Anglicans in the Americas plan mission gathering

By Mary Frances Schjonberg

Members of the six Anglican Communion provinces in the Americas will gather February 22-27 in San José, Costa Rica, for the Conference of the Anglican Churches in the Americas in Mutual Responsibility and Mission.

The February meeting will allow participants to tell their colleagues about their mission and ministry along with training opportunities. In addition, conference participants will spend Ash Wednesday working at various ministry sites with Costa Rican Anglicans.

John Kafwanka, project officer on the Anglican Communion Office’s Mission and Evangelism desk at the Anglican Communion Office, will be the conference’s keynote speaker. Kafwanka will ground his remarks and subsequent workshop in the communion’s “checklist” for mission known as the Five Marks of Mission.

The eight provinces that have been invited to send participants to the conference are the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Anglican Church of the Central America Region, the Anglican Church of MexicoChurch in the Province of the West Indies, the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of the Americas, and the Episcopal Church of Cuba, along with The Episcopal Church.

Each province was invited to send two clergy and four lay representatives to the gathering, along with its primate and provincial secretary or designated representatives. Registered participants will come from each of the invited provinces, with the exception of the West Indies.

The idea for the gathering grew out of a November 2006 proposal for an Anglican regional convocation of the Americas that Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies and Executive Council vice president, made to the council. Resolution INC005 from that council meeting authorized a work group, appointed by Anderson and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, to develop the idea. The resolution said that the goal of such convocation would be “to equip better our churches for mutuality and interdependence in God’s mission.”

Anderson told Executive Council during its recent meeting that the hope is that “deep engagement with each other on a personal level” about mission and ministry will result in the development of new networks for regional mission efforts.

The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is Episcopal Life Media’s national correspondent. She is based in Neptune, New Jersey.

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