A Special Gift for Chris Wright’s 70th Birthday
A Festschrift for Chris Wright
21st October 2017 was an eventful day for Langham Creative Projects. With a book launch during the day for African Voices, that evening welcomed a special celebration of Chris Wright’s 70th birthday and honoured his life’s work and ministry to date. For such a gifted writer and influential leader it was only appropriate to present Chris (Langham’s International Ministries Director) with a festschrift, a book of contributions celebrating his work and ministry. Chris Wright’s festschrift was named Breath and Bone: Living Out the Mission of God in the World. The name for the book was inspired by the idea that Chris had provided Christian leaders around the world with a skeleton of a theological framework for understanding Missio Dei into which those leaders were breathing life in their own contexts of ministry and service.
And thus, Breath and Bone was conceived, many months ago, with personal friends and ministry partners of Chris invited to submit essays examining the mission of God in their contexts, in honour of Chris.
An Evening to Remember
At a surprise gathering following a week of meetings of Langham’s international leaders, friends, family and colleagues of Chris enjoyed celebrating and commemorating Chris’ birthday and ministry. Chris’ arrival at the event venue was met with a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ amidst his surprise and growing appreciation of the true nature of the ‘Supporters Event’ he believed he was attending. After a period of catching up with old friends and the making of new acquaintances amongst the jubilant guests, the time came for the second surprise of the evening – the unveiling and presentation of the festschrift.
John Libby (Executive Director of Langham Partnership, UK & Ireland) introduced a video of the story of a publisher in Southeast Asia that Langham supports. Pieter Kwant (Director, Langham Literature) then hosted an informal interview with Chris about his life’s ministry that beautifully drew out some of Chris’ accomplishments for everyone to share in and remember before inviting his partnering programme directors Riad Kassis (Langham Scholars) and Paul Windsor (Langham Preaching) to the stage. The three programme directors served as commissioning and general editors for the book and Riad presented Chris with the book whilst Paul gave a painting on canvas of the cover art by Paul Lewis of Luz Design.
The genuine thankfulness and surprise from Chris at being given a festschrift in his name was a public display of the humility that his family, friends and colleagues know so well. Chris enjoyed examining his special gift edition printed in hardback with a dust jacket and foiling, and paperbacks were then made available for the other guests to purchase and take home. It was with great fondness that Chris read out the names of friends from 17 countries around the world who had penned contributions for the book and he took an instant liking to the painting declaring that there was a spot on the living room wall of his and his wife, Liz’s home that had been waiting to be filled. Copies of Chris’ recent book Knowing God – The Trilogy: Knowing Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit through the Old Testament, which gathers the set of his three classic books on each person of the God-head’s presentation in the Scriptures, were also on sale.
It was a truly celebratory evening absent of glitz or ostentation but full of love, joy and genuine relationships, mirroring the life of the man the event was honouring. Langham Partnership is very glad and thankful to the Lord to be led by Chris Wright and for the wisdom exhibited by John Stott in electing his successor.
You can buy Breath and Bone: Living Out the Mission of God in the World today or contact your local bookseller.Tags: Breath and Bone, Chris Wright, festschrift, Langham Creative Projects, Langham Global Library, Langham Literature, Langham Partnership, literature, Majority World, mission of God, Paul Windsor, Pieter Kwant, Publishing, Riad Kassis