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LNSI 2020

Discerning the Spirit in Mission

July 6-9, 2020 | Trinity Hall, Cambridge

What does it mean to discern the Spirit’s work today? And how do we become more attuned to this? The church is clearly facing significant challenges in the West, with an increasing sense that many of its forms seem increasingly irrelevant to non-believers today. So how do we discern God’s way forward? Where is the Spirit at work in today’s world beckoning us to join in? And how might we grow in our awareness of the Spirit’s leading? These are some of the questions we’ll be exploring at the 2020 Lesslie Newbigin Summer Institute.

Early Registration Details

Register by March 15th to receive the discounted rate of £299. After March 15th the rate goes up to £349.

Register by March 15th to receive the discounted rate of $399. After Mach 15th the rate goes up to $469.

About this Year's Institute

Missionary theologian Lesslie Newbigin (1909-1998) believed that the Spirit rather than the church is the prime mover and “active agent of mission,” who “goes before the church in its missionary journey.” It is in this context that Newbigin spoke in an intriguing phrase about the “previousness of the kingdom”; the reality that God was already there in the local situation before we ever arrived, and continues to be there ahead of us as we seek to discern the way forward in mission. This will often come as a surprise to the church, and challenge leaders to change their perceptions and renew their commitment to the surprising ways in which God is actually at work. In short, the Spirit in Newbigin’s thought is often beckoning the church to play catch-up in an ever-unfolding story.

So how do we learn to discern this movement? And what kinds of people is God asking us to become? Join us in July as we explore these themes under the title “Discerning the Spirit in Mission.” Looking through the lens of Newbigin’s profound theology and practice, we’ll be helped by leading scholars and practitioners to discern more about the Spirit’s vision for the places we inhabit. And we’ll be seeking to learn more about what God is calling us to become.

Highlights of the Week

  • Expert teaching on the thought of Lesslie Newbigin and its contemporary implications
  • Historic walking tours of Cambridge
  • A punting trip in the historic centre of Cambridge
  • Opportunities for discussion and relaxation
  • Worship at the Chapel of Magdalene College (where C.S. Lewis was professor of Renaissance and Medieval Literature)

PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE - Subject to Change

Day 1 (Monday July 6th)
9:00-9:30am: Registration
9:30-11:00am: Session 1: Welcome, Introductions & Morning Prayer
11:00-11:30am: Coffee/Tea Break
11:30am-1:00pm: Session 2
1:00-2:00pm: Lunch
2:00-3:30pm: Afternoon Activities – Walking Tour of Cambridge
5:00-6:00pm: Afternoon Squash
6:00pm: Evening meal at your own expense.

Day 2 (Tuesday July 7th)
9:00-9:30am: Morning Prayer: Chapel
9:30-11:00am: Session 1
11:00-11:30am: Coffee/Tea Break
11:30am-1:00pm: Session 2
1:00-2:00pm: Lunch
2:00-5:00pm: Afternoon Activities – Punting (Please RSVP)
Depart from Trinity Hall at 2.00pm
*Alternative to Punting: scenic walk to Grantchester on your own
5:00-6:00pm: Afternoon Squash
6:00pm: Evening meal at your own expense.

Day 3 (Wednesday July 8th)
9:00-9:30am: Morning Prayer: Chapel
9:30-11:00am: Session 1
11:00-11:30am: Coffee/Tea Break
11:30am-1:00pm: Session 2
1:00-2:00pm: Lunch
2:00-3:00pm: Session 3
Optional Activity: Chained Library Tour
5:00-6:00pm: Afternoon Squash
6:15pm: Evening meal at your own expense

Day 4 (Thursday July 9th)
9:00-9:30am: Morning Prayer: Chapel
9:30-11:00am: Session 1
11:00-11:30am: Coffee/Tea Break
11:30am-1:00pm: Q&A and Group Discussion
1:00-2:00pm: Lunch
2:00-4:00pm: Explore Cambridge on your own
4:00-5:30pm: Session 2
5:45-6:15pm: Afternoon Drinks: Pepys Library Colonnade
6:30-7:30pm: Closing Chapel Service (Magdalene Chapel)
7:30-10:00pm: Closing Banquet (RSVP Required)

Liz Adekunle

Liz Adekunle

Archdeacon of Hackney

Liz Adekunle was born in North London and read theology at Birmingham University. She has two Master’s degrees; the first from SOAS in African Christianity and Development and the second from Ridley Hall Theological College, Cambridge in Pastoral Care and Counselling, completed while she was training for ordination. Liz was ordained in 2007 and served as curate then priest-in-charge at St Luke’s Church, Homerton and chaplain of Homerton Hospital. She is esteemed as a former Chaplain and tutor at St Mellitus College, former Chaplain and Acting Dean at St John’s College, Cambridge and a member of the Archbishops’ Task Group on Evangelism. She is an associate at Westminster Abbey and a Fellow at Ridley Hall. In 2016, Liz was appointed as the Archdeacon of Hackney and Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen. Elizabeth is currently working on her (third) Master’s in Feminist Theology at Cambridge University. In her spare time, Liz likes to read, paint and play netball.

