Posted by: Titus Presler | February 15, 2012

Resources for 2012 World Mission Sunday

The Episcopal Church’s World Mission Sunday, an annual observance since 1998, is designated for the Last Sunday after the Epiphany, this year on February 19.  This year’s theme is “Mission is Transformational.”  Congregations casting about for a quick way to access resources in world mission might find this list helpful:

Blogs of Current Missionaries – These are especially illuminating and can very quickly get you close to the ground of missionaries’ actual experiences.  You’ll find lots of testimony to how the church’s missionaries have found their mission experiences transformational.  Blogs from the Young Adult Service Corps are here.

Mission Address by Monica Vega – Monica is an Episcopal Church missionary in South Africa whose understanding of mission is especially vivid and compelling.  This address is from the churchwide October 2011 Everyone Everywhere mission conference held in Estes Park, Colorado.

• The website of your own diocese, which in most cases has important material on what your diocese is doing in global mission in the Anglican Communion and beyond.  Think about inviting an international missioner from your diocese to come and speak next time he/she is home on leave.

• Bulletin Inserts produced by the Episcopal Church Center for World Mission Sunday – They come in two formats and provide an overview with pictures of four Episcopal missionaries.

• “20 Quick Ways to Encourage Global Mission” – A good list available on the World Mission Sunday website.

Windows on Mission – An excellent video series on Episcopal missionaries produced in 2006 by Canon Jane Butterfield for the Mission Personnel Office, with the filming and editing by filmmaker Philip Carr.  The 12 18-20-minute vignettes of Episcopal missionaries on several continents are arresting discussion-starters for parish groups, and you could choose one of them for World Mission Sunday.  Unfortunately, the series is difficult to obtain since the demise of the Episcopal Book and Resource Center, but your diocesan office may have a copy you can borrow.  However, note that the introductory video with comments by Desmond Tutu is available on YouTube here, and that the video of the work of Randall Giles in south India is available on YouTube here.  The series is available in some libraries, especially theological ones; here is the Library of Congress catalogue number: BV2575.W56.2006.

Here are several resources in which I have had a hand:

Going Global with God: Reconciling Mission in a World of Difference by Titus Presler – Published by Morehouse, it highlights the democratization of mission in the Episcopal Church and other mainline denominations and explores how encountering difference is central in world mission.  Includes a study guide.  (Available from Amazon.)

Companions in Transformation: The Episcopal Church’s World Mission in a New Century – The world mission vision statement for the church, published in 2003 by the Standing Commission on World Mission.  Includes a study guide.

Horizons of Mission by Titus Presler, vol. 11 in The New Church’s Teaching Series (Cowley, 2001) – The closest to a world mission handbook for Episcopalians, designed specifically for congregational study groups as well as for general readers.  Includes a study guide.  (Available from Amazon.)

If you’re short on time, remember that World Mission Sunday is a movable feast: You can observe it in Lent or Ascensiontide as well.  The important thing is to lift it up in the life of your congregation.  A number of the resources are also very workable in multi-week programs, which you might wish to consider.

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