These five Marks of Mission are a framework used to describe and encourage ministry throughout the worldwide Anglican Communion:
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
- To teach, baptize, and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
Why the Marks of Mission?
At the Anglican Church of Canada’s last national meeting (General Synod 2010), the church adopted a strategic plan, (Vision 2019), which called for General Synod to commend the Marks of Mission as a framework for the ministry of the whole Anglican Church of Canada.
Vision 2019 had identified that Canadian Anglicans are already living the Marks of Mission, but they may not speak this common language.
How did this happen? During the Vision 2019 research, a task force examined more than a thousand letters, emails, and online posts from Canadian Anglicans who shared their dreams for their church. The data was analyzed through two lenses. First, the Vision 2019 Task Force observed which themes emerged organically from the responses. They identified seven priorities and five practices that would shape the work of the national office.
Secondly, the Vision 2019 Task Force examined the responses for support of the Marks of Mission. They discovered that Canadian Anglicans strongly supported the themes behind the Marks of Mission, but most were not aware of the marks themselves.
The task force saw an opportunity to establish the marks as a common language. They directed General Synod to “Adopt the Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion as a primary framework for ministry development in service to God’s mission, and commend them as a framework to those we serve and support in provinces, dioceses, and local ministries.”
In the opening letter to Vision 2019, the Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, “rejoice[d] that the vision is grounded and rooted in the Marks of Mission.” He noted that the marks “draw us together as Anglicans across Canada and the world.”
To learn more about the nitty-gritty history of how the Marks of Mission were developed, read this backgrounder.