2014 GEMN Global Mission Conference Highlights – Seattle

The 2014 GEMN Global Mission Conference took place from May 29th to June 1st in beautiful Seattle, Washington. See below for photos, materials and reviews of the conference.

Highlights from Plenary Speakers:

The Rev. Eric Law, author, consultant and workshop leader, shared his insights on abundance in his plenary address, “Holy Currencies”… Read More

The Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald is the Bishop for Indigenous Peoples for the Anglican Church of Canada. He is a former bishop of the Diocese of Alaska, a scholar of indigenous Christianity around the world, and is currently one of the vice-presidents of the World Council of Churches. In his plenary address he invited us into a  new understanding of several major undercurrents in missiology… Read More

Article on the Conference from the Diocese of Alabama:

Highlights and Photos from Site Visits:

“Mission site visits revealed the power of Christ’s love to heal lonely and broken hearts.” Judy Quick, Diocese of Alabama

  • Site Visit to Seafarers and Seattle Tilth Urban Garden: The Mission to Seafarers serves sailors from all corners of the globe. Over the past three years, the Mission has grown dramatically. It provides communications, transportation, and a home-away-from-home for nearly twenty thousand merchant seafarers and cruise ship crews in the Port of Seattle. This mighty ministry is run with a small staff and a hardy group of volunteers. Today this organization enjoys a strong base of support and is now the largest multicultural ministry in the Diocese of Olympia.Also at the Mission to the Seafarer’s, Brian

    Sellers-Petersen gave us a tour and description of the food ministry of the garden founded and operated by Seattle Tilth (www.seattletilth.org). This is part of a project to enlist Houses of Worship and other religious organizations to make their land edible, including putting in 4-5 garden beds, providing technical support and ongoing fellowship with other faithful gardening projects in Puget Sound at the Mission to Seafarers. This also helps us to learn about international development projects.

  • Photos of Mission to Seafarers & Seattle Tilth Urban Garden
  • Site Visit to St. Peter’s Parish & the Panama Hotel: St. Peter’s Episcopal Parish is one of only a few historically Japanese-American parishes on the West Coast. We heard a parishioner’s story of the American imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, and its role as a unique parish in the diocese, currently housing a refugee resettlement ministry.Our time together concluded with conversation over tea/coffee at the historic Panama Hotel, built in 1910 by Sabro Ozasa, a Japanese architect and graduate of the University of Washington and featured in the book: “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet“, by Jamie Ford. Through the years this iconic hotel has served as a home for generations of Japanese immigrants, Alaskan fisherman and international travelers. The building houses the only remaining Japanese Bathhouse (Sento) left intact in the United States.
  • Photos of St. Peter’s Parish & Panama Hotel Site Visit

Conference Materials:

Conference Quotes:

Quotes from Bishop Mark MacDonald’s plenary address:

“The global communion of the Anglican Church has been uniquely placed by accidents of history as an agent of reconciliation – to act as a meeting place and a place of reconciliation. Thus, Anglican Christians have a unique vocation as agents of reconciliation.”

“Pentecostal theologians note that the non-Western world is open to “Spirit”; God is chasing everyone. The Spirit is present in all creation. ”

“Idolatry is putting anything that is less than the Creator in a position that is higher than the Creator. Secularism provides deep cover for idolatry. We are the most idolatrous society in history. ”

“Moses’ experience with the burning bush was not an encounter with the miraculous so much as an opening of his eyes to see the bush as it truly is. The Pentecost brought the capacity to see the true reality of life – life that needs to be unveiled.”

Quotes from Bishop Mark MacDonald’s workshop at our mission conference (as recorded by Bob Harris, attendee):

“When the Gospel comes as norms and standards things don’t work out so well. When you let the Gospel just move there is no stopping it.”

“Unless we have a capacity for being surprised, we are unlikely to even notice when God does something spectacular.”

“The glue of the church is not administrative. It is the dynamic of the Gospel shared person to person…”

Quote from Brad Howard, attendee:

I look forward to attending future conferences and to working with GEMN on my ministry and others.

From Jane Griesbach, board member:

Loved seeing everyone – great conference, great city!

I’ve sent some photos from site visit to St. Peter’s and then the Panama Hotel (where Japanese Americans left their worldly goods in the hurry to be rounded up for internment camps in 1942.) The elderly man, Ben, who is a newly confirmed parishioner of St. Peter’s, talked with us and told his story — he was interned with his family when he was 7 years old – sent to Idaho from Seattle area. He has no bitterness but had some tears in his eyes at times — as did we! Such a privilege to spend time with him. I re-read “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford on the plane ride home — it tells the story of the internment & hotel around historical fiction story. —