We hope our readers will forgive the lapse in frequency of the Anglican Commentary posts this fall. We have had a very busy fall, and now as we enter the season of Advent, we are finally taking a moment to pause and share a summary of those events, along with video links and personal reflections.
In September, we welcomed our three CACS Fellows
to campus for a week that culminated in our first Public Theology Seminar. In this day and a half-long event, our three CACS Fellows, Rev. Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Dr. Najah Nadi Ahmad, and Dr. Lucinda Mosher joined with VTS faculty Dr. Hannah Matis, Rev. Dr. John Yieh, Rev. Dr. Katherine Grieb, the Very Rev. Ian Markham, and Rev. Dr. Robert Heaney, as well as VTS students Valerie Mayo and Brit Bjurstrom Frazier to offer papers on themes in public theology. Topics included missiology, the role of politics, the Christian Gospel, an Islamic perspective on public theology, and theology in multi-religious contexts. Since the seminar, presenters and respondents have been redrafting their papers which will appear in an upcoming special edition of the Anglican Theological Review. “In bringing together a set of essays that examine the notion of public theology dialogically, our goal is to provide a unique resource that will stimulate further exploration of this fascinating topic,” says Dr. Mosher, who is coordinating the publication effort with ATR.
In October, CACS hosted the 2018 Mollegen Forum with retired U.S Senator George Mitchell, a former United States Envoy for Northern Ireland and for Middle East Peace. Senator Mitchell’s remarks, “Reconceiving Reconciliation: Work That Gives Life to the World” were followed by a panel conversation with Baroness May Blood of the Integrated Education Fund (Northern Ireland), Bishop Anthony Poggo of Lambeth Palace, Mrs. Jane Namurye Poggo of Women on the Frontline, and Mr. Earl James of the Reformed Church of America. The panel was moderated by Dr. Robert Heaney, Director of CACS, and Canon Sarah Snyder, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Adviser for Reconciliation. The entire Mollegen Forum, including the lecture and discussion, can be watched HERE
The Mollegen Forum lecture also served as the first event in “Reconceiving Reconciliation, a two-day consultation that brought together 24 emerging leaders in globally focused government or non-governmental organizations in the DC area. After attending the Mollegen Forum together, the participants gathered with CACS Director Robert Heaney and Mollegen Panelists to explore the ways theological approaches to reconciliation and peace building might inform their careers and vocations. Current VTS students Joseph Hubbard, Guimond Pierre-Louis, Suresh Shantakumar and Matthew Machowski were all part of this gathering, as was VTS Continuing Education student Crishan Thuraisingham. Joe, Guimond, and Suresh collaborated on a reflection piece that you can read HERE.
Throughout the fall, CACS had several points of connection with our partners at the Community of the Cross of Nails (CCN), the global reconciliation network based at Coventry Cathedral. In September, while we were hosting the Public Theology Seminar, Jon Pucik, MDiv ’20, and Dr. Amy Dyer attended the CCN International Gathering in Coventry, representing CACS and VTS. Just over a month later, CACS hosted the North American board of CCN at VTS for their annual board meeting. Read Jon Pucik and Dr. Dyer’s reflections on CCN HERE.
Finally, in November, we launched our year of “The Anglican Communion in the Middle East” with a visit from the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, the Most Rev. Suheil Dawani. Archbishop Dawani gave an evening lecture on “The Challenge for Christians in the Holy Land Today.” His remarks were followed by an engaging panel conversation with VTS faculty members, Dr. Stephen Cook, Dr. Hannah Matis, and Dr. Zeyneb Sayilgan. Christians in the Holy Land face many challenges, and Archbishop Dawani highlighted the fact that while the actual number of Christians living in the Holy Land is decreasing, their presence in the region remains vital. The Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East runs dozens of schools, two hospitals, and 27 parishes in five countries. People of all faiths rely on the education and health care services provided by Christians in the region, as well as the role that Christians are playing in peacemaking and reconciliation across religious divides. The link to the Dawani lecture and discussion can be found HERE
CACS will continue to focus on peacebuilding and the Anglican Communion in the Middle East in the New Year. Stay tuned for our next Anglican Commentary in early January, where we will give you a preview of the events and visitors planned for the coming semester.
Have a blessed Advent and a merry Christmas. We hope you will join CACS for several of our events in the spring of 2019.