Alan Roxbrough

Alan Roxburgh

Leader, The Missional Network; Teacher, author, consultant

Alan Roxburgh has served as pastor, seminary professor and consultant on leadership and missional transformation to church systems around the world. He has written 13 books on themes of missional life, leadership and culture change within the church. He has four degrees (BA (hons), M.Div., Th.M. and D.Min.). He grew up and was formed in the inner city of Liverpool, immigrated to Canada as a teenager. As a young pastor he saw that church growth was mostly a “circulation of the saints” as his own generation no longer saw the church as a meaningful response to the unravelling of Western societies. As a teacher, writer and consultant he sought to address the question of being the church in a massive unravelling. Those experiences convinced him that the Spirit is fermenting a movement of God’s people than can no longer be contained in narratives of renewal, reform or the fixing existing systems.

Sally Mann

Sally Mann

Spokesperson, Red Letter Christians UK

Sally Mann has a PhD in Philosophy/Theology and lectures in Sociology. She is a minister at Bonny Downs Baptist Church where she is the 4th of 5 generations of her family to stay put and serve in that East-End community. It is there, in East Ham, that Sally and her husband Dave set up a community association to meet local needs with local resources – 25 years on the charity employs over 40 local people and has transformed deserted community buildings and playing fields. Sally is on the editorial board of the Journal of Missional Practice (www.journalofmissionalpractice.com) where she loves to curate stories of people doing amazing things in their communities and ask what on earth God is up to through all of it? She is a trustee and spokesperson of Red Letter Christian UK where she has fun bringing activism and contextual theology together. In 2019 Sally was commissioned to write a new training programme in pioneering ministry for the Baptist Union of Great Britain. She has written a book, ‘Looking for Lydia: encounters that shape the church’, reflecting on 25 years of ministry in East London through the stories of encounters in Acts.

Jonny Baker

Jonny Baker

Director, Church Mission Society (CMS), Oxford

Jonny Baker is Director of Mission Education at the Church Mission Society in Oxford where he founded and leads the pioneer ministry leadership training (see pioneer.churchmissionsociety.org). He is also a speaker, writer, photographer, musician, lay pioneer, and loves all things creative – he blogs at jonnybaker.blogs.com. His two main areas of publishing have been pioneer mission and ministry – including The Pioneer Gift: Explorations in Mission (ed. with Cathy Ross, Canterbury Press, 2014), Pioneering Spirituality: Resources for reflection and practice (with Cathy Ross, Canterbury Press, 2015); and inculturation in worship – including Curating Worship (SPCK, 2010) and a series of Pocket Liturgies.

Peter Choi

Newbigin House of Studies

Peter Choi is Director of Academic Programs at Newbigin House of Studies and a pastor at City Church San Francisco. He has taught history of Christianity courses at Calvin Theological Seminary and the University of Notre Dame. Prior to that, he served for seven years as a campus minister and church planter in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
A historian of eighteenth century North America, Peter’s areas of specialization include transatlantic revival religion, early evangelicalism, and world Christianity. His research has been funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Huntington Library, and the Library Company of Philadelphia.

Paul Weston

Newbigin Centre

Paul teaches mission studies and is the Director of the Newbigin Centre for Gospel and Western Culture. As Director of the Newbigin Centre for Gospel and Western Culture, Paul oversees research students working for Masters and Doctoral degrees in association with the Centre, and in partnership with the Newbigin House of Studies in San Francisco, hosts the annual ‘Lesslie Newbigin Summer Institute’ at Trinity Hall Cambridge, with attendees from the States, Europe, and Asia.

Paul’s PhD was on Lesslie Newbigin’s missionary engagement with Western culture, and he has written widely on his work. He is editor of Lesslie Newbigin, Missionary Theologian: A Reader (SPCK/Eerdmans, 2006), Faith in a Changing World (St Paul’s Theological Centre, 2012), and co-editor with Mark Laing of Theology in Missionary Perspective: Lesslie Newbigin’s Legacy (Wipf & Stock, 2012). His latest book The Word’s Out: Principles and strategies for effective evangelism today (co-written with David Male) was republished in a second edition in 2019.

Scot Sherman

Newbigin House of Studies

Dr. Scot Sherman is the Executive Director of the Newbigin House of Studies, a center for graduate theological education and spiritual formation based in San Francisco. He oversees the Newbigin Fellowship, a nine-month intensive training program that seeks to provide a framework for wise integration of faith, work, and life, and hosts the speaker series Conversations For the Common Good. He is a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div.), Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.M), and the University of Wales (Ph.D).

Scot’s doctoral dissertation focused on the early ecumenical influence of the British missionary-theologian Lesslie Newbigin, a pioneer in thinking through the challenges facing churches in the contemporary West. He is currently working on his first book, an exploration of the ideas of the French philosopher and social theorist René Girard.

Scot lives with his wife, Catherine, and they have four sons. He loves opera, detective fiction, playing the piano, and goes wine tasting as often as possible.