Alexandria, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary announced today the conference “Anglican Women at Prayer: Weaving Our Bonds of Affection” to be held on the VTS campus March 14 – 16, 2014.
Co-sponsored by the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross (SCHC) and the Seminary’s Center for Anglican Communion Studies, the three-day conference will weave together new understandings, new relationships and new responses to need throughout the Communion.
“The SCHC is proud to offer more than 100 years of women's experiences vowed to intercessory prayer as a resource to this global adventure,” said Mrs. Phoebe Griswold (pictured), member of the SCHC and chair of the American Women at Prayer committee. “I think we will see some exciting revelations about our God on this brave new journey into global Anglican women praying. There is nothing more moving than to hear a woman pray her own prayer from her heart.”
An initial planning session for the conference was held at the seminary and attended by several members of the VTS community, including the Rev. Robert Heaney Ph.D., D.Phil., director of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies and assistant professor of Christian mission; the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D., vice president for Institutional Advancement and professor of pastoral theology; the Rev. Melody Knowles, Ph.D.. vice president for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Old Testament; and Mrs. Lesley Markham, interim executive director of the North American Committee of St. George's College Jerusalem.
"We are excited about the impact such an event will have not only for those invited to attend but also for the wider church and wider Anglican Communion,” said Heaney. “To co-host with the SCHC a gathering of Anglican women at prayer is a unique opportunity. Even at this stage of planning, with much work to be done, we have been blessed in the venture."
Women leaders in the Anglican Communion will challenge and inspire participants to share ways that they pray and for what they pray. In recognition of the importance of the arts to prayer, the conference will incorporate textile, visual arts, songs and dance into worship. Some portions of the conference will be open to the wider community of students.
Objectives of this spring conference include:
• Explore the culture contexts of women’s prayers throughout the world;
• Develop a deeper understand of why (for what and how) we pray;
• Identify ways to pray for and with one another across diverse global contexts;
• Gain deeper understandings for the human challenges we address in differing context globally in poverty, education, leadership and health;
• Strengthen the bonds of mutual affection among Anglican Women.
A maximum of 120 women will attend this conference; however, thanks to additional partnerships with other Episcopal Seminaries who are already part of the conversation, a larger audience will be reached, as the conference will live on as resources for people across the world.
Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women for service in the Church worldwide, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. Currently, the Seminary represents more than 42 different dioceses and 5 different countries, for service in the Church. Visit us online at www.vts.edu