Reaffirming Our Call as Missionaries to Share the Good News
January travel has been pretty amazing in this new year.
During the week of January 13, my colleagues in The Episcopal Church’s Missionary Society gathered in New York City to network, worship, learn, and update equipment. We also got to meet new staff members, greet those whom we haven’t seen for a while, and welcome members of Executive Council and keynote speakers who offered imaginative perspectives on:
- Our call to be a Society of Missionaries,
- Living into our Baptismal call as Christians, and
- Exploring ways to incarnate our descriptive name, The Domestic and Foreign MISSIONARY SOCIETY of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
I was inspired by our guest speakers who spoke passionately about re-claiming mission and the concept of being missionaries in the hope of being inclusive and respectful light-bearers of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
As I left New York at the end of the week I felt grateful for this time with my colleagues and more confident than ever that our faith formation and youth ministry network is called to live deeply into new and creative mission and ministry in this coming year.
This past week, the Formation Missioners, Mike Angell, Shannon Kelly, and I traveled to Alexandria, Virginia, to convene leaders of our Lifelong Formation, Youth Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, and Campus Ministry networks ahead of the Forma Conference.
These networks have not been convened jointly since the Forma Conference in Charlotte in 2011. Gathering on Monday afternoon in Alexandria, we welcomed long-term and new leaders and planned and prayed for the following two days. Our four networks took time together to discern where we can work jointly on hopeful mission and ministry initiatives. We also met with theForma Board and shared hopes and dreams for future partnerships and areas of mutual interest and support. We plan to continue these conversations and I look forward to sharing details soon about several new grassroots initiatives we are beginning to engage.
Following these meetings many of us stayed for the Forma Conference, greeting new and old friends, participating in workshops, and hosting a reception in gratitude for Forma’s leadership on Lifelong Christian Formation initiatives across the church. At that reception we showed this new video, which received a hearty round of applause:
I am truly grateful for our growing formation network across the church and hope and pray that others will join us in mission and prayers as we continue to grow the network and expand our reach, sharing the Good News everywhere we go in the coming year.