Faith and Culture Conversation on Wednesday, October 13th. Just a few days after Indigenous Peoples’ Day, they will be speaking with Stephen R. Adkins, Chief of the Chickahominy Tribe.

Chief Stephen R. Adkins has served as Chief of the Chickahominy tribe since 2001. As the leader of one of the “first contact” tribes in Virginia, his voice and representation of his community are crucial to larger discussions around faith in VA. In recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, he will be sharing his own understanding of faith and culture, including how he understands his faith and has experienced it in light of new experiences. As a long-time advocate for his people, Chief Adkins will share how federal recognition of the Chickahominy and neighboring VA tribes in 2018 has shifted his relationship to surrounding culture and what new is on the horizon for the Chickahominy in relation to other peoples of VA.

Registration is required. Register with this link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

More details about this series:

In the Bible, faith “is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Culture, by contrast, is known in what we can see: the customs, arts, institutions and other achievements of a particular group, nation, or people. Clearly, faith and culture intersect. But how? Toward what end? Can multiple faiths and cultures exist side by side in a public life in which everyone can flourish?

These sessions will be in a Zoom webinar format.

Some of our guiding questions are:

  • Can you describe for us what you know about faith and how you came to know it?
  • Have you ever struggled to reconcile your faith with new experiences unfolding?
  • If culture is known in the values, traditions, and achievements of a group, what best characterizes the culture of the Chickahominy tribe? Are there other aspects of culture that you want to highlight in your leadership of the Chickahominy tribe?
  • Can you think of moments in which the culture of the Chickahominy tribe came into tension with other cultures? How did this tension get addressed?
  • What facets of faith, as you define it, have proven indispensable in understanding culture, forming culture, and guiding culture in ways that are sustainable and inclusive for all? Are there any aspects of faith that you find problematic or limiting in sustaining a diversity of cultures?

Fall 2021 Schedule

Wednesday, October 13th: Stephen R. Adkins, Chief of the Chickahominy Tribe

Wednesday, November 10th: The Reverend Jess Cook, Program and Communications Manager at More Light Presbyterians

Wednesday, December 8th: The Reverend Caitlyn Bailey, M.Div., M.S., BCC, Clinical Pastoral Education Manager for VCU Health

Learn more about the co-facilitators:

David Coogan is an associate professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University specializing in rhetoric, the teaching of writing, and prison literature. He is the author of Writing Our Way Out: Memoirs from Jail, and The Public Work of Rhetoric: Citizen-Scholars and Civic Engagement. And he is the founder and co-director of Open Minds, a program that brings service-learning classes into the Richmond City Justice Center, and the director of Write Your Way Out: A Criminal Justice Diversion Program, which enables low-level offenders in Richmond to avoid incarceration by coming to VCU to write their ways out of the narratives that lead to incarceration. Coogan hosts a podcast, Writing Our Way Out, based on the book by the same name and featuring the co-authors he met in the Richmond City Jail. You can learn more at

Dr. Christine Luckritz Marquis, Associate Professor of Church History and Master of Theology Program Director at Union Presbyterian Seminary. She received her M.A.R. from Yale Divinity School, Luckritz Marquis earned her Ph.D. in Early Christian Studies from Duke University. She has been teaching at Union since 2013. Her teaching and research expertise explore early Christian communities and their practices, especially late ancient communities in Egypt, Syria, Ethiopia, and the Arabian Peninsula. Her interests include memory and spatial practices, the role of violence in identity formation, material culture, and Christian interactions with neighboring Christians as well as non-Christians, especially Jews and Muslims. Her first book, Death of the Desert, explores how memory and spatial practices were transformed by acts of violence among Egyptian ascetics (UPenn Press, 2022). When she’s not teaching or writing, she enjoys baking, gardening, and spending time with her family.