ICF International Congregational Fellowship
ICF International Congregational Fellowship

ICF 2020 Conference

The ICF 2020 Conference will be held at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts. This location is optimally located 30 minutes south of Boston and 40 minutes north of Plymouth.


You may have noticed that this upcoming conference is being held a year earlier than usual. This conference has been pushed forward a year so that Congregationalists from around the world could come together to celebrate the 400th year anniversary of the Mayflower which brought Congregationalism to what would eventually become the United States of America in 1620. While this specific event is a celebration of Congregationalism in the United States, the planned purpose of this conference takes a broader scope. Through this coming conference, we will be celebrating the founding history of Congregationalism in all countries. 

Dates: 23rd-28th July, 2020

This year's theme is: The Voyage Continues


ICF 2020 Presenters

We are excited to have four excellent presenters secured with the help of the Rev Norm Erlendsen: Francis Bremer, Charles Hambrick Stowe, Margaret (Peggy) Bendroth, and Ric Burns. We look forward to these individuals helping us look back and look forward as The Voyage Continues…. We also look forward to hearing from one another as we share news, history, hopes and dreams from regions of the world.



Francis Bremer

Professor Emeritus of History at Millersville University, Millersville, Pennsylvania. He received his BA from Fordham College and his MA and PhD from Columbia University, while also studying at Union Theological Seminary. He has been a visiting scholar at New York University, Oxford University, the University of Cambridge and Trinity College Dublin. Dr. Bremer is one of the acknowledged experts on puritanism in the Atlantic world and has published numerous articles and seventeen books on the subject. His study of John Winthrop: America's Forgotten Founding Father (2003) was submitted for consideration for the Pulitzer Prize and won the John C. Pollock Award for Christian Biography. His recent works include Puritanism: A Very Short Introduction (2009); First Founders: American Puritans and Puritanism in the Atlantic World (2012) – a selection of the History Book Club; Building a New Jerusalem: John Davenport, a Puritan in Three Worlds (2012) – shortlisted for the New England Society in the City of New York Award for Non Fiction 2013 and the 2013 Award in Nonfiction of the Mountain & Plains Independent Booksellers Association; and Lay Empowerment and the Development of Puritanism (2015). 


Charles Hambrick-Stowe

RETIRED PASTOR, SEMINARY DEAN AND PROFESSOR, PHD BOSTON UNIVERSITY Charles Hambrick-Stowe is the retired pastor of the First Congregational Church UCC, Ridgefield, Connecticut. In his writings he brings together experience as a local church pastor and in seminary administration and teaching. Before returning to pastoral ministry he was academic dean and professor of Christian history at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, and director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He served as pastor of two churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania over a 22-year period. Hambrick-Stowe is the author or editor of six books and numerous articles in the field of American religious history, including Charles G. Finney and the Spirit of American Evangelicalism, and The Practice of Piety: Puritan Devotional Disciplines in Seventeenth Century New England (Chapel Hill: Published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture by the University of North Carolina Press, 1982. Winner of the prestigious Jamestown Prize for Early American History, The Practice of Piety is a moving and vivid account of what it meant to be a Puritan. This account draws on diaries, spiritual biographies, and devotional manuals to explore the daily and weekly ritual and discipline. The devotional movement was at the heart of Puritanism, and the spiritual pilgrimage was the soul's progress from birth to death to rebirth and eternal glory. Puritan worship brought together college student and illiterate farmer, giving coherence to the community. 


Margaret Bendroth

Executive Director, Congregational Library and Archives, a respected historian, author, and lecturer. Margaret (Peggy) Bendroth received her Ph.D. in history from the Johns Hopkins University and was professor of history at Calvin College from 1998 to 2004. She is the author of several books, including Fundamentalism and Gender, 1875 to the Present (Yale 1993) and Fundamentalists and the City: Conflict and Division in Boston’s Churches, 1885 to 1950 (Oxford 2005). Peggy has co-edited several other volumes, including Women and Twentieth-Century Protestantism (Illinois 2002), with Virginia Brereton. Her most recent books include The Spiritual Practice of Remembering (Eerdmans 2013) and The Last Puritans: Mainline Protestants and the Power of the Past (UNC 2015) tells the story of how Congregationalists engaged deeply with their denomination’s storied past and recast their modern identity. Peggy recently served

as President of the American Society of Church History. She is a regular attender and favorite presenter at the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches annual conference. 


Ric Burns

An internationally recognized American documentary filmmaker and writer. He has written, directed and produced historical documentaries since the 1990s, beginning with his collaboration on the celebrated PBS series The Civil War (1990), which he produced with his older brother Ken Burns and wrote with Geoffrey Ward. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Ric Burns was the son of a social anthropologist. He studied English literature at Columbia University in New York City and Cambridge University in England before working with his brother on The Civil War (1990). His production company, "Steeplechase Films", is located on Manhattan's upper west side. Currently, he is in post-production on two biographical documentaries on Andy Warhol and Eugene O'Neill. Burns is probably best known for his series New York: A Documentary Film, which premiered nationally on PBS. The eight-part, seventeen-and-a-half-hour film chronicles the city’s rise from a tiny Dutch trading post through its continuing preeminence as an economic and cultural capital of the world.

For our conference, we will air Ric Burns’ The Pilgrims (2015) https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/pilgrims/ with Ric as the host and presenter. 

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