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Fact sheet June 2009
Christian leaders, including Edwina Thomas, Pastor Rick Warren, the Rev. Dr. Les Fairfield, Metropolitan Jonah, and the Rev. Dr. Todd Hunter have agreed to be among those addressing the organizing Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America scheduled for June 22-25, 2009 at St. Vincent’s Cathedral in Bedford, Texas. All addresses will be open to accredited journalists. For accreditation information, please contact the Rev. Peter Frank (pfrank@acn- us.org, 724-777-3246)
Edwina Thomas (June 22, 7:30 pm in the Marquee) has served as U.S. National Director for Sharing of Ministries Abroad (SOMA) for 18 years. Thomas is known and respected by leaders of the Anglican Communion around the globe, from deacons to Archbishops. During her tenure she has seen the maturation of many of today’s Primates from their initial ordination to their current roles as global leaders.
SOMA’s vision is to change the world for Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. They are a mission agency called by God to serve the Anglican Communion and the worldwide church through the renewing power of the Holy Spirit, principally through short-term, cross-cultural missions.
In response to this calling, Thomas has led SOMA-USA in the sending of 10-15 teams throughout the world each year. Each team is uniquely recruited and constituted to contain the blend of spiritual gifts needed to best serve the defined needs of the recipients.
Pastor Rick Warren (June 23, 10:30 am, St. Vincent’s Cathedral) author of The Purpose Driven Life and pastor of Saddleback Church, will speak on June 23. Warren, a longtime friend of orthodox Anglicans, has been repeatedly recognized as a key spiritual leader in America. Named “America’s Most Influential Pastor” by Christianity Today in 2003, Warren has also been called one of “America’s 25 Best Leaders” (US News and World Report 2006), and one of the “15 People Who Make America Great” (Newsweek 2006). Saddleback Church, founded by Warren in 1980, is an innovative evangelical congregation of 22,000 in Lake Forest, California.
Warren combines strong biblical convictions with a heart for mobilizing Christians around the world to make a difference. He has been particularly active in supporting and funding work to fight the AIDS pandemic in Africa, training leaders in developing countries and empowering local congregations to address poverty, disease, corruption and illiteracy through the PEACE Plan.
The Rev. Dr. Leslie P. Fairfield (June 23, 8:15 pm in the Marquee), Professor Les Fairfield was educated at Princeton and Harvard, and for thirty years (1976-2006) was professor of Church History at Trinity. His specialty is the history of English Church, and he is the author of John
Bale: Mythmaker for the English Reformation. He taught courses at Trinity ranging from Patristics to Postmodernism. Les retired from full-time teaching in 2006. He continues to lead study tours to the British Isles, and to teach part-time at Trinity.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah (June 24, 10:30 am, St. Vincent’s Cathedral), the Archbishop of Washington and New York and the Metropolitan of All America and Canada for the Orthodox Church in America [OCA], will speak on June 24. Elected primate of the OCA in November of 2008, Metropolitan Jonah was tonsured a monk in the late 1980s at St. Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania after spending time at the Valaam Monastery in Russia. An Episcopalian before joining the Orthodox Church in 1978, he attended St. Vladimir's Seminary, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in 1985 and a Master of Theology in Dogmatics in 1988.
Before his consecration to the episcopacy in October 2008, as a priestmonk Metropolitan Jonah served as abbot of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco Monastery, now located in Manton, California. Metropolitan Jonah's writings on Eastern Orthodox spirituality have been published in numerous Orthodox Christian publications, including Divine Ascent, the journal of the Monastery of St. John. He is well known for his insights, offered both in public presentations and through private spiritual dialogue, on the convergence of the ancient Christian ascetic practices and the challenges of living an authentic Christian life in the modern world.
The Rev. Dr. Todd Hunter (June 25, 10:30 am, St. Vincent’s Cathedral) is the Director of Church for the Sake of Others (www.c4so.org), the west coast church planting initiative for the Anglican Mission in the Americas, and author of Christianity Beyond Belief. Hunter also founded Three is Enough, a small-group movement that facilitates missionally focused spiritual formation. A past president of the Alpha USA evangelism ministry, Hunter is an adjunct professor of evangelism and postmodern ministry at George Fox University, Fuller Seminary, Western Seminary and Wheaton College. Earlier in his career he served as the Church Planting coach for Allelon Ministries and the National Director for the Association of Vineyard Churches. Hunter will speak to delegates and guests on the morning of June 25, sending the Anglican Church in North America out to “Reach North America with the Transforming Love of Jesus Christ.”
For more information see: www.theacna.org
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