2016/03/30 – 2016/06/01
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
The first Annual General Meeting of the Mennonite Trust, 5pm on Saturday 12 March at Bloomsbury Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8EP.
No ticket or prebooking required. read on
Can Enemies Become Friends?
Adventures in Reconciliation
Saturday 12 March at Bloomsbury Baptist Church, London read on
2016/01/14 – 2016/04/28
The 2015-16 webinars organized by the Centre for Anabaptist Studies are exploring the 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 seven 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. read on
You are invited to the second annual lecture organised by the Centre for Anabaptist Studies at Bristol Baptist College.
The presentation will focus on the central identity marker of Anabaptists – Nachfolge or discipleship; it will explore how the Anabaptist commitment to discipleship can illuminate our present understanding and practice of Christian spirituality.
The speaker will be Dr Toivo Pilli, course leader in Baptist and Anabaptist Studies at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Amsterdam.
Dr. Pilli comes from Estonia, where he is currently pastor of Tartu Salem Baptist Church and associate professor at Theological Seminary in Tartu.
The lecture will be held at Bristol Baptist College, The Promenade, Clifton Down, Bristol BS8 3NJ, starting at 7.30pm. This is a free event. There is no need to book, but please contact us to reserve a place at a simple meal provided at 6.00pm.
To reserve a meal place, or for further information, please contact us at email@example.com or ring the College on 0117 946 7050.
Wednesday 18 November 2015 See Flyer: CAS annual lecture 2015
2015/02/24 – 2015/05/26
Radical Routes aims to enable those who are curious to discover how the 500 year old Anabaptist/Mennonite traditions have helped shape modern approaches to Jesus centred ways of being church that are less institutionalised and hierarchical. In uncovering resources from a radical faith perspective that are life changing based on intentional discipleship in community in following Jesus.
From the end of February 2015 for five months, through to the end of June, the Wood Green Mennonite Church are sponsoring a Central London book club discussion based initially at Café Eterno on 34 Neal Street. This is an open event to which people who are interested in the Anabaptist tradition in being church, but have no face to face means of exploring that, are welcome to come and take part.
The open discussion will explore the implications of living out faith in a post Christendom setting in the West. The rediscovery of community, hospitality, peace and simplicity. Exploring too, some of the resources and stories of the Anabaptist faith traditions from around the world. Yet also listening to the critics of the tradition and discovering its strengths and weaknesses.
The first book to be discussed will be Stuart Murray’s primer for a basic understanding of Anabaptism called “the Naked Anabaptist” published by Paternoster in 2011 and available on Amazon books and on Kindle.
The session dates are
Session One: Feb 24th The essence of Anabaptism and following Jesus
Session Two: March 31st After Christendom
Please note the venue may change from this date and please check our Facebook and web page for updates
Session Three: April 28th Community and Discipleship
Session Four: May 26th Justice and peace
Session five: The original Anabaptists/ |Anabaptism today
The evening begins with a shared meal served from 6.30 pm in Café Eterno provided by a well-respected and popular vegetarian restaurant from across the road. The first 20 tickets ordered through Eventbrite, email or phone that specify they will be requiring a meal will have a free serving provided per person. After that it will be availing yourself of local eateries. Food for Thought also do a takeaway service. Access is at the front of the Café at 34 Neal Street.
Pre-booking will also enable you to take up the offer of a free copy of “the Naked Anabaptist” while stocks last. Although it will have been helpful to have read the relevant section of the book beforehand a short summary will be provided for each session so the arguments in the book can be presented. Each session will stand on its own so not being able to attend for the whole series is not a problem.
At 7.30 pm the discussion part of the evening will begin and finish at 9.30 pm. Access to the event at that point will switch to the rear entrance of Café Eterno in Nottingham Court , away from the front entrance in Neal Street but signs will be there to re-direct people.
The event is free but donations are welcome.
Outside of the monthly book club there is a fellowship group that meet in Central London (details available on request) (email : firstname.lastname@example.org ) as well as the regular Sunday gathering at Westbury Avenue Baptist Church .
2014/10/21 – 2015/06/02
Six webinars featuring the authors of already published or forthcoming books in the popular ‘After Christendom’ series
21 October 2014: Stuart Murray Williams: ‘The Fading Brilliance of Christendom’
The Christendom culture that dominated Europe for centuries and transposed itself with great success into many other nations was undoubtedly a brilliant achievement. It was also brutal, suppressing dissent and extending its influence through violence as well as persuasion, but it has left a remarkable legacy in all walks of life and most areas of society. As Christendom fades, should we grieve or celebrate its passing? What resources should we carry with us into post-Christendom, and what baggage should we leave behind?
Stuart Murray Williams, the author of Post-Christendom and Church after Christendom, is also the series editor of the ‘After Christendom’ series. He is a trainer/consultant working under the auspices of the Anabaptist Network, director of the Centre for Anabaptist Studies at Bristol Baptist College and one of the coordinators of Urban Expression.
