2023 Conference – Tampa

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2023 GEMN Global Mission Conference

May 3-5, 2023
noon to noon

In person at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Tampa, Florida
and online via Zoom

"Mission: Journey into Healing"

The annual Global Mission Conference for the Episcopal Church, organized by the Global Episcopal Mission Network, was held Wednesday-Friday, May 3-5, at St. Mark’s Church in Tampa, Florida.

Healing is central in God’s mission. “Your light will break forth like the dawn,” wrote the prophet Isaiah, “and your healing will quickly appear.” Jesus restored people to physical health and healed them spiritually as he interacted with their faith and hope. Christian hope expects God’s mission to culminate in “a new heaven and new earth,” the healing of the cosmos.

Healing is the process of becoming well, being restored to health. Spiritually, we are healed as we enter into a reconciled relationship with God in Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. People are healed both physically and emotionally from illness and injury. Economic empowerment helps heal the hurt of poverty and deprivation. Wounds inflicted by oppression, injustice and conflict are healed as ethnic and political groups forge justice and reconciliation.

The 2023 Global Mission Conference focused on healing as we participate in God’s mission:

– Healing in medical mission and post-Covid mission revival

– Healing from the traumas of conflict and catastrophe

– Healing from the oppression and degradation of poverty

– Healing from legacies of racism and colonialism

– Healing of the missioner who ministers as a “wounded healer”

Gather with the Global Episcopal Mission Network to reflect on mission as a journey into healing – our own healing, the healing of others, God’s healing in the human family.

The Mission Formation Program, which offers mission activists a background in biblical mission, mission theology and history, cultural dynamics and networking skills, was held in tandem with the conference, on May 2-3, with 20 participants.

Plenary speakers at the conference were:

• The Rev. Dr. Alberto Moreno, Latino Missioner for the Diocese of Oklahoma, on “Healing in God’s Mission: A Theological Perspective”

• Ms. Rebecca vander Meulen, Executive Director of the J. C. Flowers Foundation, on “Healing in Medical Mission and Public Health”

• The Rev. Canon Walter Brownridge, Canon for Cultural Transformation in the Diocese of Vermont, on “Healing amid the Legacies of Racism and Colonialism”

This was the first in-person Global Mission Conference since 2019. The 2020 conference was canceled because of the pandemic, and the 2021 on creation care and the 2022 conference on women in mission were held online only. Networking opportunities abounded Tampa, including for healthcare missioners, groups working in Haiti, and the newly appointed Diocesan Global Mission Advocates. 

Location and Accommodation

All conference sessions were held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 13312 Cain Road, Tampa, FL 33625. The parish website is here.

Conference attendees were responsible for making their own room reservations.  Two hotels reasonably near St. Mark’s set aside blocks of 30 rooms each, at a reduced conference rate.

The conference opened with lunch at noon on Wednesday and concluded at noon on Friday.


Plenary Speakers


Healing in God’s Mission: A Theological Perspective

The Rev. Dr. Alberto Moreno, Latino Missioner, Diocese of Oklahoma
The Rev. Dr. Alberto Moreno Casas is the vicar of Espiritu Santo Episcopal Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he is Latino missioner for the Diocese of Oklahoma.  He has developed a theological approach to healing that incorporates biblical, historical, psychological and anthropological dimensions.  His 2022 Doctor of Ministry thesis at Virginia Theological Seminary is entitled “’By his wounds we are healed’ (Isaiah 53:5): Healing Prayer in a Holistic, Eucharistic and Latin American Approach” (available here).  
A native of Mexico, Moreno was ordained a Roman Catholic deacon and priest in 2003 and was received as a priest in the Anglican Church of Mexico in 2009, where he served in the Diocese of Northern Mexico until 2012.  He was vicar of San Miguel Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Northwest Texas until 2018 before planting Espiritu Santo Church in Tulsa.
Moreno has taught theology, ethics and philosophy at Universidad de Monterrey and Centro de Estudios Superiores la Salle, both in Monterrey, Mexico.  He taught professional ethics at Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.  In addition to the D.Min. from VTS, Moreno holds the M.S. from Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosí, the B.A. from the Pontifical University of Mexico, and the B.A. and M.A. in theology from the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome.  


Healing in Medical Mission & Public Health

Ms. Rebecca vander Meulen, Executive Director, J. C. Flowers Foundation 

Rebecca J. vander Meulen serves as Executive Director for the J.C. Flowers Foundation, which works with a wide range of partners to solve critical health and social problems affecting hard to reach, or “last-mile,” communities. Vander Meulen manages the Isdell:Flowers Cross-Border Malaria Initiative, which supports malaria elimination programs in Angola, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Earlier she served as the Isdell:Flowers senior director for Africa. Vander Meulen has extensive experience in community health, and served as the community development director in the Anglican Diocese of Niassa (northern Mozambique) for 15 years, where she oversaw the formation of more than 400 social action groups that included more than 10,000 community volunteers.  

In 2003, vander Meulen earned a Master of Public Health degree in International Public Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, which in 2009 awarded her with the Matthew Lee Girvin Young Alumni Award in recognition of her dedication to the field of public health and her contributions toward improving the lives and health of others. She is a graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids. The Bishop of London conferred on her the St. Mellitus Medal in recognition of her HIV and community development work in the Diocese of London’s partner Diocese of Niassa.


