Professor Steve de Gruchy, director of Theology and Development Programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and editor of the Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, will be the opening keynote speaker on Thursday, June 5, 2008, at the church-wide world mission conference, "Everyone, Everywhere." He will address the theme of "Engaging in Effective World Mission."
Anglicans active in mission were introduced to de Gruchy at the conference "Towards Effective Anglican Mission" (TEAM) in Boksburg, South Africa, in March 2007. "Professor de Gruchy's agenda-setting speech at the TEAM conference was one of the most insightful and inspirational moments of the meeting," said Robert W. Radtke, president of Episcopal Relief and Development. "He brilliantly blends theological inquiry with analysis of economic development in unique and paradigm shifting ways."
An ordained minister in the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), de Gruchy has enjoyed a lively academic and practical interest in the interface between the Christian faith and social ethics. During his student years at the University of Cape Town, he served on the Student Representative Council and was active in the student anti-apartheid movement.
His work in the under-resourced rural area of Kuruman continued this focus, as he helped establish NGOs working in the field of land rights, small business development, early childhood development, and leadership training. His academic work is informed by ongoing engagement with people working at the community level, especially his students throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Most recently, he has been engaged in research work on the common boundary between religion and health in Africa in the context of the HIV and AIDS pandemic, with a specific focus on Zambia.
In addition to serving the UCCSA in a number of capacities, de Gruchy is also ecumenically involved through the World Council of Churches' Justice, Peace and Creation team, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the Council for World Mission, the International Congregational Fellowship, and the Church Unity Commission in South Africa. He has spoken at many church-related conferences on issues of theology, mission, development and poverty.
Everyone, Everywhere is a conference for congregations, dioceses, individuals, and groups active in the global mission of the Episcopal Church and will be held June 5-8, 2008, at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute, near Baltimore, Maryland. Further information about the conference is available here or by contacting Mary Brennan at 800-334-7626, firstname.lastname@example.org.