Civil Discourse in America

Lansing Lee Conference


March 22–24, 2019


How can we be agents of good in the world?
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One of Kanuga’s highlights each year, the 2018 Lansing Lee Conference will address the role of civil discourse in America. Featuring members of the United States House of Representatives (both Republicans and Democrats) along with nationally recognized voices from The Episcopal Church, this conference asks how we pivot from our current milieu to a place of cooperation and collaboration. In addition to plenary sessions where our representatives will share personally from their own stories, break-out workshops will include a variety of topics to equip attendees to be agents of goodness in the world. This conference is expected to be in high demand so early registration is suggested.

The annual Lansing Lee Conference honors the memory of Lansing B. Lee Jr. of Augusta, GA. Lee participated in many aspects of Kanuga’s programs and governance for more than 50 years. The conference focuses on the theme “Practicing the Faith” and explores different dimensions of that topic in the context of the world, nation, the Church and society. The Lansing Lee Conference is made possible by an endowment established by Natalie Lee and with major support from the Buford L. Bowen Endowment.

View Schedule Workshop Information

In collaboration with the Washington National Cathedral, The Center for Speaking & Listening at Sewanee: The University of the South, and the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations.

Speakers will include:

The Right Reverend Robert C. Wright, 10th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta
The Right Rev. Robert C. Wright is the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, which covers north and middle Georgia and embraces 110 worshiping communities. At the time of his election in June 2012, he had served 10 years as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta. Prior to that, he was a school chaplain and on the staff of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City. Since becoming bishop, Wright addressed the Georgia legislature about gun control, spoke up for Medicaid expansion and has been a vocal and active opponent of the death penalty in Georgia.

The Reverend Canon Jan Naylor Cope, Provost of Washington National Cathedral
The Rev. Canon Jan Naylor Cope was appointed provost of Washington National Cathedral in April 2015. As provost, she oversees the cathedral’s development department and works closely with the cathedral’s leadership on its strategic vision, ministry and mission. Canon Cope was called as vicar of Washington National Cathedral in 2010 and the Cathedral Congregation grew by more than 500 members during her tenure. Formerly associate rector at St. David’s Church in Washington D.C., Canon Cope also served as a key lay leader at St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square. Prior to ordained ministry, she served as deputy director of presidential personnel in the White House and as president of the J. Naylor Cope Company.

The Right Reverend Carl Walter Wright, Bishop Suffragan for the Armed Forces and Federal Ministries
A native of Baltimore, Maryland and cradle Episcopalian, Wright was elected Bishop Suffragan at the Fall 2016 House of Bishops Meeting in Detroit Michigan and was consecrated as a Bishop at the Washington National Cathedral on February 11, 2017 by The Most Reverend Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. Bishop Wright’s span of responsibility is for Episcopal chaplains and their congregations in the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Civil Air Patrol, seminarians in the Chaplain Candidate program, and lay leaders at military bases. Wright has been active in the Episcopal Church as a civilian priest, an Army serviceman, and as an Air Force Chaplain in a dozen military settings.

The Rev. Canon C. K. Robertson, Ph.D., Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Beyond The Episcopal Church
The Rev. Canon C. K. Robertson, Ph.D., is Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Beyond the Episcopal Church and Distinguished Visiting Professor at General Theological Seminary. A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations as well as other national and international boards, Dr. Robertson previously worked with the White House and U.S. Department of Education as Executive Director of Film Clips for Character Education. He serves as General Editor of the “Studies in Episcopal and Anglican Theology” series through Peter Lang Publishing, and has written over a dozen books including “Barnabas vs. Paul” (Abingdon) and “A Dangerous Dozen” (SkyLight Paths).

Alan Yarborough, The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations
Alan Yarborough is the Communications Coordinator and Office Manager for The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations. Prior to this, he lived and worked in Haiti with the Young Adult Service Corps, working in two different positions. He spent two years in Cange working in economic development and communication and one year in Cap-Haitien with the St. Barnabas Agriculture Center as a project manager for their revitalization program. He holds a BS in economics from Clemson University in South Carolina.

