January 8, 2004

January, 2004

Dear friends in Christ:

With delight and thanksgiving, we send you the newest poster in our World Mission Sunday series. As you know, the last Sunday after the Epiphany is designated by General Convention resolution for a special focus on the global mission outreach of our church. This year, World Mission Sunday falls on February 22.

The theme of Transformation has been chosen in light of the bold and bright vision of our church’s Standing Commission on World Mission. Throughout the last triennium, the SCWM devoted intensive study to the varieties of mission engagement throughout our church, discerning existing patterns as well as heartfelt dreams for the future. The document describing this effort, entitled “Companions in Transformation: The Episcopal Church’s World Mission in a New Century,” was presented to the General Convention last August. The Convention responded with Resolution A150, urging all Episcopalians to study the report in this triennium, ponder the feasibility of implementing its dramatic proposals, and provide feedback to the Standing Commission so that it can bring concrete resolutions to General Convention in 2006.

To that end, we urge you to order copies of Companions in Transformation ($7 each from Morehouse Publishing, www.morehousegroup.com/mp.htm or 1-800-877-0012). This 54-page booklet is enhanced with missionary photos and quotes, a world mission reading list, and other features. Please read it, and encourage group study, reflection, and prayer about how we live our lives in Christ beyond our own church and community borders.

Living beyond ourselves, working faithfully in the company of others, is a transforming experience, as generations of Episcopalians who have engaged in mission -- both domestic and foreign -- have discovered. The World Mission Sunday materials created for 2003 focused on Reconciliation, those for 2002 on Companionship. This year, we look at Transformation. The word means change, obviously. But what does it mean for your part of the Body of Christ, at this time, in this world? Reflect on the relationship of your parish or diocese to God’s people elsewhere in the Anglican Communion. Use the SCWM report to expand your own vision and work. Help renew our church’s historic commitment to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment!

In conclusion, let me note that in addition to this poster, our office provides a number of resources to assist congregations in the observance of World Mission Sunday. These include a bulletin shell, bulletin insert, reflection on relevant scripture passages, youth activity sheet, homiletic notes for sermon preparation, and a sermon. All may be downloaded from the web and reproduced in whatever numbers you require. Please visit the World Mission Sunday web site: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/world-mission-sunday. (You can peruse and download the resources created for previous themes as well.) If you have any questions, please call me at 1-800-334-7626, or e-mail mlarom@episcopalchurch.org.

Yours faithfully,

Margaret S. Larom
World Mission Interpretation and Networks Officer