October 2017

Robert Heaney
The Center for Anglican Communion Studies 20th Anniversary Year (2017-2018)
“Celebrating the Communion”

This month we are ramping up our celebration of twenty years of connection and community in the Anglican Communion! Our year of celebrating the Communion will include conversations, lectures, focused chapel worship, and a display of art and artifacts from around the world. This year of celebration gives the VTS community opportunities to acknowledge the valuable work of the Center in its first twenty years, engage with important questions regarding relationships between Anglicans around the world today, and look toward a hopeful future amidst diversity and difference.

We are privileged to welcome two esteemed visitors to campus this month. The Rev. Dr. Yossa Way, rector of the Université Anglicane du Congo visited VTS from October 1 through 22. While primarily here as part of a sabbatical, he also shared in a lunch time forum, met with students, and preached in chapel. From October 26 to November 03, Shunila Ruth will come to VTS as the 2017 Merrow Fellow. She is a Pakistani human rights activist and politician currently serving as the coordinator of the Women’s Synodical in the Church of Pakistan where she supports and develops women’s liturgy, spirituality, and socio-economic leadership. We look forward to welcoming her to VTS and learning from her.

Looking forward to November, the Most Rev. Josiah Idowu Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, will visit and address this year’s Mollegen Forum. Archbishop Josiah will speak on the “Vitality of World Anglicanism” at 6:00pm on November 15. He will also preach in chapel and address the VTS board.

As well as highlighting key leaders in the Anglican Communion, including a visit and lecture by our Presiding Bishop in February 2018, CACS is also delighted to be partnership with the Bishop Payne Library in a display of “Art and Artifacts of the Anglican Communion”. The display showcases items gifted to the seminary over the last century by partners from around the world. These artifacts serve as a testament to the mission of God as discerned by Anglicans and serve as a powerful reminder of our deep cross-cultural relationships and history. They also demonstrate beautiful ways Christians around the world express their commitment to Christ and celebrate their faith. The display will be up until the spring.

As we welcome guests from around the communion, reflect on global Anglicanism today, and celebrate the connections the Center has facilitated in its first two decades, we also reflect on the nearly two centuries of engagement by VTS faculty, staff, and graduates around the world. The 1887 chapel had the words “go ye into all the world and preach the gospel” that call remains in the 2015 chapel above the great west doors. Generations of priests and lay people have taken this call to heart, planting churches around the world and engaging with people in numerous contexts. We are grateful for their courage and dedication. By the power of the spirit their work contributed to the planting of churches, dioceses, and provinces. CACS builds on this long institutional memory, working with partners around the Anglican communion as together we discern and take heed of the mission of God.

We are delighted to work with a range of departments this year as we invite the whole campus into a time of reflection, exchange, and celebration. Look out for more coverage and news on our anniversary year in the next edition of News from the Hill!
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