Posted by: Titus Presler | February 4, 2010

“Windows on Mission” video series great for World Mission Sunday – or anytime!

A remarkable resource for World Mission Sunday in the Episcopal Church on Feb. 14 is the Windows on Mission video series, which consists of 12 easy-to-show-and-discuss segments, each on a different Episcopal missionary serving in a different part of the world.  Episcopal identity is not emphasized particularly, so the series is also useful for people in other churches as well.

The introductory video features Desmond Tutu’s reflections on mission and snippets from the other videos.  Any one of them is an excellent discussion-starter on World Mission Sunday.  The 2-disc DVD set is an excellent parish resource into the indefinite future.

Windows on Mission was conceived and produced by Canon Jane Butterfield for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society when she was Mission Personnel Officer for the Episcopal Church, 1999-2005.  Gifted British filmmaker Philip Carr did the on-site filming and editing over the course of two years in various parts of the world, and the series was launched at the World Mission Reception at the 2006 General Convention.  The result is a treasure of mission life and reflection.

Order it from EBAR the Episcopal Book and Resource Center (item 74-0601) in time for World Mission Sunday, or for a parish mission study series, or an orientation for your parish or diocesan mission committee or commission.  The cost is $39.95.  You will be inspired as well as informed!  Here’s a list of the segments, with my commentary:

– The Gospel of Grace: Series Introduction featuring Archbishop Desmond Tutu (16:09) – This introduction to the entire series includes illustrative snippets from each segment, tied together by reflections offered by Desmond Tutu as he was interviewed by Butterfield specifically for the series.  Preview it on YouTube.

– Serving Jesus’ Little Ones – Gerry and Nan Hardison in Kenya (19:31) – The Hardisons are an outstanding example of “finishers,” the term Butterfield coined for retirees who devote their gifts to God’s mission after decades of work stateside.  Dr. Nan is principal of St. Philip’s Theological College in the Diocese of Maseno North, where she also works with an AIDS orphan ministry, and Dr. Gerry is medical superintendent of Maseno Hospital.

– Streams in the Desert – Paul-Gordon and Lynn Chandler in Egypt (23:13) – Now in their middle years, Paul-Gordon and Lynn both grew up in west Africa as children of missionaries, so they have long experience of African Islam.  Paul-Gordon is rector of Maadi Parish in Cairo, and both Paul and Lynn have recently authored books on Christian-Muslim relations and mission experience.  The Chandlers served previously in Tunis and illustrate longterm service commitment.

– The Coming of the Rain – Caleb and Louise King in Rwanda (20:56) – The Kings are both medical doctors ministering at a hospital in Shyira Diocese.  As a result of turmoil in the Anglican Communion, they have not been able to continue as DFMS missionaries, and they are now working under other auspices.  Their witness as a family with four young children is stirring, especially in the aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda.

– Crossing the River – Valeska Daley in Honduras (18:55) – Valeska is an outstanding example of a Young Adult Service Corps missionary, in this case applying her learnings in business administration to micro-finance enterprises in  rural settings.

– God Undivided – Mano and Benita Rumalshah in Pakistan (22:52) – Themselves Pakistani, the Rumalshahs served with special appointment in the Diocese of Peshawar, an embattled frontier location for Christian mission, where Mano was bishop until retiring 31 December 2009.  This video provides rare insight into Christian life in dialogue and mission with Islam.  Bp. Mano was earlier general secretary of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the Anglican Communion’s oldest missionary society.

– The Scroll of Thanksgiving – James and Lorine Williams in South Africa (18:44) – This is a moving testimony to racial reconciliation in post-apartheid South Africa as James and Lorine undertook ministry in St. Peter’s Church, Matlosane, a previously all-white parish.  Themselves African American from Buffalo, the Williams offer a rare gift to their congregation in the scroll of thanksgiving.

– The Blood of the Bull – Ross Kane in Sudan (22:02) – A Young Adult Service Corps missionary, Ross served three years with the New Sudan Council of Churches, working out of both Nairobi and southern Sudan.  A provocative high point of this film is the slaughter of a bull under Christian auspices as part of a peace-making ceremony between previously hostile Christian folk in different tribes.

– The Good Shepherd – Michael and Mona Dresbach in Panama (15:51) – The Dresbachs have lived and worked for a number of years in a parish where Michael is rector.  Their testimony is quiet and modest, bearing witness that international mission does not have to be on the front lines of poverty, war, danger or catastrophe.

– Lift Up Your Voice – Randall Giles in India (16:08) – A professional church musician, Randy was called by the Diocese of Madras to establish an institute of indigenous liturgy and music, and this film depicts him learning deeply in Indian music.  It raises interesting and ironic questions such as: What is the unique gift a foreigner can offer that prompts a church to call him to catalyze an effort in indigenous liturgy and music?  Randy died suddenly in India in 2010.  Preview it on YouTube.

– A Forgotten Church – Kitty Babson in Myanmar (15:53) – Kitty illustrates how God’s mission can be carried out through intermittent service in a place where a permanent appointment is not possible.  As a priest, Kitty goes back and forth to Myanmar preaching, leading clergy conferences, consulting with projects, and periodically taking Virginia Seminary students on exposure trips.  In these ways she helps to keep the little known Anglican Church of Myanmar on the screen of the world church.

– Gospel Seed – Elyn MacInniss in China (27:41) – Fluent in Chinese, Elyn has learned deeply in Chinese culture and spirituality.  She has pastored international congregations in Beijing and Nanjing and works closely with congregations and projects of the China Christian Council, the post-denominational expression of historic western churches that had mission work in China prior to the Communist era.

Also order the Windows on Mission Study Guide at no cost – item number 74-0701 or download it http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79706_23656_ENG_HTM.htm. It is formatted to suit 2-sided copies.

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