Child obesity, religion as a force for good and determining one's ecological footprint will be among the topics featured during the annual Hope College Winter Happening on Saturday, Jan. 31.
Winter Happening will feature multiple seminars in two blocks in the morning, a luncheon with musical entertainment and home swimming and women's and men's basketball games. The event is sponsored by the college's office of public and community relations, and is open to the general public.
The morning will feature six seminars, three at 9:30 a.m. and three at 11 a.m.
The 9:30 a.m. seminars are: "Voice Teaching in the 21st Century: Simultaneous Visual Imaging and Acoustical Feedback for a Centuries-Old Art," "How Can We Be Christians in Our Economic Life?" and "A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musings on Why God Is Good and Faith Isn't Evil." The 11 a.m. seminars are: "Does Anybody Feel at Home?: The Many Faces of Homelessness in a Culture of Displacement," "What's My Ecological Footprint?" and "Child Obesity - A Move for Action."
"Voice Teaching in the 21st Century: Simultaneous Visual Imaging and Acoustical Feedback for a Centuries-Old Art" will demonstrate the use of technology in the teaching of singing and in the diagnosis and treatment of singing voice disorders. The seminar will be presented by Linda Dykstra, associate professor of music, who has developed a new system that is being implemented by other colleges and universities nationally and internationally.
"How Can We Be Christians in Our Economic Life?" will examine how Christians can bring their faith and values into the public sphere as workers and employers, savers and consumers, and citizens and leaders. The seminar will be presented by Victor Claar, associate professor of economics, and Robin Klay, professor of economics and management, who are co-authors of the book "Economics in Christian Perspective: Theory, Policy and Life Choices."
"A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musings on Why God Is Good and Faith Isn't Evil" will aim to bridge the skeptical/believer dichotomy and suggest how faith can be reasonable, science-affirming, healthy, hopeful and humane. The seminar will be presented by David Myers, professor of psychology, whose book on the topic was published in 2008 as a response to the "new atheist" argument that all religion is dangerous and false.
"Does Anybody Feel at Home?: The Many Faces of Homelessness in a Culture of Displacement" will consider the rise of not only literal homelessness, but also the growing sense of ecological homelessness - a feeling of separation from one's homeland - as well as feelings of meaninglessness and restlessness. The seminar will be presented by Steven Bouma-Prediger, professor of religion and chairperson of the department and co-author of the book "Beyond Homelessness: Christian Faith in a Culture of Displacement."
"What's My Ecological Footprint?" will be an interactive workshop that will concentrate on choices that affect carbon emissions, such as the kind of car one drives, the size of one's home or apartment, and even whether or not to eat fresh fruit in the winter. The seminar will be presented by K. Greg Murray, professor of biology, who is a tropical ecologist and conservation biologist, and has been involved in several regional and local environmental groups.
"Child Obesity - A Move for Action" will highlight the dramatic increase in the incidence and prevalence of obesity in preadolescent children in the United States and other developing countries and provide effective strategies that impact the complex problem. The seminar will be presented by Mark Northuis, professor of kinesiology and chairperson of the department, and Steven Smith, professor of kinesiology, who have been studying preadolescent growth trends in the greater Holland area since 1994.
The luncheon begins at 12:30 p.m. at the Haworth Inn and Conference Center ballroom, and costs $12 per person. Highlights will include a musical presentation. Reservations for the luncheon are required.
The women's basketball team will host Saint Mary's College at 3 p.m., and the men's basketball team will host Olivet College at 7:30 p.m. Both games will be at the DeVos Fieldhouse. Tickets are $5 and $6 respectively, and a limited number of general admission tickets will be available for persons attending other Winter Happening events.
Also during the day, the men's and women's swimming teams will host OlivetCollege at 1 p.m. at the Dow Center's Kresge Natatorium. Admission to the meet is free.
In addition, the gallery of the De Pree Art Center is featuring the traveling exhibition "A Congo Chronicle" from Monday, Jan. 12, through Friday, Feb. 6. The regular gallery hours are Mondays through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.; and Sundays from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free.
In addition to being required for the luncheon, advance registration is recommended for the seminars. Additional information may be obtained by calling the college's office of public and community relations at (616) 395-7860 or online at www.hope.edu/pr/09WinterHappening.html 
Registration during the morning of the event will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Haworth Inn and ConferenceCenter, located facing College Avenue between Ninth and 10th streets.