ETS Annual Conference 2023 – Report

On Saturday 28 October around 200 attendees from across the UK and beyond gathered in Edinburgh for the the ETS Annual Conference which focussed on the theme ‘The Church Among the Ruins’.

On Saturday 28 October, Edinburgh Theological Seminary held its annual conference on the theme, The Church Among The Ruins. Though only in its second year, the event has become a major highlight in the ETS calendar.

Around 200 attendees from across the UK and beyond joined special guests Rev Dr Sinclair Ferguson (Aberdeen) and Dr James Eglinton (University of Edinburgh), ETS Principal Iver Martin, and ETS lecturers Rev Daniel Sladek, Rev Dr Benjamin Castaneda, and Rev Dr Zachary Purvis, and ETS adjunct and nearby minister Rev Dr Cory Brock at St Columba’s Free Church.

Speakers explored different aspects of the church, particularly amidst difficult times, through the following talks:

  • ‘Church as Supplicant’ (based on Psalm 80);
  • ‘Church Militant, Church Triumphant’ (based on Rev 11);
  • ‘Church as Persecuted, Church as Hopeful’ (through a case study of theologian J.H. Bavinck in The Netherlands under Nazi occupation during World War II)’
  • ‘Church as Pilgrims’ (reflecting on the work of the Holy Spirit through the means of grace in the church);
  • ‘Church as Witness, Church as Neighbour’ (based on Acts 1 and orientated to help the church share the gospel today);
  • ‘Jesus Christ, the Builder of the Church’ (based on Matt 16)

Fifty conference attendees received copies of the book Sacred Bond: Covenant Theology Explored by Zachary Keele and Michael Brown, courtesy of Reformed Fellowship, Inc.

ETS alumni were invited to a special lunch and given copies of the book What Happens When We Worship by Jonathan Cruse, courtesy of Reformation Heritage Books. 

It was a wonderful day filled with great discussion, food, and fellowship, and capped with stirring singing of Psalm 72, Psalm 102, and with a tip of the hat to Reformation Day, Martin Luther’s beloved A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.

Special thanks go out to student and family volunteers for helping make the day a great success. Stay tuned for the 2024 Annual Conference details!

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