The FULLY ALIVE CONFERENCE will be taking place October 22-26 in Wheaton, Illinois, at Church of the Resurrection, which is the Cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of the Upper Midwest located in the western suburbs of Chicago. We are at a watershed moment for the Church, facing head-on the challenges of a secular society that seeks to redefine manhood, womanhood, marriage and family for the sake of individual self-actualization. The goal of secular humanism is to elevate the human person to take the place of the God it has rejected: each individual as the ultimate Judge of one’s own morality and Maker of one’s own identity by creating for one’s self a new reality simply by speaking it into existence. Fully Alive is a conference and retreat experience that seeks to address Christian Identity in the whole person, body and soul, through biblical teaching and Holy Spirit ministry. The core issue at the root of this crisis is not the redefinition of human sexuality, but rather the redefinition of human identity. Only by reclaiming our God-given identity as man and woman, wonderfully made in the image of God — even more wonderfully restored through Christ — only then can we present the beauty and the goodness of what we were created by God to be from the beginning. Be equipped and ministered to through core plenary teaching sessions interwoven with times of worship, Holy Spirit ministry, and individual prayer appointments.
Plenary sessions: Identity & Authority, Marriage, Celibacy, Identity & Bonding, Manhood, Womanhood, Gnosticism & the Demonic, Disordered Affections, Kingdom Culture Family, Your Story in God’s Story There will also be a number of beakout sessions designed to address specific challenges and barriers to living fully alive in Christ:
Breakout sessions (click on link for detailed description):
- Battle for Your Child’s Imagination with Katherine Fawcett Ruch
- Pornography In the Age of the Internetwith Fr. Brett Crull
- Loving your LGBTQA Neighbor with Robert Alexander Cager
- Listening Prayer: Ordinary Saints Building Up the Body in Love with Fr. Paul Calvin and John and Dawn Lundgren
- Fatherhood with Fr. Keith Hartsell
- Addiction and Attachment with Fr. Eirik Olsen
- Dealing with the Demonic in Discipleship and Healing with Bp. Todd Atkinson and Fr. Eirik Olsen
- Boundaries & Relationships with Fr. Alex and Tamara Cameron
- Married Sexuality with Fr. Brett and Julie Crull
- Unmarried Sexuality with Fr. Brett Crull
- Dysfunctional Families with Fr. Alex and Tamara Cameron
- Spiritual Disciplines to Sustain Healingwith Dcn. Valerie McIntyre
- God’s Design for Sex: Lifelong Sex Education in the Christian Home with Dr. Stan and Brenna Jones
- Natural Family Planning with Dawn Hartsell
- Understanding Transgenderism with Fr. Alex and Tamara Cameron
- Disordered Sexual Desires with Fr. Keith Hartsell
- Suffering Through the Valley Toward the Kingdom with Dcn. Margie Fawcett
There will also be ample time for personal ministry, worship, prayer and retreat time. Bp. Stewart Ruch and his wife Katherine have posted this 3-minute video with more information and a personal invitation to Fully Alive. Since I don’t know how to embed it in an e-mail and get it to work, you can click on the link or read the transcript:
+Stewart: Katherine and I would like to invite you to the Fully Alive Conference, a conference we will be leading and teaching together, something we’re really looking forward to. There are two key hopes I have for this time together. The first is that I am asking and praying that many will have life-changing encounter with Jesus at this conference. This hope comes out of my own personal testimony. As a son of parents who divorced many years ago, I was following Jesus, I believed and trusted in his word, but there were so many barriers in my life to living a life that is fully alive. I needed to be taught; I needed ministry to get to a place of greater and fuller life in Jesus. My second hope, as a spiritual father, is that I have a great hope for men to receive ministry into their manhood, for women to receive ministry into their womanhood, and for those tensions and anxieties that so often exist between male and female to be alleviated and for there to be a strengthening and an ability to bless one another as men and women. I think of St. Paul’s incredible question in 2 Corinthians, chapter 13. He says, “Do you not realize this, that Jesus Christ lives in you?” That is the heart of this conference: identity in Jesus, who lives in us.
