Peter Stuart of the Coordinating Group explained, “You will notice in the conference that there’s no keynote speeches, and that’s deliberate. We decided right from an early space that we didn’t want anyone from any of the domains either of experience or scholarship or related areas to come in as a keynote that put us into a space of some with more, some with less. We wanted it to be an equal journey of exploration and working together. But we also recognize that in our midst there are some people whose gift is in the area of scholarship, in writing and reflecting theologically, in trying to help focus some of those things. This afternoon we’re going to hear from three people who’ve been invited to be amongst us partly because of their scholarship. We have named them as “companions” – they’re companions to us in this session and in our plenary sessions, and part of their role is to say “what about this?” Something that we might not yet have come across in our conversation … So they’re holding up a mirror to us, they’re flying kites, they’re gonna take us in some different directions.”
We heard from three companions (bios below). Click here to listen to what they had to say:
Robin Greenwood of Yorkshire Dales (UK) is a practical theologian, currently William Leech Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, UK. He has served in Anglican full-time ordained ministry for over 44 years, based at different times in local churches, diocesan education and training teams and cathedrals. His published writing includes “Transforming Priesthood,” “Parish Priests for the Sake of the Kingdom” and “The Ministry Team Handbook” (published by SPCK). His present consultative work with churches in North East of England takes as a leading theme the scriptural notion of “Blessing” as an antidote to church narratives of failure or despair.”
Fredrica Harris Thompsett of Massachusetts (US) is a teacher, historian, author, Anglican theologian and Professor of Historical Theology and former Academic Dean who has taught at the Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) and other seminaries for 40 years. One book is “Born of Water, Born of Spirit: Supporting the Ministry of the Baptized in Small Congregations,” co-authored with Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook (2010). Two of her several books are “Living with History (New Church’s Teaching Series” and “We are Theologians (1989, 2003, 2015). Her current book project, “Holy Water,” focuses on the affiliation of baptism and ecology. She is passionate of supporting the ministry of laity and clergy in new spirit-filled expressions and sought after as a conference leader, speaker, and preacher. She now lives in Falmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod ad commutes periodically to Boston. She is a leading participant in national Episcopal Church councils.
Stephen Pickard of Canberra & Goulburn (Australia) is Executive Director, The Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, and Professor of Theology, Charles Sturt University, Canberra, Australia. He is also an Assistant Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn. He has served in a range of ministerial and academic appointments over three decades in Australia and the United Kingdom including Director of St. Mark’s National Theological Centre, Canberra; Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Adelaide; chaplaincy and parish priest (UK and Australie); and CEO of Anglicare in Canberra & Goulburn. His teaching, writing and research is in the area of ecclesiology, ministry, mission and culture; most recently Seeking the Church: An Introduction to Ecclesiology (SCM, 2012). He is Chair of the Ministry Commission of the Anglican Church of Australia; and Deputy Chair, of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Unity, Faith and Order.