Episcopal mission networks to host joint conference

April 26, 2010

Serving as a missionary in Myanmar over the years has allowed the Rev. Kitty Babson, co-convener of the Episcopal Partnership for Global Mission, to better understand her own Christian baptism and how Christians are called to serve Christ in all people.

In the words of Desmond Tutu, she said, "'If we are not missionaries, we are nothing.'"

Episcopal Partnership for Global Mission and the Global Episcopal Mission Network will host their second annual joint conference, Educating All Ages for Gods Mission: Living the New Life of Baptism, June 9-12 at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. The conference is open to anyone interested in mission and can be attended in full or on a daily basis.

GEMN is an association of dioceses of the Episcopal Church, together with partner dioceses throughout the Anglican Communion, committed to the engagement of diocesan bishops, leadership and people in global mission. EPGM is a network of global Episcopal mission organizations.

The conference allows individuals and groups who are interested or engaged in mission work to learn what others – people, dioceses, organizations – are doing and to use it to inspire their work and the work of others, said Constance Wilson, EPGM's administrator.

"Mission is taking our baptismal covenant and living it and taking it to others in the world," she said.

Engaging in mission – whether missioners go around the block or around the world – allows people to look at the world through multiple perspectives, and "ultimately when one enters into conversation with others who are different, we become more articulate in how we express ourselves," Babson said.

For the last 15 years, GEMN has operated an education institute. The conference includes plenary speakers for inspiration and workshops to provide tools and assistance, said Sue Messenger, GEMN's treasurer.

Speakers include:

• New York Bishop Suffragan Catherine S. Roskam, who was instrumental in founding the Global Women's Fund of the Diocese of New York, which is devoted to empowering women in the developing world.
• The Rev. Jered and Erin Weber-Johnson, former Young Adult Service Corps missionaries who served a year in Taiwan. Jared Weber-Johnson is now a priest at St. Albans in Washington D.C. and Erin Weber-Johnson is treasurer of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation and a member of the Standing Commission on World Mission.
• The Rev. Lauren Stanley, who is serving the Episcopal Church as an appointed missionary in Haiti.
• The Rev. Canon Titus Presler, who is a missionologist focusing on mission theology, gospel-culture interactions and church mission practice.

See the brochure for a full list of speakers.

Workshop colloquia include:

Creating Hearts for Mission
Professor Dorothy Linthicum, program coordinator, Center for the Ministry of Teaching, VTS. The place where the hearts of children are created for mission is the home. During this colloquium participants will look at ways families can help children engage in global missions from early childhood through adolescence, and also identify on-going programming that can be offered through the church to support this engagement.

Resources for Mission
Ruth-Ann Collins, the Episcopal Church's adult formation and lifelong learning officer. This colloquium will provide an overview of resources developed at the Episcopal Church Center for congregational use. Collins will take this opportunity to hear about mission resources developed by dioceses and congregations.

Raising Support and Accessing Resources
Michael Angell, master of divinity student at VTS, Young Adult Service Corps missioner in Honduras. This colloquium is an opportunity to hear about successful methods of raising funds for mission, and accessing useful resources for mission support. Participants will be invited to share their own experiences

For the full workshop colloquia, click here.