Custom Script

Virtual Advisor

Wheatley Lectures


Video from the Wheatley Lecture Series, held March 14-15, 2019 on the campus of Rocky Mountain College:

This year's Wheatley Lectures will be held on the campus of Rocky Mountain College from March 14-15, 2019. The theme is "Creating Community in a Digital Age: Navigating Technology, Enhancing Connectedness." Technology impacts our daily lives in a myriad of ways. Some claim that technology is an invaluable tool, while others contend that technology impoverishes the way we live. Join us as we explore these complex relationships.

If you plan to attend any of this year's Wheatley Lectures events, please RSVP to assist with planning for food and refreshments. The event is free and open to the public.


Thursday, March 14

2:00 - 2:30 p.m.


Location: Taylor Auditorim of Losekamp Hall on the campus of Rocky Mountain College

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. 

Workshop 1 - Technology: Blessing or Curse

Presenter: Dave Merkel 

Location: Selover Room, Bair Student Center

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. 

Workshop 2 - Understanding Mindfulness

Presenter: Janet Dietrich MD

Location: Chapel, Bair Student Center

5:00 - 6:45 p.m.


6:45 - 7:00 p.m.

Greeting and Introductions 

7:00 p.m.

The Redemptive Potential of Technology

Presenter: Arthur Boers followed by dialogue with presenters.

Location: Taylor Auditorium, Losekamp Hall

Friday, March 15

8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Clergy and Church Leader Breakfast
(Please RSVP to assist with food ordering. Read more about this event.)

Location: Fraley Lounge, Bair Student Center

10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Workshops (choose either option 1 or option 2)

Option 1 – The Practice of Technology

Presenter: Dave Merkel

Location: Selover Room, Bair Student Center

Option 2 – The Practice of Mindfulness

Presenter: Janet Dietrich MD

Location: Chapel, Bair Student Center


Summary Lecture: Invigorating our Discernment on Technology

Presenters: Arthur Boers followed by dialogue with presenters

Location: Taylor Auditorium, Losekamp Hall 


Arthur Boers

Arthur Boers

Rev. Dr. Arthur Boers is a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada and currently serves as associate priest at St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux Anglican Church in Toronto. 

Boers held the R. J. Bernardo Family Chair of Leadership at Tyndale Seminary (Toronto, Canada) and previously taught pastoral theology at Anglican Mennonite Biblical Seminary (Elkhart, Indiana). Since 1985 he has served as a pastor in rural, urban, and church-planting settings in the USA and Canada. His newest books include Living into Focus: Choosing What Matters in an Age of Distractions  (Brazos) and Servants and Fools: A Biblical Theology of Leadership. His book The Way is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage Along the Camino de Santiago (InterVarsity, 2007) reflects on an 800 kilometre pilgrimage that he walked in Spain. Other book include  Never Call Them Jerks: Healthy Responses to Difficult Behavior (Alban, 1999) and Day by Day These Things We Pray: Uncovering Ancient Rhythms of Prayer (Herald, 2010. He is co-editor of Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer Book, volumes 1 and 2 (Herald, 2007, 2010). 

Boers earned the following degrees: MFA in creative nonfiction from Seattle Pacific University, D. Min. with distinction from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, M. Th. in Pastoral Counseling from Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, M. Div. from McCormick Theological Seminary, M.A. in Peace Studies from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, B.A. University of Western Ontario. For many years he served as columnist and editorial advisor for Christian Ministry and The Builder. His hundreds of articles and reviews have been published in Biblical Preaching Journal, Catholic New Times, Christian Century, Christianity Today, Congregations, Leadership, St. Anthony Messenger, and Sojourners. His writing earned awards from HarperSanFrancisco’s Best Sermons Competition, Academy of Parish Clergy Top Ten Books for Parish Ministry, Associated Church Press, and Evangelical Press Association. He also received a Louisville Christian Faith and Life Grant and a Study Grant for Pastoral Leaders, both from the Louisville Institute.

His hobbies include walking, hiking, canoeing, and kayaking. Boers is a Canadian, the oldest son of Dutch immigrants. He has been married to Lorna McDougall, a nurse practitioner, since 1980. They are the parents of two young adults.

Janet Dietrich, MD

Janet Dietrich, MD

Janet Dietrich, a native of Montana, practiced medicine in Billings as a board-certified Ob-Gyn from 1985-2015. Since then, her career transitioned as she pursued training in integrative health coaching and mindfulness-based stress reduction. She continues to contribute to healthcare by encouraging people to participate in their own health and well-being in her work as a nationally certified Health and Wellness Coach and a mindfulness meditation teacher. She is recognized as a qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher through the Center for Mindfulness, founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn at UMASS Medical School in 1979.

Janet earned her medical degree at University of California, San Francisco and completed her Ob-Gyn residency at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, WA and Texas Tech University in Amarillo, TX. Subsequently, she completed the Integrative Medicine Fellowship and Integrative Health Coaching Program at University of Arizona, Center for Integrative Medicine. Additionally, Janet has been a principal investigator in over thirty FDA-approved clinical trials at Montana Health Research Institute. In 1993, she was awarded the AMWA Community Service Award. In 1994-1995, she participated in the AMWA Master Faculty for Breast and Cervical Cancer Education Project.

She was one of the four teachers for the “Mindfulness Practices for Stress Reduction” program for health care professionals which was six 1 hour sessions taught as part of a federal DE-STRESS grant through Yellowstone County “Healthy by Design” in Billings on multiple occasions between 2015-2017. Janet presented on mindfulness at Montana Osteopathic Medical Association annual meeting (2013), medical grand rounds at St Vincent Healthcare (2018) and Billings Clinic (2017) as well as at Montana Judges’ Association Conference (2017) and Courts of Limited Jurisdiction (2018).

Hiking, skiing and snowshoeing, visiting art galleries, enjoying a fire in the fireplace and baking cookies largely define Janet’s idea of a good time with her family.

Dave Merkel

Dave Merkel

Dave’s job is to create original content, or take your existing multimedia assets, and combine it into an audio or video gourmet meal that you serve to your audience and fans to support your message and brand.

Dave was born in the land of Dances with Wolves. Well, the movie was actually filmed in western South Dakota, not far from the Black Hills. Dave grew up on the plains in East River So Dak, a few hours east of the Black Hills. His training and skills have taken him around the country from concert stages and piano bars to worship services, morning radio personality to audio engineering, recording voice overs to live event announcing, being a pastor to being a regular at the bar. It all encompasses real life: the good, the bad and the ugly.

It’s been a bit of a strange journey, but it all contributes to the way Dave approaches creativity in music, sound design, audio production and voice overs.

Significant time, effort, and specialized tools backed by experience are necessary to produce the high-quality content that Dave consistently offers to clients. The work Dave puts in to achieve quality results deserves appropriate compensation, in line with the excellence that he is known to strive for.

Dave and his wife reside in Billings, Montana, where both the mountains and plains of the northern Rockies inform his perspective on life and its many stories. The people in Billings, Montana are wonderfully welcoming, generous, and engaged in life.

This event is supported by: Bishop Melvin E. Wheatley, Jr. Endowment, The Yellowstone Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, The Margaret V. Ping Foundation, Humanities Montana, Robert Phelps Memorial, and Rocky Mountain College.

Wheatley Lecture Sponsors

You can view an archived page with details from the 2018 Wheatley Lectures.