A Revolutionary Idea
In 2007, my wife, Carol, and I joined another couple from Christ Church Anglican, Savannah to attend the New Wineskins Conference. The Lord used the first two talks by Bishop Derek Eaton and Bishop Rennis Ponniah, which by “accident” both focused on the call of Abraham in Geneses 12:1, to confirm a call to Carol and me to sell our business and get ready to do full time mission work. In the last 11 years we have served in 22 countries on over 80 missions. The other couple, two 30-somethings with small children, were preparing to answer a call to serve for 7 years in Uganda.
Most people who attend New Wineskins do not become missionaries, but everyone leaves with a greater appreciation for how the Lord is working around the world.
We have attended each New Wineskins since 2007. Each year we have encouraged other Christ Church Anglican members to join us. One year 18 of us traveled to Ridgecrest for the conference. So, when I knew that our leadership was busy planning this year’s parish weekend, I thought this was the year to get many more of our congregation to New Wineskins. So, I sent the email below titled “A Revolutionary Thought” to our leadership:
How about declaring the 2019 Triennial New Wineskins Conference as our Parish Weekend? The timing is close to our normal schedule. 9/26-29.
Take a look at the conference website, https://newwineskinsconference.org/ and note the amazing list of international and American speakers. There will also be about 100 "MAP Talks" (Mission Awareness Presentations) which will be 15-minute talks with 15 minutes of discussion. These MAPs will cover every topic you can imagine for local and global missions. There will be something for everyone. Christ Church could suggest a "Track" for our attendees or let everyone freelance.
There are also a number of "pre-conferences" beginning 9/25 at https://newwineskinsconference.org/preconferences/. Some of these will be of special significance for church staff and leaders.
Trinity School for Ministry sees this conference as so critical that they close regular seminary classes and pay for the seminarians to attend. Bishop Neil Lebhar stated at synod that Gafcon grew as a fruit of New Wineskins Conferences.
There will be great programs for kids, not just childcare. On Friday, the youth conference, Re-Mix, will begin.
Attendance for the conference is expected to be over 1,200. So, this will be a great opportunity for our congregation to connect with many of our brothers and sisters from ACNA.
With the increased distance and cost, our attendance would be lower, but I firmly believe that the impact will be greater than we might imagine.
The reaction was immediate and very positive. At the next meeting of the Church Council, the idea was approved, and New Wineskins officially became Christ Church Anglican’s Parish Weekend.
When our rector, The Rev. Marcus Robertson, made the announcement the following Sunday, he stated, “If you would like to see the worldwide Anglican Church at work, come to New Wineskins.” Many have already registered, and we are just getting started. There is great enthusiasm with some groups talking of renting a bus for the 5-hour drive. There is no doubt that our congregation will be changed by our time together in the mountains, moved by the response to the Lord’s Great Commission.
How would your congregation be impacted if a significant number attended the largest Anglican missions conference in the world? Come join Christ Church Anglican, Savannah, at New Wineskins 2019!