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The Monday Connection

Connecting Sunday’s faith with Monday work.

The theme of The Monday Connection is our need to apply what we experience in church on Sunday to the secular world on Monday. The series features one or two guest speakers sharing their stories about translating faith into works.


Next Event

Monday, June 5 | Haley Rushing
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Weeks Campus Center
Seminary of the Southwest

Haley Rushing is the Chief Purposologist and co-founder of The Purpose Institute. As Chief Purposologist, Haley has personally led the charge to discover and bring to life the values and purpose for some of the most purpose-driven organizations in the world: The American Red Cross, Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods Market, Interstate Batteries, IMG Academy, and many more. When she’s not actively unearthing the deeper Purpose and core Values of her clients, she’s passionate about doing her part to promote Conscious Capitalism and can frequently be found leading practicums on Discovering and Living your Purpose at Conscious Capitalism events around the country.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Haley holds a B.A. in cultural anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and studied alternative dispute resolution at The Wharton School of Business.  She resides in Austin, TX with her twin daughters (India & Ziggy) and her twin Maltese’s (Lily and Champion-of-All-Ruler-of-the-Seven-Seas).

The Monday Connection is a gift from Seminary of the Southwest and The Monday Connection Host Committee to the Austin business and professional community. The Host Committee makes it possible for this luncheon to be offered at no charge. Contributions to Seminary of the Southwest are welcome.

Host Committee

John McFarland, Chair

Stanford Adams

Meade Bauer  

Carrielu Christensen        

Mary Ann Frishman

Kathleen Davis Niendorff

Tom Phillips  

Carl Stuart

Cissy Warner 

Charles Moody

Clarke Heidrick

Humboldt Mandell

Evvie Nazro

Boots Willeford

Past Events

January 23, 2023 | John Burnett

John Burnett is a national correspondent based in Austin, Texas, who has been assigned a new beat for 2022—Polarized America—to explore all facets of our politically and culturally divided nation. Prior to this assignment, Burnett covered immigration, Southwest border affairs, Texas news and other national assignments. In 2018, 2019 and again in 2020, he won national Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio-Television News Directors Association for continuing coverage of the immigration beat. In 2020, Burnett along with other NPR journalists, were finalists for a duPont-Columbia Award for their coverage of the Trump Administration’s Remain in Mexico program. In December 2018, Burnett was invited to participate in a workshop on Refugees, Immigration and Border Security in Western Europe, sponsored by the RIAS Berlin Commission.

October 17, 2022 | Darden Smith

Darden Smith is a singer-songwriter based in Austin whose thirty five-year career redefines what it means to be an artist. As a musician, Smith has released sixteen critically acclaimed albums, and he continues to break new ground using the craft of songwriting in education, entrepreneurship, and in service to others. He is the co-founder and former creative director of SongwritingWith:Soldiers, and in 2021 co-founded Frontline Songs in an effort to help the stories of frontline healthcare workers affected by the pandemic. His visual art is in public and private collections in both the US and UK.

June 6, 2022 | Mike Barnes

Mike spent thirty years as an award-winning television sportscaster, including 29+ at KVUE-TV in Austin. During that time Mike was honored as “Best in Austin” 17 times and won several Associated Press awards for “Best Sportscaster” and “Best Sportscast” in the state of Texas. He also won a prestigious Murrow Award for Sports Reporting. He covered four Super Bowls, three NCAA National Championship games, five Final Fours, nine College World Series, 12 bowl games, and 24 Texas-OU games during his time as a sportscaster. Mike has been a sought-after speaker or emcee for many prestigious events.

Now through Barnes Team Media, Mike teaches strategies and coaches, clients, to shorten their learning curve and helps them to be the most impactful and effective communicators they can be! Mike is a master of many skills. He has advised “Ted Talk” presenters on the best methods, helped business owners understand how to connect on-camera, and uses a “block system” for presentations that enables scripted situations to keep the high energy of an ad-lib style.

Mike is married to Kim Barnes who also brings 30 years of on-camera experience, including 12 years of news reporting experience also at KVUE. Together they are Barnes Team Media. Kim & Mike have been married for 27 years and have two young adult children. Mike has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. Mike looks forward to sharing how his Christian faith has informed both his personal and professional life for decades at the next Monday Connection luncheon.

January 13, 2020  |  Dr. Steven Tomlinson

Steven Tomlinson, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Leadership and Administration at Seminary of the Southwest and a Founding Master Teacher at the Acton School of Business for Entrepreneurship. He has taught economics and finance at The University of Texas at Austin where he designed and directed the MBA professional development program. He coaches Wall Street, Fortune 500 and high-tech startup executives and managers on communication strategy.

For 27 years, Steven has been a member of St. James’ Episcopal Church. In this past year he has preached at St. James’ and at Palmer Memorial in Houston; spoken to clergy conferences in the Dioceses of Northwest Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Arkansas; and given keynote addresses for the National Association of Corporate Directors, the Culturati Summit, and the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice. He serves on the General Convention’s Task Force on Theology of Money and is the lead consultant on an Episcopal Church Foundation grant to design curriculum to teach seminarians about money, finance and the economy.

Steven is a playwright and actor and has performed his award-winning solo shows in Austin and off-Broadway.

October 14, 2019 | Ed Clements

Ed Clements, veteran news talk show host and sportscaster, will share his wealth of experience of over 30 years in radio.

Raised in Brownwood, Texas, Ed moved to Austin in 1989 and began working for KLBJ Radio and has remained with KLBJ ever since. He is a co-host on KLBJ’s Jeff and Ed Show, Sports Saturday with The Fifteenth Club and The End Zone. He also hosts Crenshaw on Golf on Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio with Ben Crenshaw.

