More than 150 missional leaders from the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and beyond gathered for the 2018 Intersection Conference (May 16-18) at Trinity Anglican Church in Atlanta. This was the Telos Collective’s third annual event. Led by Telos Collective Founder and Leader Bishop Todd Hunter, the conference included eight leading evangelical and sacramental voices exploring what it means to be the church on mission.

“Many leaders tell me how rare it is these days to find a safe place to engage big ideas with our peers in ministry,” Bishop Todd says. “That’s why I created the Telos Collective and the Intersection Conference. My vision was to create meaningful conversations in compelling environments with compelling people. That thoughtful and formation-focused leadership is imperative today.”

Provincial Sponsor Archbishop Foley Beach, who commissioned Bishop Todd to start the Telos Collective, attended the first day of the conference to show his support. We were delighted to have the Archbishop share an encouraging word with us about courageously facing the cultural challenges of post-Christendom.

Sessions & Panels

Bishop Todd Hunter: Introduction to the Missional Ecclesiology Conversation

Hans Boersma: Proclaiming the Gospel through the Sacraments

Esau McCaulley: Reclaiming Romans as a Missional Document for the Church

William Cavanaugh: Eucharistic Bodies in an Excarnated World

Tish Harrison Warren: Ordinary Church: How Liturgy and Sacraments Teach Us the Mundane Glory of Mission

Winfield Bevins: Marks of a Movement: Wesley as a Model for Anglican Missional Ecclesiology

David Fitch: Beliefs vs. Practices: How God Shapes a Church For Mission

Ric Thorpe: The Church on Mission: Reflections from a British, Post-Christian Context

Bishop Todd Hunter: Conclusion and Sending

Listen to the sessions here.

After each session, a panel of diverse thinkers responded to what they heard, delving deeper into the topic. The panels helped shape attendees’ imaginations for how the content might inform their local church context, spurring actionable ideas and practices. The panelists challenged and affirmed each speaker’s ideas, suggested implications for missional engagement, and examined what could be applied on the ground.

A Focus on Worship, Reflection and Connection

This year, we placed fresh emphasis on providing various times for worship, reflection and connection throughout the conference.

  • Marty Reardon of Trinity Anglican Church led us in beautiful musical worship during morning, afternoon and evening prayer. Following worship, attendees participated in times of self-examination and reflection led by spiritual director Karyn McDaniel, who asked questions to help attendees identify specific areas in which God was speaking to them.
  • The mealtime cohorts served as safe places to discern, process and apply content from the sessions. Over shared meals, cohort attendees wrestled with the implications of each talk for their day-to-day lives and ministry.

In response to requests for more fellowship time with old and new friends, the Telos Collective team held a night of fun and mingling at the nearby Atlanta Brewing Company. Also, in the evenings, many attendees gathered in the courtyard of the Artmore Hotel for an informal time of getting to know one another.

Academic Credit for the Conference

The 2019 Intersection Conference provided an opportunity for attendees to earn credits toward an Anglican Studies Certificate, Masters or DMin. Bishop Todd and Dr. Bevins taught a classthat wrapped around the Intersection Conference where students completed additional assignments and participated in live video discussions both before and after the conference. Students are able to use their earned credits toward a certificate or degree in Anglican Studies at Northern Seminary or transfer them to another institution.

Northern Seminary’s Anglican Studies Program is designed to serve the academic and formational requirements of students preparing for Anglican ministry—lay and especially ordained. Bishop Todd teaches courses in the Anglican Studies Program along with Dr. Winfield Bevins of Asbury Seminary, Dr. Emily McGowin of Wheaton College and other esteemed faculty.

Learn more about the Anglican Studies Program.

Introducing Cohorts Powered by Gravity Leadership

At the conference, we announced the next step toward a “methodology” for forming leaders. The Telos Collective Cohorts [powered by Gravity Leadership] will be a robust formation process to shape the kind of non-anxious, theologically grounded leaders our culture desperately needs. For 10 months, participants will join in a weekly 75-minute video call with up to 6 other leaders and a coach, guiding them on both an inward (formational) and outward (missional) journey toward Spirit-led ministry at the intersection of gospel and culture.

What Attendees Are Saying

Loved the blend of theorists and practitioners. Loved the rhythm of prayer and learning. Loved the meditation times and the prayer & sending by Bishop Todd at the end.

The Telos Intersection Conference was excellent! I came away with greater knowledge and new ideas to approach my world.

I am not a “conference-goer” but, of those I have attended in the past years this was certainly one of the best I have been to.

I really enjoyed this conference. I found it enriching and through-provoking and inspiring for my ministry and my own spiritual life.

Future Plans

The 2020 Conference will focus on Missional Leadership, the fourth in a series of Six Core Competencies that Bishop Todd has selected as a focus for the work of the Telos Collective.

  • 2017: Gospel of the Kingdom
  • 2018: Cultural Engagement
  • 2019: Missional Ecclesiology
  • 2020: Missional Leadership
  • 2021: God’s Empowering Presence
  • 2022: Spiritual Formation

“The chief goal of the Telos Collective and the Intersection Conference is to wrestle with our times in a kingdom, Holy Spirit and sacramental way,” Bishop Todd says. “Our activities are designed to be both formational and actionable, equipping leaders to be change agents in their ministry context. At all our conferences, we seek to equip leaders who are pursuing their own formation in Christlikeness, are theologically grounded and who possess Spirit-enabled confidence with reference to post-Christendom North America.”

Over the next several months, the Telos Collective will continue to explore the topic of Missional Ecclesiology through the Intersection Blog, the Intersection Podcast, and our new Cohorts. Stay tuned!

If you were able to join us at #intersection19, what impacted you the most?

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