It is my honor to be the interim head of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies. I will play this role until the Rev. Katherine Grieb, Ph.D. ’83 starts as director of the Center in July 2021.
We have been in a strategic planning process with the Board of Trustees. Without exception, board members were enthusiastic about the work of CACS. They talked about CACS as our window on the world, as the way in which VTS can serve the global church, and as an intrinsic part of our mission.
I am grateful to the hard work of the Rev. Robert Heaney, Ph.D., D.Phil., as he steps down as director of the Center. His tenure has been remarkable. Bringing a personal biography that included service in Tanzania and a doctorate from Oxford University, he steered the Center to new heights both in terms of program and influence. The sheer number of publications and events is impressive. And his own participation in the design group of the Lambeth Conference (which would have been held in 2020) has enabled him and the Center to have a real impact on the future of the Communion.
So, looking ahead: I am grateful to the remarkable Ms. Hartley Hobson Wensing. Thanks to her hard work, we have an exciting spring planned. On February 16, we have a webinar with the extraordinary Fr. Michael Lapsley on the topic “Trauma, Healing, and Justice.” On March 2, we will have a forum with the former Ambassador to Egypt John Casson and Bishop Graham Kings on the theme of “The Vocation of Peacebuilding: Anglicans in Diplomacy.” And on April 20, we are fortunate to have Bishop Paul Sarker, former moderator of the Church of Bangladesh on “Green Anglicanism: Understanding Ecological Justice Theologically.” All events will be live-streamed on the Center’s Facebook page and the VTS YouTube channel.
As we look ahead, we welcome conversation partners. If you have an idea that you would like us to consider, then please do email Hartley and share the idea with us. In addition, we are thinking of starting a Friends of the Center. This will be a mechanism to invite people to commit to the ministry of the Center by praying and participating in events.
The constant danger is to forget that the Church is not just a neighborhood congregation, not just the Episcopal Church, and not just in America. Instead, the Church is a global family, with Christians in every country. The mission of CACS is to keep reminding us of this truth. We really want you to be part of this work with us.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President
Interim Director, The Center for Anglican Communion Studies