One of the most fulfilling jobs I had prior to working for the AAC was serving as a “national chaplain” for the Christian Legal Society. In that position, I had the privilege of meeting Christian attorneys and leaders all across North America and beyond my Anglican world. Christian attorneys and law professors like Samuel Casey, Mike Schutt and David Nammo opened my eyes to the priority of serving Christ in the workplace and contending for that “faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3) in the public square of legal and moral discourse. They invited me into that world and all of its challenges—and gave me the opportunity to help disciple Christian attorneys to practice law as Jesus would if he were in their shoes. I was deeply blessed then, and continue to be blessed by the relationships I developed through the Christian Legal Society.
As a follow up to last week’s article on “How should we then live‑in Babylon,” I would like to commend two more resources from the Christian Legal Society for you and your churches:
If you are an attorney or know one: I invite you to join me and other Anglicans to the Christian Legal Society’s National Conference “Hearing God in the Storm: Practicing Law in Turbulent Times” October 1-4 in New Orleans.
This conference is an especially appropriate resource in the wake of the SCOTUS decision legalizing same-sex marriage, and the challenges to our religious freedoms that will surely follow and which I wrote about last week. One of the four featured speakers is Richard Hammer, an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and non-profits. His annual Church and Clergy Tax Guide and bi-monthly Church Law and Tax Report are resources already well known to many of us. In addition, if you are looking to “re-sharpen” your knowledge and practice in areas of religious liberty, the following workshops will be offered (among others)—and with Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit:
- Religious Liberty Update: Reflections and Predictions
- Title VII, Federal Contractors, and LGBT Employment Discrimination: Can Religious Organizations Continue to Staff on a Religious Basis?
- The Future of Marriage Laws now that the Supreme Court has Spoken
- When Civil Liberties and Zoning Powers Collide
- The Christian and Human Rights
- Legal Hotspots, Risk Management, and Emerging Issues for Churches and Nonprofits
But even more than the wealth of information you will receive from experts in these fields, you will meet other Christian attorneys beyond our Anglican world focused on how to integrate Christian discipleship with the practice of law. You will make new friends in a place of worship, bible study and mutual sharing. You can hear the testimonies of how these conferences have transformed the lives of Christian attorneys across North America on the registration page. I can tell you from my own experience that you will be refreshed, blessed and encouraged!
I’m also pleased that the Christian Legal Society has offered time and space for the American Anglican Council to host a meeting of Anglican attorneys Saturday October 3, 3:45-5:30pm. We will meet at the conference venue to get to know each other and share ways that we can work together to help protect our Anglican congregations so they can freely share the Gospel. I hope you will be a part of this gathering!
You can find more information and how to register for the conference here.
If you are in need of a Christian attorney for your church and/or diocese, I would also like to commend the CLS Attorney Referral Directory. You can find it here and you don’t have to be a member of the CLS in order to use it. It’s free.
As I wrote last week, you may be a smaller congregation or even a diocese without any legal counsel: where do you find a reliable Christian attorney who shares your convictions? This referral network is a good place to start your search.
The American Anglican Council is here to equip Anglican churches for mission and develop faithful leaders that reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. (see our Church revitalization and coaching resources here.) Part of our efforts to equip and develop include connecting you with the people and resources that will protect your freedom to share the good news.
The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey is CEO of the American Anglican Council.