Katherine: So why should I come to this conference — a multi-day conference? Why can’t I listed to the podcast, read books about it, even listen to the recordings after the conference? This is going to be conference that is more like a retreat. This is a place where your whole person is being fully addressed. You will receive good, clear teaching that may shift perspectives, or may help you in your Christian world view and strengthen things that you already know. It may bring some enlightenment. These are personal issues. These are ideas that affect our bodies; they’re not just about our minds. So we are crating an atmosphere like a retreat where you can receive prayer. We will receive corporate prayer. We will invite the Holy Spirit into these very personal issues, and it is our desire that you will be fed and nurtured as a whole person.
+Stewart: So who should come to Fully Alive? Honestly, the confusion and sometimes chaos in our culture is so intense that for any of us who are deeply trying to follow Jesus, we need a place of reminding. We need a place of remembering who God is and who the Bible says we are, in Jesus Christ. So I would invite any follower of Jesus to this time together. It may be, though, that there are certain barriers in your life as a husband, as a wife, as a single celibate, and you want to come and receive that ministry from God — and I would definitely invite you to this. Finally, if you have a heart to minister this transformation to others, you will be equipped, you will be trained, you will be ready for that ministry. The Early Church thinker Irenaeus said this: “The glory of God is Man fully alive, and the life of Man is the vision of God.” We are seeking the Lord for a vision of Jesus. We are seeking the Lord that we may live lives that are fully alive in him. So please, come be a part of the Fully Alive Conference. If you won’t be able to come, please pray earnestly for this conference-retreat, for those who will be presenting and for those coming to receive solid Biblical teaching, training, healing, encouragement and renewal to go forth into the world and proclaim with joy their testimony to the goodness of God and the transforming power of receiving our identity from Christ alone. Pray especially for the scores of young people, college students and beginning pastors who are coming to be equipped and empowered to bring biblical clarity and hope to those of their generation who have been so deceived and confused by the spirit of the secular age around us.
If you’d like to attend, you can get more information here. Location:
Church of the Resurrection (Anglican Diocese of the Upper Midwest)
935 W. Union Ave
Wheaton, IL 60187
Standard (through 10/13): $190
Late Registration: (Oct 14-22): $240
Registration includes conference and six on-site meals.
You can also access previous teachings (February 2017) from Bp. Stewart and Katherine Ruch on manhood, womanhood and our identity in Christ here.
Copyright © 2019 Anglican News Update, All rights reserved.
I wrote this post about 5 years ago, marked it private to review and edit. And, obviously, I never published it. It represents an appeal to reason and conscience rather than to scripture or some other ancient teaching. I’ve edited for clarity, but left it pretty much as is, because any rewriting at this point would radically change it:
Last night I had the pleasure of watching Spielberg’s newest cinematic piece “Lincoln”.
I also read a rather dry piece on the Amendment itself, here: The Dangerous 13th Amendment
I do not think it takes much energy or thought to see why a follower of Christ Jesus would argue against abortion. Jesus repeatedly heals and cares for all whom he comes in contact with. He also miraculously raises Lazarus from the dead. As followers of Christ he instructs us to act and Love as he did. We are to provide care and comfort to the hurting and lost.
As Americans we speak incessantly of rights and freedoms. Our children do this also. I remember trying to evade my fathers authority over me by invoking whichever freedom or right seemed to best fit the situation. Nothing doing, in my dad’s eyes. As a child I did have certain inalienable rights, just lacking the freedom to exercise them. More freedoms were granted to me as I matured. Now, we all may disagree on the method, but I think we we know deep down that children must be taught and at times corrected. Now, if my father had decided to take out a butcher’s knife and cut off my hand because I stole something, I think we could agree that would be a gross violation of my rights. I was his child, not his property. If my father had decided to cut a piece of paper in half, I think no one would have objected. If it wasn’t his paper, then yes. But a child is not property to be disposed of in whatever manner a parent may choose. That would be making a child a chattel slave, reduced to bondage and gross subservience.