Congressman Bradley Byrne
Congressman Byrne (R-AL) is a lifelong resident of South Alabama. A graduate of Duke University and the University of Alabama School of Law, Byrne previously served as a member of Alabama State School Board, in the Alabama State Senate, and as chancellor of Alabama’s community college system. Congressman Byrne was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2013, to fill the seat of retiring Congressman Jo Bonner. Byrne is a member of the prestigious House Rules Committee, Committee on Armed Services, and Committee on Education and the Workforce. A lifelong Episcopalian, Byrne and his wife Rebecca reside in Fairhope and are active members of St. James Episcopal Church. The Byrne Family are also Kanuga regulars.

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene
Congresswoman DelBene (D-WA) represents Washington’s First Congressional District, which spans from northeast King County to the Canadian border. First sworn into the House of Representatives on Nov. 13, 2012, Suzan brings a unique voice to the nation’s capital, with more than two decades of experience as a successful technology entrepreneur and business leader. Her experience and focus on achieving concrete results allowed Suzan to break through congressional gridlock and get things done. Suzan takes on a wide range of challenges both in Congress and in the First District and is a leader on issues of technology, health and agriculture.

Sean Patrick O’Rourk, Ph.D., J.D., Professor of Rhetoric and American Studies and Director of the Center for Speaking and Listening at Sewanee: The University of the South
Sean Patrick O’Rourke, Ph.D., J.D., teaches and writes in the areas of rhetoric and legal rights, the rhetoric of protest and dissent, and freedom of speech. His work has appeared in both academic and non-academic publications and reflects his abiding commitment not only to his scholarship but also to undergraduate liberal education, undergraduate research in the humanities, and civic engagement. O’Rourke’s efforts have been recognized by over a dozen awards for teaching, research, and service. The most recent of these are the Chiles-Harrill Award for Distinguished Service to the University, the Howard Hughes Institute’s Distinguished Mentorship Award, and the John I. Sisco Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Kay Collier McLaughlin, Ph.D., Founder of Talking Together Seminars and the author of “Talking Together: Getting Beyond Polarization Through Civil Dialogue,” “Becoming the Transformative Church: Beyond Sacred Cows, Fantasies and Fears,” and four other non-fiction books
Kay Collier McLaughlin, Ph.D., is a leadership consultant and lifelong Episcopalian, she travels the country working in faith-based and other systems to help people begin in their own personal and professional lives to practice changing the divisive, destructive rhetoric to respectful, effective dialogue. Her passion for harmony and reclaiming the Gospel of peace were formed in the diverse worlds of classical music, professional and Southeastern Conference football and world religions.


Rates are per person

Double Occupancy (shared room): $410
Single Occupancy (private room): $520
Commuter (program, meals and facility fees): $195
Non-Participating Guest (meals and facility fees only): $285

Payment and Cancellations

Deposit: A $100 deposit, per person, is required at the time of registration. This nonrefundable, nontransferable deposit is deducted from the total fee. We accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and Echeck.

Balance due: Payment in full is required beginning 30 days before the event start date, which is also the Balance Due date for those only paying the initial deposit when registering.

Adult Cancellations: Cancellations and refunds are provided in a tiered system based on proximity to the event start date. Any cancellation made at least three weeks (21 days) before the event start date will result in the forfeiture of the $100.00 deposit and a refund of any remaining balance will be issued. Cancellations made 15-20 days before the event start date will result in the forfeiture of the $100.00 deposit and a 50% refund of any remaining balance will be issued. Cancellations made 8-14 days before the event start date will result in the forfeiture of the $100.00 deposit and a 25% refund of any remaining balance will be issued. Cancellations made within 7 days of the event start date are not eligible for a refund.

Registration & Discounts



For financial assistance, download the printable application below.

Scholarship Request


For more information, please contact Director of Formation Programs and Resident Chaplain Richmond Jones at or 828-692-9136 Ext. 2745.