20 November 2014: Nigel Pimlott: ‘Youth Work after Christendom’ – revisited
Mission and work with young people has undergone significant transformation since the publication of Youth Work After Christendom back in 2008. Great strides have been made. There has been an emergence of a post-Christendom narrative as pioneers and prophets have begun to dance to a new missional tune. However, for many people in churches, it is still about getting young people’s bums on seats on a Sunday. The Christendom mindset is alive and well and continues to unhelpfully inform far too much Christian-motivated work with young people. This webinar will reflect back on the original 2008 book and consider models of mission with young people based upon symbiosis, social justice and explorations of new uncharted waters.
Dr Nigel Pimlott is passionate about work with young people. He has worked for Frontier Youth Trust for many years and offers a wealth of experience and insight about faith, mission and the world we live in. He is author of a number of books and youth work resources, and is just about to have published, ‘Embracing the Passion’ – a book about Christian Youth Work and Politics. He is married to Sue, spends far too long on Facebook, and is a life-long supporter of Manchester City.
29 January 2015: Andrew Francis: ‘Hospitality and Community after Christendom’
This seminar explores how and why we should use sharing food to both practise hospitality and build up Christian community, whether at house-group or congregational level. Reference will also be made to the style of hospitality and food-sharing which ‘eating Jesus-style’ demands.
Andrew Francis is a community theologian, published poet and writer of several books, including Hospitality & Community After Christendom (2012), Anabaptism: Radical Christianity (2011) and What is God’s Name are You Eating (2014). He was the UK Anabaptist Network’s first Development Worker and served as executive vice-chair of the UK Mennonite Trust until 2013.
26 February 2015: Lloyd Pietersen: ‘Reading the Bible after Christendom’
The Bible is regarded as a classic of Western civilization but today is hardly read and its contents are not well known. Christendom used primarily the Old Testament as a foundation for statecraft and marginalised the teachings of Jesus. This webinar will draw from Lloyd’s book with the same title and will explore ways of reading the Bible that take seriously the teaching and example of Jesus.
Lloyd Pietersen has a PhD from Sheffield in Biblical Studies and has written extensively on the Pastoral Epistles. He is currently writing a book on the spirituality of the Pastorals. He was formerly Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies at the University of Gloucestershire and is currently a Research Fellow at Bristol Baptist College and serves on the Steering Group of the Centre for Anabaptist Studies. He has been treasurer of the Anabaptist Network for many years.
6 May 2015: Simon Perry: ‘Atheism after Christendom’
Throughout history, Atheism has been marked by a subversion of gods of the state. As such, from classical Greece, Imperial Rome and Medieval Christendom, Atheism was a criminal charge. After the European Reformations (16th Century), Atheism became a term of abuse and after the Enlightenment (18th Century) it became a badge of honour. In the postmodern era (21st Century) Atheism has become a measure of religious orthodoxy. The more domesticated Atheism has become, the more it has lost its subversive element,
climaxing today in the endorsement of the very type of state activity it once opposed.
Simon Perry is Chaplain to Robinson College, University of Cambridge. He is author of Atheism after Christendom: Disbelief in an Age of Encounter. His other publications include the historical fiction, All Who Came Before (2011) and theological monograph, Resurrecting Interpretation: Technology, Hermeneutics and the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (2012) and Jesus for Humanists (2014). He is currently writing about Olympian gods in both Archaic Greece and the 21st Century West.
2 June 2015 Brian Haymes and Kyle Gingerich Hiebert: ‘God after Christendom?’
Whatever is happening in history, whatever deals are struck between the Church and the state, whether a Christian voice is increasingly heard or marginalized in the arenas of power, God remains God and that is good news. At least it is so long as God remains God and not some being, even a supreme being. God after Christendom? revisits the long tradition of Christian speech about God with the conviction that in scripture and in the history of Christian reflection on these matters there are rich resources for faithful discipleship that enable us to confront the contemporary temptations that too often unwittingly re-make God in our own image. Beginning with the biblical witness, the presenters explore some classic Christian affirmations and argue that they remain crucial for reflection on how we speak of God today, and subsequently move on to explore issues of evil and suffering and why faith in the Triune God inexorably leads to worship and peace.
Brian Haymes is a Baptist minister who has served in several pastorates, the last being Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, London. He has been Principal of the Northern Baptist College, Manchester and Bristol Baptist College.
Kyle Gingerich Hiebert is a Canadian Mennonite who holds a PhD in Theology from the University of Manchester. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre, Conrad Grebel College, University of Waterloo.
Each webinar runs for 60 minutes from 7.30pm and can be accessed from any computer. There is no charge, but donations are welcome. These webinars are presented by the Centre for Anabaptist Studies at Bristol Baptist College in partnership with the Anabaptist Network, the Mennonite Trust and the Church of
the Brethren. To register for these webinars (which can be watched live or
as recordings), or for further information, please contact Stuart Murray Williams at email@example.com.
More information about the speakers and topics see: www.anabaptistnetwork.com and see flyer: Post-Christendom Webinars