On April 11, 2010 The South American Missionary Society (USA) announced a new name and vision this week. A thousand Episcopalians and other Anglicans gathered for the New Wineskins for Global Mission Conference and the parallel RE:MIX Young Adult Conference, which inspired individuals and equipped churches to fulfill the Lord’s Great Commission.
Now known as the Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders, the organization still retains the SAMS acronym. This comes after the SAMS board voted in October to adopt a new name that reflects SAMS’ strategic vision focus on the global Anglican Church. The expanded vision offers more opportunities for individuals and parishes to share the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed across cultures globally.
This new direction comes after three years of strategizing how best to fulfill SAMS’ mission. “Bishops and dioceses beyond our historical reach were contacting us to send people,” remarks SAMS board chair Richard Englander. The board prayerfully discerned how the Society was experiencing God’s work in a new way globally and how to respond to these invitations for mission partnership. One key observation was the fact that God had already grown SAMS’ sphere of activity beyond its original calling to South America. “At first we resisted this global calling, but God opened doors that we never expected and provided key ministry partners to allow us to move into these areas.” Now the SAMS ministry’s scope reaches beyond Latin America into Africa, Europe and Asia.
During this process, SAMS also reaffirmed its identity as a community in Christ. SAMS President Stewart Wicker said, “As the board considered our identity as a community, it became increasingly clear that we should become known more by who we are than by what we do. We are a society of missionaries, serving in partnership with the Anglican Church globally. We are also, vitally, a society of senders of these missionaries through giving, praying, and supporting.”
The new identity stands on the foundational mission and values established since 1976 in the USA and back into the 1840s with SAMS founding in Great Britain. The Society will remain committed to sharing the Gospel in word and deed, serving Christ through the global Anglican Church, and sending Episcopalians and Anglicans from the Americas who are submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture.
The Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders serves both individuals and parishes, guiding those who are discerning calls to serve as missionaries and assisting the church to send. SAMS also creates mentored cross-cultural internships, and helps in the equipping and connecting of short-term mission teams with long-term missionaries around the world.
SAMS partners with the global Anglican Church through the sending of missionaries to eighteen countries in five continents. Currently, seventy-eight missionaries and associate missionaries serve or are preparing to serve and close to 5000 individuals and churches support these missionaries as senders.
For more information on SAMS and ministry opportunities visit their website at www.sams-usa.org.