The Anglican Leadership Institute convenes throughout much of September at the FOCUS Study Center in Massachusetts. The Eleventh session of 15 participants, from 12 different countries arrive September 6 and remain through the 27. Under the continuing leadership of Bishop Mark Lawrence as the Interim Executive Director, with the assistance of the Rev. Bob Lawrence, this will be the second institute in 2023, following a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19.
The Institute was born of a vision cast by Bishop Lawrence in his address to the annual Diocesan Convention in March 2014. In that convention address, Bishop Lawrence asked the questions, “What if we establish in this diocese an institute to bring emerging Anglican leaders from across the world for …three weeks…of residential study, prayer, renewal and reflection with seasoned Christian leaders and scholars? Imagine what a season for building relationships of gospel affection and missionary vision for reaching the secular and religious cultures of the 21st Century might mean for those who labor in demanding vineyards under great deprivation, and persecution?”
From that early vision, the Anglican Leadership Institute began January of 2016, with the Rev. Dr. Peter Moore serving as its inaugural Executive Director. It convened for the very first time on Sullivan’s Island, SC at Mugdock Castle and welcomed 14 participants from 11 different countries.
With the gathering of 10 cohorts since 2016, there are now 151 graduated Fellows of the Anglican Leadership Institute that collectively come from 31 different countries. While half of these countries are in Africa, representing 92 of the current graduated Fellows, other Fellows include 10 from Asian countries, 14 from South American countries, seven from Australia, seven from Europe and 21 from North America.
Each Institute has brought emerging Anglican leaders together for a unique learning experience in principles of leadership built upon the foundation of Anglican Formularies and the Jerusalem Declaration. In addition to lectures on the Bible, culture, and preaching they are also given tools to assess their gifts, character, and leadership styles. Over the years of ALI, participants have encountered faithful teachers, inspiring Anglican leaders, and gifted CEO’s of noted companies. Born of a vision of what might be, this effort has reached the far corners of the Anglican Communion, knitting together emerging leaders into a unique partnership for the Kingdom of God. Additionally, the participants strengthen one another, enjoy fellowship, and develop connections that last a lifetime.
The 15 participants of the 11th Institute hail from Tanzania, Burundi, Brazil, South Sudan, Kenya, Argentina, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mongolia and the U.S. Additionally, participant speakers will include, Bishop Chip Edgar, Bishop Ken Clarke, Bishop Grant LeMarquand, Bishop Andrew Williams, the Rev. Dr. Phil Ashey, the Rev. Dr. Chris Royer, the Rev. Dr. Sandra Kerner, the Rev. Dr. Frog Orr-Ewing, Dr. Melody Martini, the Rev. John Barr, the Rev. Greg Kronz and Ms. Julie Chapman. The environs of the FOCUS Study Center and the surrounding area will also afford opportunities for recreation. Please keep this vital Gospel ministry in your prayers, as well among your considerations for financial support. It continues to allow the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina to bless the wider church in fostering strategic missional relationships throughout the world.
This article was written by The Rev. Robert S. Lawrence.