RENOVARE: Union with Christ Conference 2024

RENOVARE CONFERENCE: Union with Christ: Contemporary Perspectives on Mission
St. John’s Anglican Church, Portsmouth, ON.
May 31 – June 1, 2024

I am happy to announce our second ‘Renovare Conference’ in the Diocese of Ontario. Our speaker is Stephen Chester, Lord and Lady Coggan Professor of New Testament, Wycliffe College. Dr. Chester will be giving four talks. One on the Friday evening, and three on Saturday. For more information regarding registration, time, and place, please click either of the two links below.




Session 1 Why does union with Christ matter?

Union with Christ is currently provoking significant interest in biblical and theological studies, but why should those of us engaged in Christian mission and ministry care about it? This session explores the centrality of union with Christ to the message of salvation presented by the biblical texts, especially the letters of Paul. We will also evaluate the importance of union with Christ in early Protestant exegesis and theology, especially that of Martin Luther and that of John Calvin.

Session 2 “Consider yourselves dead” (Rom 6:11): Union with Christ in Romans 6 and Conversion

Romans 6 is a remarkable text in which Paul uses the theme of union with Christ to integrate into a single theological discourse what might otherwise be regarded as opposite elements in his teaching: justification and baptism, death and life, gift and demand, divine initiative and human response, revisions to self-understanding and bodily obedience. This session explores the implications of how the theme of union with Christ is used in Romans 6 for our understanding of the nature of conversion.

Session 3 “I in them and you in me” (John 17:23): Union with Christ in John 17 and Mission

John 17 presents Jesus’ prayer for his disciples immediately before they go out from the Last Supper to his arrest in Gethsemane. It offers a distinctively Johannine perspective on Jesus’ departure and on the disciples’ future mission. It is by participating in the intimate union between the Father and the Son that the disciples will be able to continue his mission in a hostile world. We will explore what this means for the nature of the church and for its proclamation of the gospel.

Session 4: Union with Christ and Christian Discipleship Today

The contemporary church often has difficulty in establishing clear patterns of discipleship. We know that faith must bring change if it is genuine, but we have difficulty in articulating the specific commitments and practices entailed by faith that should characterize the life of the church. Can reflection upon with Christ help us to express more concretely the ritual and ethical shape of the Christian life in the twenty-first century?