This September, set against the Blue Ridge Mountains, Anglicans from across the U.S. and the world will gather for the largest Anglican missions conference in North America: the New Wineskins Global Mission Conference.
“It was the most spiritually invigorating experience of my life,” says ADOTS Canon Missioner Rev. George Ivey of the last conference three years ago. “The work of God globally becomes palpable as you bond with Anglican missionaries from the Cape of Africa, to the harvest in South America, to the heart of China.”
The New Wineskins Missionary Network expects over 1,500 people of all ages to come hear what God is doing around the world, to be equipped for mission through teaching, and to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. The conference theme “Better Together” will celebrate partnership and collaboration. Main speakers include Archbishop Foley Beach, Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi of the Diocese of Jos, Nigeria, and many other clergy and missionaries from around the world.
“First-time attendees are often blown away by hearing the testimonies of the amazing work that God is doing all over the world,” says Jenny Noyes, Executive Director for New Wineskins. “Getting to meet these global Christians expands their worldview and gives them a bigger and clearer understanding of our God and his heart for all people. Many people have received their missional calling at a New Wineskins conference!”
The event features four days of plenary sessions, networking opportunities, prayer and worship services, and a new workshop format called MAP Talks – Mission Awareness Presentations – with a short format that encourages discussion and interaction.
“There will be over 100 different MAP Talks presented on a wide variety of topics, giving attendees the opportunity to learn about eight different topics to help them discern what is their true missional passion,” says Noyes.
Another new feature this year is the addition of 20 pre-conferences which begin Wednesday evening or Thursday during the day. With topics like Business as Mission, The Persecuted Church, and International Student Ministry, attendees are encouraged to arrive early to maximize their time and go deeper in an area of mission about which they are passionate. Additionally, the ACNA church planting initiative Always Forward will host its fall conference as a pre-conference beginning Tuesday, Sept. 24.
“We have whole churches who are cancelling their own parish retreats and bringing dozens of their folks to New Wineskins to experience a ‘global parish weekend,’” says Noyes. “If the clergy and a group of missional laity attend together, they can begin to make plans to implement what they’ve learned even before heading home.”
Entire families are encouraged to attend as well, as the conference provides childcare for kids ages 2 and younger, and age-appropriate missional programming for all other youth age 3 up to college students. Noyes says the student track is perfect for youth groups to attend together.
“We’ve had kids discover that they are called to become missionaries when they grow up. We’ve had kids healed through the prayers offered during their sessions. The young people have led our adult plenary sessions of praying for the persecuted church,” says Noyes. “We’ll have a special session this time for preachers’ kids and missionary kids to meet their specific needs… The whole family experiences New Wineskins together and goes home discussing how they can be everyday missionaries in their own context.”
“God is using our churches to raise up young and old to preach the Gospel where it has never been proclaimed in the history of the world,” says Canon George. “This vision is defined and magnified at New Wineskins.”
Early-bird pricing for the conference ends March 31, with regular pricing April 1 through Sept. 8. Early registration and planning for your parish is greatly encouraged!
“Every Anglican Diocese of the South parish needs to experience this,” says Canon George. “Our parishioners will be lifted with knowledge and inspiration.”
And Noyes adds that the best way to experience the New Wineskins conference is to prepare your heart in prayer before attending.
“Pray for divine appointments,” she says. “Pray that you will be open to receive the healing, anointing, and inspiration to fulfill the mission that He placed you on this planet to do, in His Name and by the power of the Holy Spirit.”