2016 GEMN Global Mission Conference Highlights – Puerto Rico

The 2016 GEMN Global Mission Conference took place from May 18th to 20th in Ponce, Puerto Rico. See below for photos, materials and reviews of the conference.

Highlights from Plenary Speakers:

Keynote Address and Plenary by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

“Evangelism is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find [some] bread,” he said, offering a quote from by the Ceylonese Methodist pastor, D.T. Niles. “And so I’m just one beggar talking to other beggars about and our work of helping other beggars find some real bread.”

Presiding Bishop Curry gave an outstanding keynote on Wednesday. This video of his address was made available, courtesy of Lynette Wilson of the Episcopal News Service. See the link below for the full article covering his presentation and the later question and answer session.

Presiding Bishop Curry’s Address in Ponce, Puerto Rico

Keynote Address and Plenary by Wendy Johnson and Allison Duvall of Episcopal Migration Ministries

Allison Duvall and Wendy Johnson of Episcopal Migration Ministries walked us through an excellent and thorough explanation of the issues, challenges and hope of refugee ministries.

They also urged us to get involved, by joining the Episcopal Public Policy Network as advocates for refugee resettlement in the United States. See the links below for their slide presentation and other resources.

Plenary Panel Discussion on Mission Amid Migration

ens_052316_panelWhat does it mean to do God’s mission with a world in continuous motion? On Friday, a multinational panel by Bp. Francisco Duque of Colombia, Fr. Angel Rivera of Puerto Rico, Bp. Julio Holguin of the Dominican Republic, Mr. Noah Bullock of El Salvador, Dr. Gerard Granado of the Caribbean Council of Churches from Turks & Caicos, and Dr. Jose Bringas of Cuba, offered us a view of the challenges posed by migration in each of their local contexts. The Rt. Rev. Wilfrido Ramos of Puerto Rico moderated. Click on the link below for the full text of the Episcopal News Service article on the panel and other conference topics.

Conference Materials:

Workshop Materials:


  • The Jesus Movement in a Time of Migration – Michael Hunn

Interested in the question of what the “Jesus Movement”, as articulated by our new Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, will look like in this age of rapid change and uncertainty? How will we live into the vision that is millennia-old in turbulent modern times? We participated in this thought-provoking conversation with the Rev. Canon Michael Hunn, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Within the Episcopal Church, exploring how the church can keep up with Jesus on the move, amid crisis, migration, and change.

  • Refugees of Central America: New Models for Response – Noah Bullock
  • Displaced Persons/Displaced Assets – Sean McConnell
  • The Role of the Church in a Refugee’s Life and Reconciliation in the Rwandan Crisis – Jean-Baptiste and Christine Ntagengwa

  • Seafarers…Hidden Migrants, Hidden Souls – Ken Hawkins

  • Mission Discernment – Elizabeth Boe/David Copley
  • Meet the Missionaries – YASC/Long-term Missioners
  • gemn2016workshopmissionaries

  • Missionary Work for Integral Development: The Experience of the Cuban Episcopal Church – Jose Bringas Linares
  • JA726494e

  • Public-Private Partnerships and Faith-Based Organizations – David Searby
  • Message from BeachCorps President David Searby: “Thanks to all at the GEMN who attended my May 19, 2016 presentations on the potential benefits of social impact travel for the mission and growth of the Episcopal Church. I hope I was able to explain how a new model of social impact travel can address the many problems of ‘voluntourism,’ which unfortunately for too many is synonymous with poor development practices. I appreciate the positive feedback I got from many and also the constructive criticism of voluntourism skeptics. Please send further comments and questions to david@beachcorps.com and stay tuned for further developments. I hope to have some news of our first social impact trips later this year to build on and complement the excellent work of the Dominican Development Group.”

  • Reconciliation: Testing Our Mission by God’s Vision – Titus Presler
  • Not Alone, but in Companionship: Anglican Mission Resources – Titus Presler
    • Mission Trip Fundraising – Bill Kunkle
    • gemn2016workshopbill

    • Preparing Your Team for a Mission Trip – Tim Skimina
    • gemn2016workshoptimslide

    Conference Quotes:

    “Evangelism is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find [some] bread,” he said, offering a quote from by the Ceylonese Methodist pastor, D.T. Niles. “And so I’m just one beggar talking to other beggars about and our work of helping other beggars find some real bread.”

    “The Jesus Movement [Church] is the Jesus Movement [Church] only when it exists for others, not dominating but helping and serving.” Bishop Antonio Ramos Orench quoting Dietrich Bonhoeffer with a Michael Curry twist.

    “I do thank God for you, both for GEMN and those that serve as missioners and missionaries on behalf of the Episcopal Church in the context of our global community. The truth is that what you do and what we do matters, and how we do it matters. It matters significantly, temporally and eternally. It matters.” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

    “This Jesus is a game changer who can show us the way away from the nightmare and into something close to God’s dream for all of us.”

    “The church is a missionary community witnessing to the faith.”

    Presiding Bishop Michael Curry: “The family of God is the humanity of God…It is more important than ever for us to be in relationships and partnerships with brothers and sisters around the globe and that we serve and follow Jesus together with them. That may mean that it’s not only our missionaries who are serving in other parts of the world, but their missionaries in the US…These are reciprocal relationships. We are the body of Christ together.”

    Quotes from attendees:

    “Listening to stories from some of our missionaries serving in Latin America and the Caribbean. I’m thankful for their commitment, presence, and the relationships they have built and continue to build.”

    “love this bishop, love this church ‪#‎episcopal‬ blessed to have been with him today and many other mission minded episcopalians in puerto rico for ‪#‎gemn2016”

    “Being inspired by some of our missionaries serving around the globe. This crew is truly on the frontline of the ‪#‎JesusMovement‬.”

    “What a great group of people. Blessed to be here!”

    We’re in Ponce, Puerto Rico, gathered with Episcopalians passionate for global mission, and Michael Curry is stirring us up for “El Movimiento de Jesus.” Alleluia!