Mission - Commissions - IASCOME

IASCOME - Travelling Together in God’s Mission

Tasks Remitted to IASCOME

We list here our action on particular issues remitted to the Commission in its Mandate or by the ACC, Primates Meeting or Joint Standing Committee.

‘Mission 21’

This programme has been developed by the Scottish Episcopal Church to encourage the growth of existing congregations.  It has been in use in the Church since 1995.  It differs from catechumenal courses like Alpha and Emmaus, which are basic introductions to the Christian faith.  One of its unique features is that trained facilitators accompany, support and encourage congregations as they develop programmes of welcome and implement them.  The programme was warmly welcomed by ACC-11.  It is being piloted in the Church of Ireland and there are plans and funding for it to be used in Uganda.  The Commission has received presentations at both its meetings. (Appendix 12)

Proposal from the GEM Network.

The Global Episcopal Mission [GEM] network is a voluntary network of dioceses of the Episcopal Church in the USA committed to international (global) mission.  The Joint Standing Committee referred to the Commission a proposal from the Network to accept in principle that a network of dioceses committed to global mission (‘Anglican Network of Dioceses in Global Mission’) be formed as an official network of the Communion.  It also made proposals about acting as the ‘enabling agent’ for a number of possible initiatives.

The Commission noted that the GEM network is currently solely a network of American Dioceses.  It encouraged the network to act as an ‘enabling agent’ to take soundings among the dioceses of the Communion (e.g. by holding a Consultation) to see whether there was wider support for such a network and what together dioceses across the Communion might set as an agenda, to see what might develop and to keep in touch with the Commission.

Official recognition as a network of the Communion might be considered at a later date.

Network for Anglicans in Mission and Evangelism (NAME)

NAME was formed initially by bishops in Section Two (Mission) of the 1998 Lambeth Conference to seek to support and resource each other in diocesan mission initiatives. Although it applied to ACC-11 for recognition as a formal network of the Communion, ACC-11 decided to defer a decision until a more worked out proposal came forward and the Commission was asked to remain in touch with NAME in the interim.

The Commission at its first meeting received a formal report from NAME and subsequently informally through connections between some of its members and members of NAME.  The network has now bedded down and carries out significant practical initiatives with a number of provinces and dioceses of which the following is a key example.  Assisting the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) in its conference with the World Bank on ‘The World Bank and the Churches’

The Commission will continue to remain in touch.

The South to South Movement

The Commission keeps in touch with the ‘South to South Movement’ through the Bishop of Singapore (a member of the Commission).  The movement came out of the 1986 Brisbane Conference to enable representatives of mission work in churches of the Global South to encourage and support each other.  Two meetings (‘Encounters in the South’) have been held – Nairobi (1992) and Kuala Lumpur (1997).

The officers of the Movement had changed and in December 2001 the Chairman (the Most Revd Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria), the Treasurer (the Rt Revd Dr Mouneer Anis, Bishop in Egypt) and the Secretary (the Rt Rev John Chew, Bishop of Singapore) led a review meeting of the movement in Cairo.

The meeting reviewed the two ‘Encounters in the South’ and noted the positive opportunities for those from the ‘non-Western’ world to interact.  It also noted the organisational inadequacies in terms of follow up and implementation.  It was unanimously agreed to broaden contact with Primates and diocesan bishops of the South to gain their views on the continuance of the South-South Encounter and whether to hold a third meeting in 2003 or 2004.  After these soundings have been taken a more definite vision and objectives of the South-South movement will be drawn up and presented.

The Anglican Gathering

The Commission has received regular reports of developments in thinking about the gathering proposed for 2008.  It has reiterated its concern that the mission of the Communion be the theme of the Gathering.  It welcomed the Nairobi Mission and Evangelism Co-ordinators affirmation of the Commission’s call for inclusion of mission representatives on the design group.

Recommendation

IASCOME Recommends:

that two of its members are members of the Planning Group of this Gathering.

CWME – Conference for World Mission and Evangelism

One of IASCOME’s members is a member of the Standing Committee of CWME and keeps the Commission briefed on ecumenical developments in mission as seen through CWME.  In particular the Commission has received the draft statement on Mission and Evangelism in the Modern World the successor statement to the seminal document Mission and Evangelism: an Ecumenical Affirmation and of 1982.  It has also heard of plans for the CWME Conference (the latest in the line of world Conferences on Mission since Edinburgh 1910) in February 2005 and will ensure that Anglicans who are invited to that Conference meet together during its course.

The Partners in Mission process – a comment

PIM Consultations – their preparation and their follow up – were important practical bonds of holding together and developing the relational life of the Communion during the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s until overtaken by the Decade of Evangelism.

The previous Mission Commission commented that ‘the Partners-in-Mission process of consultations appears to have slowed to a virtual halt’ and provided some reasons for that development.  It stressed that the lessons learned should be developed and carried into the new context of the twenty-first century (Anglicans in Mission: A Transforming Journey pp. 66-7)
That slowdown has continued.  There has not been a formal provincial Partners in Mission (PIM) Consultation since 2000, although a few informal consultations on specific issues or around specific areas of work have been held.

We observe that new forms of association for mission are beginning to emerge which while not taking over the role of the Partners in Mission process do, in fact, provide networks of connection that flesh out the principles of partnership and companionship identified in previous Mission Commission reports.  These networks and consultations are distinct from the ‘official’ networks of the Communion and do not have nor necessarily require the formal endorsement of the ACC, but the Council needs to be aware of them. The Commission is in touch with them all.

1 Networks and Consultations initiated through ACC Mission Commissions           

  • The South to South Movement
  • The Provincial Mission and Evangelism Co-ordinators Consultation (2001)
  • The Mission Organisations Conference (2003)

2 Initiatives independent of the Commission, but with which the Commission is in touch

  • Network of Anglicans in Mission and Evangelism (NAME )
  • Emerging networks of Anglican Communion Mission Agencies
  • Fellowship of Parish Based Missiologists
  • GEM network proposal to develop a network of dioceses in mission
  • Network of Anglican Contextual Theologians Appendix 2
  • The Global Anglicanism Project Appendix 3

Companion Diocesan Links

The development of formal links between two or more dioceses has been a major feature of the developing koinonia in mission of the Communion over the last twenty years. IASCOME has taken note of the Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution II:3 on Companion Dioceses particularly the encouragement to all dioceses to have another diocese as a companion by the time of the next Lambeth Conference.  Through its staff in the Anglican Communion Office a list of companion links is maintained and advice offered to dioceses.  The Commission has observed that better briefing on companion diocese links could be provided to new bishops and appointed our member from Canada to organise a more intentional promotion and facilitation of this programme, in support of the Lambeth resolution and in accordance with the guidelines for such links.