Similarly, I do not think shaking a baby to death is an exercise in good parenting skills either. Nor, I think, would we condone suffocating a baby to get the crying to stop. I may desire freedom to enjoy the silence, but how can I steal that child’s life to attain it?
Now, the womb may lay uniquely in the body of a woman, but the life growing inside her is inexorably human. That life is not her slave anymore than an already born child is. Now, some argue, that mother has become a slave to the unborn life that resides within her. What right has the state to force her to carry the child to term? The same right that the state has when it would have punished my father for cutting off my hand. My rights and freedoms are not wrecking balls to be swung around at my slightest whim. They are powerful gifts, to be used with caution and wisdom. We live in a glass house, this Constitutional Republic of ours. Destroying life at its very inception does great damage to those who are involved and the fabric of society around them. Both our actions and inactions have consequences, even unintended ones (i.e. sex always has consequences, even if we wish the more difficult ones away). But to be free politically is a great gift in our world (as wonderful as that is, I do recommend bondage with Christ, true freedom results from a rebirth in Christ Jesus and reunification with the Living God).
Life itself is a gift. All who read these words are benefactors of it. To legalize the destruction of life at its most innocent stage is barbaric and not in keeping with the higher ideals of our Constitution. Abortion is slavery.
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith unless every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation; that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess; that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the Substance [Essence] of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Substance [Essence] of his Mother, born in the world. Perfect God; and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood. Who although he is God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood into God. One altogether; not by confusion of Substance [Essence]; but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man; so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies; And shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.
Today on Twitter one of my favorite English Bishops posted the image that’s the image for this post. It reminded me of a quote:
Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.French Philosopher Denis Diderot (during the French Revolution)
Our current cultural moment seems to be careening towards something akin to the French Revolution. Screaming in the streets with the Antifa crowd and general pro-death demonstrators. A “die in” over a Chick Fil-a opening in Canada. The hyperbole is mind boggling over a Christian owned business that sells decent food, is closed on Sunday, and, most shockingly, gives money to Christian causes. The horror.
We can’t seem to agree that a man can’t actually ecome a woman. Or, if there is anything uniquely male or female or just a mumbled jumbled mess of whatever suits our fancy at whatever moment. And disagreement makes you literally a monster.
We’re moving towards the moment when they’ll want to strangle the last Classical Liberal with the entrails of the Last Christian. Which, for the Christian, isn’t a problem. We have already died.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Carl Trueman summarises the way John Scotus Erigena, perhaps the greatest thinker of the early Middle Ages, approached the problem of evil:
— Read on thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/john_scotus_erigena_and_the_hole_in_our_socks
Was listening was a church history lecture and this topic came up. Interesting imagery.
A friend from church invested a lot of time and arranged this study Bible using the writings of the Early Church Fathers.
This will work wonderfully for preparing for the Coffee and Catechism podcast.
A quick note on the podcast. I’ve been delayed because the new catechism hasn’t been released. That’s important because I have it from a reliable source that there has been enough edits to warrant waiting for the new one and not using the rough draft copy that’s currently available.
Soli Deo Gloria
TGIF is a common phrase, meaning of course: Thank God it’s Friday.
Well, since it is in fact Friday, I will thank God it is Friday. However, not for the same reason as the originators of the phrase probably meant it.
In 1 Thessalonians 5 Paul encourages the Thessalonians to be ready for the Day of the Lord. To live ready to be judged by the Lord. Note that Paul closes the letter with “The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you”, so all this is in the power of Christ working in us.
Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, givethanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
So, let us give thanks in all circumstances. If it’s Friday or, even if, ugh, it’s a Monday. Or we’re sick. Or we are well. Or we are unemployed. Or we have much. We are already rich in the Grace of our Lord!
The Lord knows you and calls you by name. Let us go and love one another as Christ loved us.