2020 Annual Meeting
Has Been Cancelled

35th Anniversary SPT 2020 Annual Meeting

Dear Members and Friends of the Society for Pastoral Theology:

We regret to announce that we are cancelling the Annual Meeting this June 17-20, 2020. As you can imagine, it is with heavy hearts that the Steering Committee of the Society for Pastoral Theology relay this message. This was truly a difficult decision, given that this year marked the 35th anniversary of SPT.

The realities of COVID-19 are front and center for many of us these days. The country and the world are all experiencing the challenges and uncertainties involved. As you are aware, the indefinite nature of the travel bans from our various institutions posed by the COVID-19 and the recommendations from the CDC have coerced this decision in the interest of inclusive participation, public health, and safety.

In the past few weeks, the SPT Steering Committee has been in close contact with the DoubleTree in San Diego where the 35th Anniversary Annual Meeting was scheduled to be held.

Although hotels and travel companies are working diligently with customers to navigate these unprecedented times, at this time we are not able to cancel our contract with the DoubleTree without financial consequence.

The hotel staff and regional administrators have been extremely helpful in working with the Steering Committee to develop a three-fold scenario wherein each outcome or eventuality significantly lessens the economic impact upon the Society. For example, if California state or local governments extend the current travel ban (currently set to end May 31) into early June, the contract is terminated, thus releasing SPT from any financial obligation. The Steering Committee will continue to keep you informed of our agreements with the DoubleTree.

The 2020 Annual Meeting Program is available to current members in the resources: https://societyforpastoraltheology.org/membership-portal/society-resources/ The Steering Committee is extremely grateful to all members who were scheduled to share their wisdom and scholarship, whether via the plenary and panel response, the workshops, or within the study groups. We are sharing this with you as a small way of saying thank you to our colleagues and as a way of instilling hope. We are a resilient Society, comprised of committed members, and we eagerly anticipate coming together again in 2021.

Please email Kirsten Oh at koh@apu.edu with any concerns or questions you have. As indicated, we will update you once we have finalized the cancellation with the hotel. We also look forward to sharing future plans in the coming weeks and months.

Best regards,

Kirsten Oh, President
Cedric Johnson
Jill Snodgrass
Jim Higginbotham
Heidi Park (incoming member of the Steering Committee)