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"First Rate" Mere Anglicanism 2012 Comes to Close
“First rate,” “challenging” and “refreshing” were words used to describe the most recent Mere Anglicanism conference, “The Once and Future Church,” which came to a close at St. Philip’s, Charleston, Saturday, January 21,
The roster of speakers included the Rt. Rev. Richard Chartres, Bishop of London; the Most Rev. Benjamin Kwashi, Archbishop of Jos; Dr. John McCardell , Vice Chancellor, The University of the South, Sewanee; the Rev. Dr. Richard Turnbull, Principal, Wycliffe Hall at Oxford; the Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry, Dean, Trinity School for Ministry; the Rt Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop
of Rochester (retired), England and the Rt Rev. Mark Lawrence, Bishop of South Carolina.
Conference participants were enthusiastic about both the speaker’s talks’ content and their tone.
“This conference has been first rate,” said the Rt. Rev. Alden Hathaway. “I’m so encouraged. I was really moved by the Bishop of London yesterday and John McCardell brought it into an American context. All of the speakers have been just fine. The Saturday morning talk, by Justyn Terry, outlining the whole of Christian Education – we’re so enthusiastic about that. He hit all of the levels, from elementary school to college and university formation to theological institutions to continuing education. That’s where it’s at. Mere Anglicanism is really at the heart of it. I’m very, very pleased to be a part of this conference.”
The Rt. Rev. Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, who was one of the presenters, said of the conference, “It’s been a treat to be here in Charleston and I’ve learned a very great deal. One of the things about the Anglican Communion is that you can have all sorts of theories about structures and theological foundations, but if we don’t know one another and if we’re not friends and we don’t spend time actually listening to one another then of course we’re going to have broils and factions. One of the worst things in life I find at the moment is going from place to place and hearing many monologues about the importance of dialogue and I think that this conference has been an example of really deep listening and exchange – genuine dialogue and I appreciate it very much indeed.”
Mrs. Dot Anderson, a member of St. Philip’s, Charleston, said, “I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve learned so much. It’s been great.”
Bruce MacDonald, Senior Warden at Saint James, Charleston, said. “It’s been a great blessing to come to a place where your mind is constantly challenged in the faith. I look forward to it every year.”
“It’s been a time of great physical, spiritual and educational refreshment,” said the Rev. Arthur Jenkins, Rector of Saint James, Charleston.
Mr. Alan Runyan, Parish Chancellor for St. Helena’s, Beaufort, said, “I think the thing that resonates with me is that the reach of this conference is no longer simply scholarly, not that they aren’t important, but the reach is also to the laity. Without the laity Anglicanism goes nowhere.”
The Rev. Chad Lawrence, Curate at St. Helena’s, Beaufort, said, “It’s been a refreshment for me and really a great source of encouragement to my call to ministry particularly at the start of a new classical Christian school. Speaker after speaker has just emphasized a call to training our children in the knowledge and love of the Lord and starting from the youngest of ages and I leave greatly encouraged in that mission, and ready to go back and do that which God has called me.”
The Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon, Canon Theologian of the Diocese, was especially moved by the presence of the Archbishop of Jos, Benjamin Kwashi. “Here you have a man who is literally on the firing line for the gospel every day in ministry, who has taken the time to be with us. During the conference itself, in fact, there waas another violent set of explosions in Kano in Northern Nigeria. Overnight as we were gathered he was texting individual bishops who were dealing with the violence in his own Province. Then the next morning what does he do? He gives a heart felt plea for the importance of evangelism and apologizes to those gathered for his lack of zeal for the gospel. It leaves one quiet and so thankful just that our paths have crossed with his one more time.”
We’re grateful to Anglican TV for filming the talks. They have been posted online and may be found at: http://www.anglican.tv/category/tags/events/mere-anglicanism-2012. Compact Disks of the talks are available for purchase. Download the order form. View a Mere Anglicanism Photo Album.