The 2015-16 webinars organized by the Centre for Anabaptist Studies will explore the 7 core convictions of the UK Anabaptist Network. These summarise the heart of Anabaptism and its contemporary significance. They are also at the heart of the book The Naked Anabaptist.
We have invited 7 people from different contexts (the UK, South Africa, Australia and North America) to reflect on these convictions, critique them and ask how they work out in practice.
The three autumn webinars
Thursday 22 October: ‘Jesus is our example, teacher, friend, redeemer and Lord. He is the source of our life, the central reference point for our faith and lifestyle, for our understanding of church and our engagement with society. We are committed to following Jesus as well as worshipping him.’
Joshua T Searle is Tutor in Theology and Public Thought and the Assistant Director of Postgraduate Research at Spurgeon’s College. He is married to Varduyi.
A Northumbrian by birth and temperament, he is a graduate of Oxford, Dublin and Prague, and is the author of books and articles on millennial studies and the social theology of evangelical Christians. He also serves as Chair of Mission Eurasia UK and is a visiting professor of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv.
Monday 23 November: ‘Churches are called to be committed communities of discipleship and mission, places of friendship, mutual accountability and multi-voiced worship. As we eat together, sharing bread and wine, we sustain hope as we seek God’s kingdom together. We are committed to nurturing and developing such churches, in which young and old are valued, leadership is consultative, roles are related to gifts rather than gender and baptism is for believers.’
After 6 years in Tower Hamlets as part of E1 Community Church, Alexandra Ellish recently moved with her husband Phil, daughter Gracie (6) and son James (4) to join the Urban Expression team based in Harold Hill, East London. Alex helps to coordinate Urban Expression, and also works with the Mennonite Trust and Anabaptist Network as a development worker. Alex is passionate about community organising, multivoiced worship, building relationships with people from different backgrounds, feminism and spiritual formation.
Wednesday 2 December: ‘Western culture is slowly emerging from the Christendom era when church and state jointly presided over a society in which almost all were assumed to be Christian. Whatever its positive contributions on values and institutions, Christendom seriously distorted the gospel, marginalised Jesus and has left the churches ill-equipped for mission in a post-Christendom culture. As we reflect on this, we are committed to learning from the experience and perspectives of movements such as Anabaptism that rejected standard Christendom assumptions and pursued alternative ways of thinking and behaving.’
Andrew Suderman, although born in Canada, has spent many years living outside Canada. He spent ten years growing up in Costa Rica, Bolivia, and Colombia, before moving back to Canada where he studied and received degrees in theology and philosophy. He spent several years working with offenders and ex-offenders and as a supervisor of a 54-bed homeless shelter. Since 2009, Andrew and his wife Karen have been serving as Mennonite Church Canada Witness Workers in South Africa. They have been living in Pietermaritzburg, where Andrew has been serving as Director of the Anabaptist Network in South Africa and working on a PhD in Theology.
Each webinar will be 60 minutes in length and consist of presentation and discussion. All the webinars are recorded and so can be watched later if necessary. There is no charge, although an opportunity to contribute to costs is available.
Details of the 2016 webinars will be available soon.
We are grateful once again to the Church of the Brethren for hosting these webinars, which are also organized in partnership with the Anabaptist Network and the Mennonite Trust. Copies of The Naked Anabaptist are available (post-free in the UK) for £8.00 on request to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is also the contact point for any further information about the webinars. The seven core convictions of the Anabaptist Network can be found at www.anabaptistnetwork.com/coreconvictions
See Flyer: The Heart of Anabaptism