The Five Marks of Mission and More

Today afternoon we were blessed with two wonderful talks by two dear people. The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and President Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies. First of all my heart felt congratulations to both and God’s abundant blessings upon them for having the courage, willingness, and grace to walk through the path God has set for them at this time in history. We are blessed.

Here is what I heard Bishop Schori say:

Mission as the beating heart of God. We are called upon to synchronize our heartbeat with that of God. Breath in Holy Spirit. Recognize the Holy Spirit before we enter into anything hard, simple or everyday life like. For God is at work in our midst. It is important that we recognize the Holy Spirit before we act upon what it is that we are called upon to do.

We have to be open to receive that breath of God. She reminded us that to be mission partners of God we have to breath with God. Not simply breath in God. Invitation was extended beyond to link up with those who are far apart from us for whatever be the reason. I was delighted to hear that there is no life for anyone hanging on to grudges. Build a bridge together. Let the wounds be gone and let us keep breathing.

Find a new relative among us and find their story. Live into that story as family. Have a cup of coffee and kneel together. Such is the reconciliation and that will have more effect in the work we are involved in. Go build some living bridges together and with. She cited the examples of the bridges we have created together with other partners such as ELCA, Moravians and more. But she invited us something beautiful through the example of the Moravians that no one leaves their table, and so should ours be. Learn and live.

She also recognized that we have found some healing in recent years in the Anglican communion. We need to engage with humility with interest in our own transformation.

It was wonderful to hear how to become true a instrument for God’s mission. Discover God live among us.

The world around us are developing effective networks. So should we be. How about TED talks for TEC? Engage in networks that makes us live the mission.

Our anxiety is routed in diminishing the other, or to control or to play power. Grassroots are not interested in the internal politics. It is interested in the vitality of the community. The young and the old of the church pews are seeking opportunity for mission and ministry beginning with themselves to the rest of the world.

She mentioned something about politics such as “Politics is not a dirty word”. It means living together in a community. We live in a lively tension in what is and what will come to be. She says there is not perfection in this our gathering. But we are here to gather our common gifts and dream of the reign of God together as a community.

Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. And thus we will find a way to live God’s dream.

While all of these were centered around the five marks of mission, namely:

To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

she was clear about how all of it should be centered around dreaming with God with the breath of God in us in a spirit of reconciliation and bridge building.

One thought on “The Five Marks of Mission and More

  1. As an Episcopal missioner in the Middle East, in a Muslim-majority city, I wonder how the second mark works out. I mean, it sounds very nice, but in practice what does this mean when a Muslim wants to learn about Jesus or be baptized and leave Islam for the hope in Jesus Christ? I would go down that path with such a person, but I suspect Schori would encourage them to stay within Islam and know God within that context. How can the different approaches be reconciled?

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