Ed has contributed greatly to numerous organizations in Austin, such as the American Heart Association, and as a current board member for Alzheimer’s Texas Association, and Arc of the Capital Area. Clements also works closely with the Austin golf community, working with two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, volunteering for the First Tee of Austin, and supporting Swinging Fore the Arc annual golf event.

Clements is married to Betsy Kellogg Clements and is the father of two sons, Ben and Ferris Clements. He is a member of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church.

June 3, 2019  |  Evan Smith

Evan Smith is the CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, a pioneering nonprofit, nonpartisan digital news organization whose deep coverage of Texas politics and public policy can be found at its website, and in newspapers and on TV and radio stations across the state. Since its launch in 2009, the Tribune has won international acclaim and numerous honors, including a Peabody Award, sixteen national Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, and three general excellence awards from the Online News Association. Evan is also the host of Overheard with Evan Smith, a weekly half-hour interview program that airs on PBS stations around the country.

Before co-founding the Tribune, Evan spent nearly 18 years at Texas Monthly, including eight years as editor and a year as president and editor-in-chief.

Smith, a New York native, obtained his bachelor’s degree in public policy at Hamilton College and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

January 14, 2019  |  Charles Duke

Astronaut Charles Duke is the son of the late Charles M. and Willie Waters Duke, Sr., of Lancaster, South Carolina. He married Dorothy Meade Claiborne, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. T. Sterling Claiborne of Atlanta, Georgia, on June 1, 1963. Mr. Duke has two sons, Charles III, born in 1965, and Thomas, born in 1967, and nine grandchildren. Upon graduating from the Naval Academy and receiving his commission in the United States Air Force, Mr. Duke entered pilot training and received his wings in September 1958. He served three years in Germany as a fighter interceptor pilot with the 526th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Ramstein Air Base. He was then assigned to MIT for a master’s degree. In 1964, he entered the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base. He has logged 4,147 hours flying time, which includes 3,632 hours in jet aircraft.

Charlie Duke is an active motivational and inspirational speaker. As an entrepreneur, business executive, military officer, and astronaut, he brings to the speaker’s platform 40 years of experience. His speeches are entertaining, informative, and sprinkled with humor. He has appeared on numerous TV shows and spoken for hundreds of associations, clubs, organizations, churches, and schools all over the world. He and his wife reside in New Braunfels, Texas.

October 15, 2018  |  Robert M. Chesney

Robert M. “Bobby” Chesney is the James Baker Chair at the University of Texas School of Law, where he also serves as the associate dean for academic affairs. Separately, he serves UT as director of its campus-wide Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law (an interdisciplinary unit designed to bring different parts of the university together to further education and policy-relevant research relating to pressing national security and foreign affairs challenges).

Professor Chesney’s teaching and scholarship cover an array of national security topics. Currently he is completing the manuscript of Terrorism, Law, and the Coercive Power of the State, forthcoming with Oxford University Press. Professor Chesney previously served as a member of the Director of National Intelligence’s Advance Technology Board and as an associate member of the DNI’s Intelligence Science Board, as well as a member of the President’s Detention Policy Task Force. He is one of the three co-founders of Lawfare, and writes there each week. He also co-hosts the popular weekly show the National Security Law Podcast.

He can be reached at [email protected] and is on Twitter @bobbychesney. Bobby, his wife, Heather, and their three daughters are parishioners at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. Bobby and Heather are from San Antonio.

June 4, 2018  |  Doug and Thais Kilday

Professionally, Doug Kilday is a trial lawyer with Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody and has more than 23 years of experience handling complex business-related cases in a wide variety of areas, including contracts, real estate, construction, wind energy, oil and gas, fiduciary duties, and professional liability. He has tried cases for both plaintiffs and defendants, and has represented clients in both state and federal court and in arbitration proceedings. Thais Kilday holds two graduate degrees from the University of Texas and has worked with the Executive Team for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and its predecessor agency, the Texas Department of Human Services.

In 2017, Doug, Thais, and their three children embarked on a yearlong mission to serve others in Cambodia. While there, Doug and Thais served the International Justice Mission (IJM), the world’s largest anti-slavery organization. They assisted with the prosecution of slave traffickers, resulting in a 100% success rate and eighteen convictions over the course of eight trials.

At The Monday Connection, they shared the stories of their amazing journey including how they made this bold decision; what role faith played; what it’s like to take a family of five to the other side of the world for a year; why they are drawn to the fight against slavery and human trafficking; and much, much more.

January 22, 2018  |  Judge Lora J. Livingston

Judge Lora Livingston is a 1982 graduate of the UCLA School of Law. In January 1995 she was sworn in as an associate judge for the District Courts of Travis County, Texas. After her successful election, Judge Livingston was sworn in as judge of the 261st District Court in January 1999. She is the first African-American woman to serve on a district court in Travis County. Since 2011, she has served as the local administrative judge for the Travis County Courts.

Judge Livingston has been active in local, state, and national bar association activities and has served on the boards of the Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation, Texas Access to Justice Commission, the National Center on Women and Family Law, the National Association of IOLTA Programs, the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas, and the Board of the Texas Center for the Judiciary. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Travis County Self-Help Center for self-represented litigants, and she led the effort to adopt a language access plan in the civil courts. She is a passionate supporter of access to justice initiatives on the local, state, and national level.

An active member of the Austin community, Judge Livingston has served on the boards of the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, The Care Communities, Trinity Episcopal School, Capital Area Food Bank, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Tenants Council, Central East Austin Community Organization, YMCA, Austin Area Urban League, El Buen Samaritano, and Seminary of the Southwest. Judge Livingston is also a graduate of the 1999–2000 class of Leadership Austin.


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