Anglican Communion Network

Single Post

Printer Friendly

Anglican Global Mission Partners Committed to the Great Commission

Source: AAC News
Encompass, June 2004

By Claire Whitehill

The precipitous actions of the Anglican community in North America reached a pinnacle in 2003, abandoning historical and biblical faith, practice and belief and giving rise to concern for the effectiveness and authenticity of witness domestically as well as internationally. Faced with “the threat of institutional apostasy” (AGMP Missiological Statement), mission organizations previously under the auspices of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) acknowledged the dire need for renewal on North American soil. Together they recognized that the true message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be propagated here and around the world only through the redemptive grace of God and a recommitment to the Great Commission as affirmed by the Gospel.

Today, twenty leading mission organizations have teamed together to form Anglican Global Mission Partners (AGMP). According to AGMP’s Vision Statement, the network, which includes Anglican Frontier Missions, Ekklesia, Sharing of Ministries Abroad (SOMA), and South American Missionary Society (SAMS), among numerous other influential groups, is “passionately committed to make disciples of all nations in the name of Jesus Christ.”

“[We saw] a need to formalize a Covenant and work together in unity. We look forward to offering information and support to Episcopalians and missionaries who are concerned about our presence in the mission field,” said Diane Stanton, Executive Director of Uganda Christian University Partners. “Our formation is a response to events which occurred at General Convention” she went on to say, “however, not in retaliation but in concern for the people we serve to move forward as an orthodox body seeking to fulfill God’s call to mission.”

While the Mission Statement of AGMP explicitly affirms the will to “network missionary movements,” the body acknowledges the unique identities of its entities and encourages individual groups to heed their unique callings as they facilitate the vision of AGMP. “We are not competing agencies, but we’re seeking to support [each other],” Mrs. Stanton said.

The Rev. Whis Hays, Director of Rock the World Youth Mission Alliance, added, “We are a network, not a new bureaucracy. We are not surrendering autonomy. We will use it to collaborate and identify gaps in the system as they currently exist.”

AGMP has also agreed to serve the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) as its mission arm. As ACN was formed, they decided to include AGMP representatives as part of its official governance, said Rev. Hays. “I’ve been very impressed with the openness of the [ACN] Steering Committee to the global agenda,” he added. ACN wants to have a renewed vision of the Great Commission, and they want it to be an influential part of its DNA, said Sharon Stockdale, Director of the Episcopal Church Missionary Community. Partners are asked to publicly affirm the Theological Charter of ACN, and/or the AAC’s Statement of Faith, “A Place to Stand, A Call to Mission,” as well as agree to the AGMP Covenant. By adhering to Gospel principles and aligning itself with ACN, AGMP is establishing communion and reputable standing with global Primates, as well as offering security for missionaries and emergency assistance to Provinces, as the “authorized mission agencies in the United States,” noted Mrs. Stanton.

AGMP organizations covenanted to pursue the Great Commission through “collaborating, exhorting, equipping, sending and receiving in ways that increase the impact of one another’s ministries and the entire Body of Christ.” By establishing “Ten Key Initiatives,” AGMP members have agreed to facilitate communication structures; assist cooperation between various church and mission entities who share similar goals; collaborate on training, mobilization, and resources for missionaries; and to provide monetary funds for Partners and other members of the Global South.

As part of its Key Initiatives, AGMP is also in the process of formulating standards for training, better care for missionaries, and improvements in the process of sending and recruiting individuals. These standards will be widely publicized not only for the members of AGMP to be encouraged toward excellence through mutual accountability, but also so that churches will have these valuable resources to further their mission.

As AGMP continues to gain recognition, it is receiving an immediate call to aid orphaned missionaries in the Global South. As the situation of orphaned missionaries deteriorates, organizations such as Ekklesia, an AGMP Partner dedicated to linking congregations across the Anglican Communion to provide support for each other, are looking for ways to identify need. AGMP is seeking to coordinate the effort to help orphaned missionaries move through this challenging transition by helping them to connect with new sending agencies.

“We understand their [missionaries’] dilemma and the need to connect with an authorized agency,” said Mrs. Stanton. There is a pressing need for churches and individuals to partner long-term with missionaries, both financially and spiritually, in order to continue Gospel ministry in the global church.

“So much is going on that is exciting,” said Mrs. Stanton. “There is a strong Spirit moving. God is revealing needs.” Ms. Stockdale added, “It is easy to get wrapped up in fighting the battle and we forget to see why we’re here: to spread the Message to the end of the earth.”

Posted at 12:00 am 6.23.2004 | Permalink