Mission - Commissions - MISSIO

Anglicans in Mission: A Transforming Journey

MISSIO, the Anglican Communion’s Standing Commission on Mission, was established by ACC-9 in Cape Town in 1993 as the successor to MISAG II, with its members appointed for its first five years term.  MISSIO has met four times between 1993 and 1999. This report, is respectfully submitted to ACC-11, meeting in Edinburgh in September 1999. 
Anglicans in Mission: A Transforming Journey

During the 1990s Anglican Churches throughout the world have responded to the 1988 Lambeth Conference call for a ‘dynamic missionary emphasis going beyond care and nurture to proclamation and service’.  Mission is increasingly on the agenda. This report from MISSIO, the Anglican Communion’s Mission Commission, reflects on this journey towards transformation.

The Commission report combines exhilarating stories of mission and evangelism with profound theological insight; advice and strategies for successful mission with reflection on the changing patterns and structures for international mission; a review of the Decade of Evangelism with guidelines to strengthen partnerships. It concludes with a comprehensive list of prayers and resources for mission to continue to challenge the Church today.

Prepared by an international team from 19 nations, the report was commended for study and reflection by the Anglican Consultative Council at its eleventh meeting, in Scotland in 1999.

The members of the Commission grew together through their meetings and encounters with Christians in the nations where they met. They recognise that the Churches of the Communion are on a journey together that will transform them as they seek to follow God in his life-giving mission of love to the world.

The specific recommendations, on which ACC-11 is requested to act, are as follows:

Recommendations

  • A New Way of Meeting.  MISSIO chose, as a matter of policy, to hold each of its meetings in a different part of the Communion, and took time to experience the life and witness of the local church in its own context. This was a good decision, enabling the Commission to increase its understanding of the mission challenges and tasks around the Communion.  The context in which one does mission contributes in no small measure to the theology of mission and the agenda for mission.  MISSIO therefore recommends this way of working to those who will serve on the Commission in the future, and draws to the attention of ACC-11 and other committees, commissions and networks of the Communion, this model of working.
  • An Anglican Congress.  MISSIO warmly welcomed the 1995 proposal of the Joint Standing Committee of ACC and the Primates to hold an Anglican Congress.  At its final meeting in Harare in April 1999, MISSIO continued to envisage such a Congress, now contemplated for the year 2003.  MISSIO’s specific suggestions re a Fourth Anglican Congress are contained in a memorandum to the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council (see Appendix A).
  • A Meeting of Mission Agencies.  MISSIO is proposing a meeting of Synodical, Provincial and Voluntary Mission Agencies in the year 2001.  This meeting will reflect on the roles and responsibilities of the mission agencies, as well as promote networking and mutual understanding among the older agencies and newer expressions of mission structures. MISSIO hopes the planners of the Anglican Congress will see the outcome of the mission agencies conference as informing and enriching the Fourth Anglican Congress.
  • A Review of Leadership Training.  MISSIO, recognising that its surveys of the progress of the Decade of Evangelism within dioceses and provinces have highlighted the importance and problems of leadership training and clergy formation, therefore requests ACC-11 to initiate a review within the Communion of leadership training and clergy formation to identify trends, needs and problems, and how they might be addressed.
  • The Decade of Evangelism.  At the time of MISSIO’s final meeting, the Decade of Evangelism was still in progress.  Many voices from around the Communion say that the Decade has added great momentum to the on going witness of Anglicans world-wide which will continue beyond the official end of the Decade.  In most provinces much effort has been expended on empowering the laity, There was a new drive to include evangelism and mission into the curricula of many seminaries and theological colleges and an increase in persons participating in mission and evangelism training.  Many provinces have expressed the need for deeper and wider training in mission and evangelism for both the laity and clergy.  MISSIO  recommend therefore:
  • that the provinces and dioceses of the Communion evaluate the lessons learnt during the Decade in their situation in order to continue and build on the momentum the Decade has achieved and to keep evangelism as a high profile in the church’s mission.
  • that in particular the provinces, dioceses and parishes develop and expand appropriate training to equip individuals and congregations for effective work in mission and evangelism
  • Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Mission and Senior-Level Mission & Evangelism Staff Officer.  In response to the Lambeth Conference Resolution 2:2e on “Mission and the Structures of the Anglican Communion”, and having heard of the proposed recommendations of the ACC Joint Standing Committees’ Priorities Working Group, MISSIO:
  • Endorses the proposal of the Priorities Working Group to continue a Standing Commission on Mission;
  • Recommends that it be called the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Mission;
  • Recommends that the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Mission have functions and membership as detailed on pp.83-85;
  • Recommends that a senior-level Mission & Evangelism Staff Officer be appointed to the Anglican Communion Office to be responsible for the functions listed on p.85.
  • A positive review of the proposal by the Provinces and major mission agencies, to be facilitated by the Anglican Communion Office (ACO).