In our time, God is teaching us that all churches, be they in the North, South, East or West, are "sent" to make known the Good News to those in their own place and in all places. All churches exist in circumstances where God is sending them as ambassadors to proclaim the Gospel.
In Christ, God calls us and enables us to abide in his life. In Christ, God sends us and enables us to proclaim and demonstrate the truth about God, the truth about ourselves, and the truth about how we come to know and to love God and one another.
The mission of the church involves SPEAKING, BEING, and DOING. If the church only speaks of God but does not live a common life that shows forth the nature of God's life, her words will seem empty. If the church cares only for her own members and shows no compassion for human suffering and no outrage at human injustice, the love she proclaims and displays will appear shallow or selfish. If the church only does good works and seeks justice, she will fail to speak of God and so fail to make known the one in whose Name she is sent.
The mission of the church is always God's mission: To restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. A divided church obscures - even hides - the nature and will of God. In being sent in God's Name, we are called by God to be one. Our unity is rooted in divine life and its realization derives from our unity in Christ given at baptism.
Since mission as a movement toward the world is the outcome of our union with Christ, ecumenism must be seen as a vehicle for fulfilling that mission, and we need to extend our engagement with one another, and thus grow in Christian unity.
In drawing us into the Father, Christ makes us who were once strangers, both friends with him and with one another. As friends, we share a common mission and a common life. We help one another in our tasks and with our resources. Hence the missiological importance of partnership.
Partnership in Mission
Partnership in Mission puts into effect "mutual responsibility and interdependence in the Body of Christ". It enables local churches to analyze their own situation, develop their own priorities and decide their own strategies of implementation, in consultation with their partners worldwide, who bring valuable resources and different insights into ministry and mission from their own cultures, nations and economic situations.
Partnership in Mission has to do with people. In drawing us to the Father, Christ makes us who were strangers, friends both with him and with one-another. As friends, we share a common mission and a common life, helping each other and sharing resources. Companion Diocese Relationships are people-oriented, with emphasis on Relationships. and they exist for face-to-face mutual support and the strengthening of mission in each companion's own church.
Mission in Partnership
Mission in Partnership involves the mutual sharing of God's gifts to the church, whether spiritual, intellectual, gifts of wisdom and skill, experience, vitality, educational amenities, institutional or human energy.
Mission in Partnership calls for discussion of goals and problems in a process which enables the ocal church to tackle the real and sometimes painful issues, drawing upon the spiritual, theological, personal and material resources of the church as a whole.
Putting Mission in Partnership into effect calls for openness between different churches about what each has, gives and receives. As in any human relationship, such openness is only achieved by persistent disclosing and patient probing, gradually building trust.
Purpose of a Companion Relationship
- To help strengthen the Anglican Communion through the direct exper-ience of inter-dependence across cultural and geographical boundaries within the Body of Christ; and
- To strengthen one-another for mission by building a relationship in which each partner is both giver and receiver.