12 April 2023

‘Finding God in the Everyday:
Faith, Profession, Vocation’,
summer in Cambridge with IOCS

The IOCS has announced plans for this year’s Summer Institute in Wesley House on Jesus Lane, Cambridge (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge has announced its plans for this year’s IOCS Summer Institute, a new format of the Summer Schools, which I took part in over many years.

This year’s programme addresses the theme of ‘Finding God in the Everyday: Faith, Profession, Vocation’. The Summer Institute will take place on Monday and Tuesday, 11 and 12 September 2023. It is being held physically at Wesley House on Jesus Lane, Cambridge, and also with Zoom participation between 9 am and 6:30 pm each day.

The Summer Institute aims to bring together voices from within the wider Church who would speak of how their Christian faith meets their profession, their work, or their vocation.

The range of speakers brought together for this event offer insights into a theological framework of this encounter, rooted in patristic, ascetic, and contemporary perspectives, and offer praxis-based reflection, as practitioners in their various fields of activity, including art, medicine, education, and socio-pastoral work.

The IOCS believes this to be a timely topic for two reasons: firstly, it acknowledges the role of the laity in shaping our awareness of the diversity of Christian experience today, both in the sense of challenges but also of occasions for discernment of God’s presence in the world today. Secondly, as part of our lived negotiation of faith and praxis in the West, we experience the difficulty of ‘finding God in the everyday’, as our society grows increasingly secular and spiritually fragmented.

Nothing could highlight more this challenge than the stark, statistical evidence that Christianity is today a minority in the UK, with 46.2% of the population of England and Wales describing themselves as Christian on the day of the 2021 census, down from 59.3% a decade earlier.

The participation fees are: £100 for on-site participation, including tea and coffee; or £75 for online participation. Discounts for students are: £70 on-site / £50 online; IOCS students: £50 on-site / £25 online. The participation fee includes refreshments (coffee/tea) but does not include meals. To enrol go HERE (bottom of page).

On each of the two days, there will be five talks a day, between 9 am and 6:30 pm, with coffee breaks in between sessions and a longer lunch break in the middle.

The talks at this event are expected to be about 30 minutes in length and they will be followed by discussions, involving participants both onsite and online.

Meanwhile, the confirmed speakers include: Sister Vassa Larin, the Revd Professor Brandon Gallaher, Dr Alexander Lingas, Dr Hermina Nedelescu, Aidan Hart, Dr Petre Maican, Dr Sebastian Koga MD. Other speakers are to be confirmed shortly, and detailed programme of the Summer Institute is to follow soon.

The Summer Institute this year is sponsored by Dr and Mrs Sebastian Koga of New Orleans in loving memory of Dr Christine Mangala Frost, Research Associate and dear friend of IOCS.

For more updates, keep an eye on the Summer Institute page HERE.

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