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Newsletter May 2022

One of the delights of the past few months at IBTS has been to welcome visitors from around the world as people once again are free to travel. Being physically in the same space has served to remind me of the creative energy that is so often experienced in face-to-face meetings between people of different cultures. It seems that through the COVID years I had become accustomed to the Zoom experience, unconsciously accepting this as the norm for our interactions. As helpful as online meetings can be we are encouraged once again to be able to embrace in-person encounters and to recognise the amazing work of the Spirit of God as we meet. For me this sense is well summarised by practical theologian Terry Veling who states that ‘between the two there is a third’. As the ‘third’ the Spirit animates our encounters with reconciling and creative energy. We pray that the Spirit will be known in all our encounters – even online!

Dr. Mike Pears, director

IBTS Ethics Conference 2022
On behalf of IBTS we would like to extend our thanks to everyone who contributed in making our Ethics Conference such a success. We explored the five themes of truthfulness, justice, love, sacredness of life and forgiveness, and heard contributions from all across the EBF region and beyond. We would like to extend our thanks to Prof. David Gushee for his time and contributions over the three days! For more images and videos of the conference then please visit our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

One of the key elements of the #ethicsconf22 was using the World Café format as our approach to group reflection. The purpose of this was to facilitate group discussions as safe spaces in which differing and divergent opinions could be expressed, received and responded to graciously.

You can listen to Prof. David Gushee's reflections on the conference here.
Project Leaders Meeting
Last week we gathered in Amsterdam with the project leaders and initiators of the Learning Network. We were able to merge from across Europe to share our ideas for the coming years, particularly around the use of technology and the various platforms we may be able to implement within our learning structure. We are thankful for the engagement and commitment from so many who were able to meet with us both in person and online!

On the final day we recorded our first Learning Network podcast with the FORB team (Shane McNary and Kieryn Wurts) - keep an eye it for its release in the coming weeks!

Prof. David Gushee Inauguration
On the opening day of our Ethics conference, we welcomed Professor David Gushee to the chair of Christian Social Ethics at the VU, in partnership with IBTS.

'Establishing this Chair builds on the excellent relationship that exists between IBTS and the Faculty of Religion and Theology at the VU. Christian Social Ethics has been at the heart of IBTS over many decades and Gushee’s presence as a leading figure globally brings new energy and focus. Ethics is one if the key ways that the church connects to society and we see the need for a strong Christian voice to contribute to the wellbeing of society in Europe and beyond. Our hope and prayer is that the collaborative work done through this chair will have significant social impact.' Dr. Mike Pears

Upcoming Promotions
We have are delighted to have two promotion dates upcoming both in Amsterdam and online:
Dale Stairs promotion date -  15th June - online
Caleb Hutcherson promotion date – 30th June – Aula, VU.

Essay prize in Baptist and Anabaptist studies
The Acadia Centre for Baptist and Anabaptist Studies (ACBAS) is pleased to offer an annual prize competition in the general field of Baptist and Anabaptist history and thought, especially in Canada’s Atlantic region. Submissions that situate their subject within a historical context and framework are of a particular interest.

The annual Julian Gwyn Prize in Baptist and Anabaptist History and Thought, in the amount of $250 (Canadian), will be awarded for the best article approved for publication in a peer reviewed journal (including peer-reviewed student journals, open access journals, and hybrid journals) by a doctoral- or masters-level student, in French or English. The award will be announced by November 1st following the close of the annual competition (June 30th of each year).

All submissions must include: 1. An electronic copy of the article 2. Proof of the date of submission 3. Proof of current student status. Submissions should be emailed to acbas@acadiau.ca.

Learning Network Courses
After summer, we will be running three Learning Network courses on different themes. We believe that these courses will offer a rich space for multi-cultural dialogue, where people of different backgrounds can learn from each other in some of the world's most important topics. We'd love to invite you to share these within your churches and networks, as we aim to have a highly level of representation across the EBF region and beyond.

Creation Care - September 2022
Modelling and Mentoring - 5 October 2022
Freedom of Religion or Belief -  Autumn 2022

After Evangelicalism and the new five-session After Evangelicalism Group Study Guide 
We would like to invite you to join Prof. David Gushee in an online webinar on June 9 at 10:30am - 12:00pm ET (16:30-18:00 CEST) to learn more about his book After Evangelicalism and the new five-session After Evangelicalism Group Study Guide as tools to help the people you gather with to have a conversation about how to still be a Christian in today’s turbulent world.

With opening remarks from David Gushee, the webinar will be led by pastor Steve Watson of Reservoir Church (Cambridge, MA), author of the study guide. Prior to writing the study guide, Steve has taught the material of this book to his church in sermons and classes. Steve will offer the story of his experience leading his church in a discussion about faith after evangelicalism. Then he’ll help you see the five big questions in the book and study guide and how they can get everyday people to talk about footholds to their faith.

Register by clicking here.