The 2014 International Anglicans Ablaze Conference was held in Bryanston, Johannesburg, 2-5 July 2014. The theme was ‘Hope is Rising,’ and Bishop Steve Moreo was our conference host. More than 1600 people attended the conference, including 350+ young people.
Some highlights of the conference included:
- The Archbishop of Canterbury’s plenary address to adults and youth
- Separate youth components, including a Friday night youth celebration
- A blanket and backpack drive for St John the Divine’s Orphans and Outreach
- Worship with meaning
- Workshops to equip
What conference delegates had to say
Rich Diversity—Age, Race, Culture, Worship Style
Since the first conference held in 2012, Anglicans Ablaze has amazed me with its diversity of attendees. The young were there, the elderly, black, white, brown—name the colour and they were there. Our different worship styles were represented, yet we all worshiped as one under the influence of the Holy Spirit, which was the cementing factor. The youth were the icing on the cake; they were so motivated and so involved in the worship. In summary, the conference has given us confidence that we can be one in our diversity as long as we keep our focus on Christ.
--Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya, Swaziland
A Wonderful Conference
Thank you again for inviting me and for enabling me to participate in what I thought was a most godly and wonderful conference!
--Alison Morgan, United Kingdom
How to Make Anglicanism Flourish
I was humbled by the apparent powerful presence of the Spirit of God throughout the conference. The highlight for me was when the Archbishop of Canterbury confirmed that as Anglicans our mandate is to “Preach Christ and not Anglicanism; however, as we preach Christ, Anglicanism will flourish.” It was also affirming and empowering for the Archbishop of Canterbury to share openly his conversion experience. As the church, we need to keep remembering that our call is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
--Revd. Fr. Joseph Morenammele, Diocese of Lesotho
The most moving moment of the conference for me took place during “the Tower of Hope” presentation of backpacks, blankets and soft toys to St. John the Divine Orphans and Outreach. Two young girls from the home, aged 9 and 13, had read messages of thanks. When all the thank-you’s and accolades were over and the adults were leaving the platform, Nikita Williams, who was on the stage as part of the worship band, asked if she could pray for the two girls. Bishop Martin gave her the nod, and she knelt in front of the little girls and prayed from her heart as one who had been brought up in a children's home. Her heart reached out to their hearts with passion and solidarity, drawing the girls into the loving embrace and blessing of God. Nikita modeled prayer for me. She prayed. She paused. She pushed deeper into the heart of God, carrying in her love these two young girls. It was deeply moving and a wet-eye moment.
--Rev. Duncan McLea, Diocese of Cape Town
The number of young people who attended the conference demonstrated that we are doing God's work of appealing to the youth. This is a very important trend in the life of the Anglican Church. Highlights of the youth components were when the Archbishop of Canterbury washed the feet of 12 young people and when Oscar Muriu and Steve Maina gave highly motivational talks to the young people.
--Connie Nkosi, Diocese of Christ the King
A Bright Future
Thank for affording us the privilege to host the Anglican Ablaze conference 2014. We experienced the grace of God, the love of Jesus and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. The presence and involvement of our young people brought hope that our Church is not only in God's hand but also in the hands of willing young Anglican Ablazers.
--Bishop Steve Moreo, Diocese of Johannesburg
Anglicans Ablaze was a very special time to meet up with church family from other parts of the country and beyond. We may have spoken different languages, but we were united as one as we spoke the same heavenly language. Whether coming from near or far, we benefited from worshipping, learning, growing and blazing together. It was good to be exposed to a broader context and to learn that many of the issues with which I grapple in my little corner of the world are not so unique and that I am not alone in my journeying.
--Jean Pienaar, Diocese of Johannesburg
An Archbishop’s Example
The overwhelming consensus leaving the conference was that if Archbishop Justin was at the forefront of our 87 million-strong family, then we are both excited and hopeful about the future of the Anglican Church. His focus on prayer and worship, reconciliation and witness inspired us; and the humility and honesty at which he shared motivated us in wanting to take these on board. During our youth session, it was incredibly humbling to watch him roll up his sleeves and put his knees on the floor, washing the feet and praying individually for 12 young people. We thank God that he was able to join us.
--Jared Ruttenberg, Diocese of Cape Town
The worship was one of the highlights for me, and it was a great improvement on the awesome time we had at the previous conference. . . . It was indeed a great blessing to have Bishop Martin and his team leading the worship.
--Revd Elliot Mnyamezeli Masoka, Diocese of Port Elizabeth