Province II gathers in Albany, renews commitment to mission

April 26, 2007

House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson told the recent Province II Spring Convocation that "first and most important is to remember that we are called to do God's mission in the world."

 

"The mission of reconciliation in the world belongs to God and we are God's vehicles for that, charged by our baptismal covenant," she said.

The theme of the convocation, held April 19-21 in the Diocese of Albany, was "Living the Gospel: Greater Mission in Province II and Beyond." More than 125 representatives from all of the 10 dioceses and one convocation that make up the province attended the meeting.

Anderson, who keynoted the conference and spoke each morning, referred to the work of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) and MISSIO, the Anglican Communion's Standing Commission on Mission and Evangelism committee. Anderson told the convocation that MISSIO's Five Marks of Mission and the 1963 Toronto Anglican Congress' statement, "Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence in the Body of Christ," provide rich insights into the nature of mission.

"Announcing the Good News is the key statement about everything we do in mission," she said.

"However, the balance between proclamation and service is an important one for us to maintain and it is important that we, as a Church, and as individuals committed to our call to mission not be divided between proclamation and service," Anderson said. "It is not an either/or but a both/and."

The conference included personal testimony from each of Province II's 10 diocesan bishops about their "passion for mission." Bishop Jean Zache Duracin, from the Diocese of Haiti, spoke about the reconciliation and peace work that is being done in that diocese.

"Part of the reconciliation work for us is about education. In 1997, we created the Episcopal University of Haiti. Today we have 650 students who are in academic dialogue and study," he said. "We struggle with resources, money for scholarships and books, but we continue to do God's mission."

Bishop Jack McElvy, soon to retire as bishop of the Diocese of Rochester, was honored at a banquet April 21.

Conference organizers were Provincial Executive Coordinator Chuck Perfater, Provincial Officer Martha Gardner and Province II Executive Council clergy representative the Rev. Canon Petero Sabune.