Color arrows denoting conflict. Flat format
“Joining God’s Mission in Tension Times” is the theme of this year’s Missio, the Global Mission Conference for the Episcopal Church, which will be convened online by the Global Episcopal Mission Network (GEMN), March 20-22. The Wednesday-Friday gathering before Palm Sunday will be held from noon to 3pm Eastern on each of the three days.
Many dioceses, mission organizations, congregations and religious orders are courageously and passionately engaged in mission companionships with people in places of civil unrest, violence and sometimes war. This Missio is an opportunity to learn from people on both sides of those companionships as they join God’s mission in various risky zones.
The online conference will be held on Zoom. It is offered free, and donations are encouraged to help support it. Register here, where donations can be made via Stripe. (Checks with the memo “Missio Donation” can be sent to GEMN at PO Box 1434, Dublin, Ohio 43017.) Schedule and other details are here.
Here is the lineup of mission companionship presentations:
- On mission amid war in South Sudan: the Rt. Rev. Samuel Peni, bishop of Yambio and archbishop of the internal province of Western Equatoria in the Church of South Sudan, who will be in conversation with mission activists in the Diocese of Iowa: retired Bishop Alan Scarfe and Canon Kathleen Milligan.
- On mission amid violence in Haiti: the Rev. Jean Berthol Phanord of Bon Samaritan Episcopal Church in Bondo, in conversation with Ms. Beth Shires of the South Florida Haiti Project at St. Gregory’s Church in Boca Raton.
- On mission amid war in the Holy Lands: the Rev. Jameel Maher Khader, rector of St. Philip’s and Good Shepherd’s Churches in Nablus/Rafidia in the West Bank, in conversation with the Rev. Max Sklar, a Young Adult Service Corps member whose ministry in Jerusalem was cut short by the current conflict.
- On mission amid religious persecution in Pakistan: Bishop Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters of the Diocese of Peshawar, in conversation with the Revs. Reagan Cooke and Robin Reeves of Bridges to Pakistan.
- On mission amid war in Mozambique: the Rev. Dr. Helen Van Koevering, rector of St. Raphael’s Church in Lexington, Kentucky, on her longterm missionary service during Mozambique’s civil war, in conversation with the Rt. Rev. Manuel Ernesto, bishop of Nampula.
- On risk and solidarity in mission: Mr. Buck Blanchard, who has prioritized companionship with Christians under pressure in diverse parts of the world, in conversation with the Rev. Chris Bishop of Stand with Iraqi Christians and Mr. Greg Lowden of the Guatemala Youth Initiative.
GEMN’s Annual Meeting will meet online an hour before Missio on Thursday, March 21, at 11 a.m.
In deciding that this year’s Missio will be online, the GEMN Board recognized the importance of in-person gatherings, especially with the experience of the post-pandemic Missio on “Mission: Journey into Healing” that was held last May at St. Mark’s Church in Tampa, Florida. Meeting in person encourages friendship and enhances collaboration. The online format for 2024, however, was chosen in light of other events in the spring and General Convention in the summer. The 2025 Missio will be held in person in the Diocese of Honduras, April 30-May 2.
The purpose of GEMN is to gather, inspire and equip people to participate in God’s global mission. Its core values are humility, inclusion and companionship. The network includes dioceses, mission agencies, congregations, seminaries, religious orders and individuals.