2017 EPTA Conference
3rd to 6th July held in Malvern, UK
What on Earth has Pentecost to do with the Church?
This three-day conference was personally refreshing and deeply rewarding, both academically and in terms of networking. Academic papers and debate were interspersed with times of fellowship and prayer. As ever, there was a free afternoon for outings, and the weather was superb! Residential and day visitors joined together in making this the largest EPTA conference for several years. In particular, it was lovely to welcome as our guests a number of students of Regents Theological College.
The 2017 venue was the lovely Elim Conference Centre, Malvern, UK. Everyone enjoyed the excellent modern conference facilities with en-suite provision to bedrooms and a bright spacious canteen and dining room, as well as extensive woodland to walk in, and the outdoor swimming pool. These facilities are on a campus that also houses Regents Theological College and the headquarters offices of the Elim Pentecostal Church, of which the college is a part. EPTA was offered a very warm welcome from all these constituent parts of the Elim church.
The theme of the conference was ‘What on earth has Pentecost to do with the Church? Developments in Pentecostal Ecclesiology’. Academic papers were presented and debates held on church life, including its leadership and governance, and on church planting.
Papers and other briefer presentations and talks were given by people from Bulgaria, Burma, Finland, Switzerland, the UK, and Turkey. A great range of topics was covered, and it was evident both from the questions asked in the sessions and from later discussions that the papers generated a large amount of interest.
Something that delegates were sure to have taken away from the conference was a practical question: what am I, and what is the seminary or college where I learn or work, doing to make sure that church planting is taken seriously? Is church planting on the curriculum? Is it in our minds? Does it gain our attention?