Date: April 18, 2023
This week, VTS is privileged to welcome the Rt. Rev. Anthony Poggo, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion to our campus to give the 2023 Albert T. Mollegen Forum address. Martha Jarvis, Anglican Communion Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Caroline Thompson, Private Secretary for the Office of the Secretary General, are also visiting in support from the Anglican Communion Office in London. Bishop Poggo will be speaking on the topic of migration, a reality in our world with which he has great personal experience as a former child refugee in Uganda during the first Sudanese Civil War. He later worked for a mission agency and returned to Uganda to minister to Sudanese refugees, after which he became Bishop of Kajo-Keji in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan.
For those who don’t know – which I’m sure includes many Anglicans and non-Anglicans of the seminary community alike! – the Secretary General is responsible for the Primates’ Meetings and the meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council, serves as the secretary for the Lambeth Conference, and works closely with the Archbishop of Canterbury. For those of you keeping track at home, that means the Secretary General is deeply connected to all four “Instruments of Communion” – the personal and institutional embodiments of the bonds that connect Anglicans across the world.
There are two central events to Bp. Poggo’s visit that you should be sure not to miss:
- On Wednesday evening, after festive Evensong at 5:15 pm in Immanuel Chapel, Bishop Poggo will give the 2023 Mollegen Address, “Reframing Migration: Bringing Hospitality to a Hostile World,” in the Lettie Pate Evans Room at 6:15 pm. A forum with distinguished panelists with experience in migration issues in the Episcopal Church will follow. Registration is requested but not required for the forum, and can be found here.
- On Thursday evening, Bishop Poggo will preach at a celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 5:15 pm in Immanuel Chapel.
The internal disputes of the Anglican Communion can too often inspire an isolationist myopia in our Anglican communities. It is more important than ever to gather with Anglicans from around the world for worship, fellowship, and discussion of the political crises facing our world which call the Church to unite and stand together in its shared witness to the Gospel. This is the wonderful opportunity and task that the occasion of Bishop Poggo’s visit presents to us.
Please join me in welcoming Bishop Poggo and engaging with him at the Forum and in worship!
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and President of The General Theological Seminary