Photo Credit: Diocese of Rhode Island
[Episcopal News Service] The Five Marks of Mission – and how to put them to work at home – were the topic of discussion for deputies and bishops at a morning joint session in the House of Deputies on June 30 at The Episcopal Church’s 78th General Convention.
Developed by the Anglican Consultative Council between 1984 and 1990, the Five Marks “are summed up in the image of pursuing God’s kingdom here on Earth as it is in heaven,” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said in her opening remarks.
The Five Marks of Mission are:
- To proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God.
- To teach, baptize and nurture new believers.
- To respond to human need by loving service.
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind, and to pursue peace and reconciliation.
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the Earth.
“All of God’s mission in which we are engaged is done in a particular, incarnate context,” Jefferts Schori said. “We can’t do this in theory. We do it personally through our own interactions, our own relationships, our own stewardship, our own reconciliation, our own ministry in the world. These Five Marks of Mission are a summary of what it means to be a Christian in the world.”
In the hourlong conversation period that followed, brief videos introduced the Five Marks, one by one, and after each video, deputations engaged in conversation, using a set of questions related to each Mark, such as: How are we proclaiming the Good News to different demographic groups? How do our current diocesan structures enhance or impede our proclamation? What is the relationship between outreach and evangelism? How can people see Jesus in our work of caring for the earth?
“My encouragement to you is that you think about how you are going to take what you’ve learned here at convention home and put it to work in your own contexts, in your own particular places that need healing and reconciliation,” Jefferts Schori said.