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June 4, 2020

Anabaptist Theology Forum Online

ATF (Anabaptist Theology Forum) recently had a series of four online seminars which worked well.  Sixty people, from three different continents, signed up to the series, and between 20 and 50 of these attended each of the sessions.  Some seminars included discussions in breakout rooms, as well as a plenary with more discussion.  People seemed to enjoy them – we’re hoping for some further feedback via Google Forms soon!

The first two sessions were from forthcoming books in the After Christendom series:  John Heathershaw discussed ‘Security After Christendom’ (this session drew the greatest number of participants) and Janet Sutton presented some material from her book, ‘Sacraments After Christendom’, co-written with Andrew Francis.  In the third session, Fran Porter’s paper, ‘From Washing Feet to Shaking Hands: Footwashing, Gender and the Things that Make for Peace’, responded to one given at an earlier forum by Lloyd Pietersen, and raised some vital questions around gender. The final session Andrew Bolton’s paper brought us back to further discussion of sacraments, with ‘Exploring Incarnation, Sacramental Acts, and Peace discipleship’. Some of these should be available soon to watch via YouTube: watch this space for more information.

Following these successful sessions, we are planning another series in the autumn, and in the meantime Stuart Murray Williams will present two sessions looking at some of the basics of Anabaptism. These are: 11 June, 2-4pm: ‘Why were the Anabaptists persecuted?’ whilst on July 9th, 7.30-9.30pm the topic for discussion will be: What have the Anabaptists ever done for us? You can find the links for these on the ATF website:

Study Group

Fourteen people from across the UK participated in the online Anabaptist study group on 3 June. We introduced ourselves, shared learnings from lockdown and discussed how the group might operate in future. We decided to meet monthly and agreed to meet again at 8pm on Thursday 2 July. We will aim for about an hour of study and discussion followed by half an hour of more personal sharing and some prayer.

The group decided to start by studying the ‘core convictions’ of the Anabaptist Mennonite Network, using the book, The Naked Anabaptist, which devotes a chapter to each of these seven convictions.

If you are interested in joining this group, please contact [email protected]