Healing amid the Legacies of Racism & Colonialism: “Between Memory and Hope: Finding Healing Amid the Tragedy of History”

The Rev. Canon Walter Brownridge, Canon to the Ordinary for Cultural Transformation, Diocese of Vermont

Walter Brownridge and his wife Tina served as missionaries of the Episcopal Church in Cape Town, South Africa from 2003 to 2006.  Ministering out of St. George’s Cathedral, he became friends with Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the early years of Black majority rule in South Africa and the struggle to overcome the racism and colonialism of apartheid.  In Vermont, Brownridge is responsible is responsible for inspiring, forming, and gathering the people of the diocese as they seek God’s vision for Beloved Community, particularly in the areas of racial reconciliation, creation care and stewardship.  He organizes Civil Rights Pilgrimages to Atlanta, Montgomery and Selma. He serves on the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on World Mission.  Walter is a co-editor and contributor to the August 2022 tribute volume of the Anglican Theological Review in honor of Archbishop Tutu. He was also a contributor to the award-winning anthology, Preaching Black Lives (Matter), published in 2020.

Brownridge previously served as priest associate at Christ Church, Grosse Pointe, Michigan.  A graduate of General Theological Seminary in 2000 and ordained a priest in the Diocese of Ohio in 2001, he served congregations in Ohio, Delaware and New York City.  For five years he was dean of St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was associate dean at the School of Theology at the University in the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Prior to ordination, Brownridge practiced law for ten years as a federal prosecutor in the area of public policy and served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps.  He and Tina have two adult sons. 

Conference Panelists

Panel: Healing amid Poverty & Deprivation

The Rev. Carola von Wrangel, Manager of Episcopal Partnerships, Food for the Poor
The Rev. Carola von Wrangel serves with Food For The Poor, a relief and development ministry focused on the Caribbean and Latin America.  She spends time in the countries where FFTP is active, learning and listening to the people.  She also speaks in Episcopal churches and organizations about global mission work and the transformation that comes from responding to God’s call to serve the poor.  
Carola lives in Seattle, where she is on staff of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church and participates in the weekly feeding program there.  Before Seattle and FFTP, Carola served churches in New York, Germany and Nashville.


Panel: Healing amid Poverty & Deprivation

Mr. Dale Stanton-Hoyle, Chief Executive Officer, Five Talents
Dale Stanton-Hoyle is the CEO of Five Talents, an international non-profit that helps new entrepreneurs start small businesses in some of the poorest countries in the world. He is excited to be part of Five Talents because “it represents the best in international development models.” While living almost five years in DR Congo, he managed a hospital physical plant, installed solar systems, helped build a hydroelectric dam, and installed water systems. Similarly, Dale has worked in Mexico, Haiti, the Philippines, China, South Africa and Venezuela. Dale has also served on five non-profit boards. 
Dale is an engineer, and before joining Five Talents he managed staff who implemented energy-savings projects. He helped one company grow from eight to 2,700 employees. Dale has developed master plans, taught classes, and delivered papers internationally. He received his master’s degree from the University of Maryland and his B.A. from Duke. He and his wife Lynn have two adult children, Eric and Sara. Lynn and Dale enjoy hiking, swimming, skiing, playing golf, and scuba diving all over the world. 


Panel: Healing amid Poverty & Deprivation

Ms. Terry Franzen, Co-founder, Haiti Companions
Terry Franzen, now a happily retired lawyer, co-founded Haiti Companions, Inc., in 2015. This non-profit evolved from a collaborative effort begun in 2007 with Minneapolis physician Dianne Pizey. Haiti Companions employs Haitian staff to provide medical, dental and eye clinics monthly in three remote villages.  Terry has traveled to Haiti numerous times over the years, and she worked in the pharmacy of a field hospital there following the 2010 earthquake. 
Terry is active at Holy Family Episcopal Church in Jasper, Georgia, where she serves as a eucharistic minister and on the Outreach Committee and Broadcast Team.   She volunteers weekly at Lee Arrendale State Prison, a maximum-security women’s prison in Alto, Georgia, where she co-leads a grief and loss group and the Episcopal worship service.  Terry serves on the board of the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate.   She co-founded and chairs Serve Pickens, a day of service in Pickens County. 
Earlier at Christ Church in Norcross, Georgia, Terry led multi-generational teams to Juarez, Mexico, to build homes for people.  She chaired the Diocese of Atlanta’s Global Mission Commission for several years and served on the Advisory Board of New American Pathways, an Atlanta refugee resettlement organization.  Terry and her husband have three adult married children and one grandchild.

Panel: Healing of Mission Relationships Post-Pandemic

Ms. Christy Wallace, Executive Director, Dominican Development Group
Christy Wallace is the executive director of the Dominican Development Group, a nonprofit that works together with the Dominican Episcopal Church to share God’s love throughout the country. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and a master of public administration from Nova Southeastern University.  Christy is wife to Gerry and mom to Carter.  She loves serving her community at home and abroad. Christy has volunteered in Augusta, Charleston, Nashville, Las Vegas, Galveston, Moldova, Panama and, of course, the Dominican Republic. Contact: cwallace@dominicandevelopmentgroup.org.


Panel: Healing of Mission Relationships Post-Pandemic

Ms. Deb Parker, Executive Director, Stand With Iraqi Christians
Deborah Bressoud Parker (Deb) is the Executive Director of Stand With Iraqi Christians (SWIC). She moved into this position in 2017 following an 18-year career as an education manager at Newsweek and corporate marketing director at BusinessWeek magazine. This international business background, as well as serving as a formation director at Episcopal churches, provides her with a global perspective grounded in Christian faith. She has served on the boards of multiple non-profit organizations where she coordinated efforts with groups of volunteers, particularly in the field of media literacy and fair trade. Deb is the part-time Christian formation director at St. Martin’s Church in Radnor, Penn. She serves on the Standing Committee for the Diocese of Pennsylvania. She travels widely and has had mission-related experiences in Peru, Cambodia and Liberia in addition to SWIC’s work in the Middle East. To learn more about SWIC visit www.SWIC.org. 


Mission Spotlights

Short overviews of particular mission initiatives were screened from time to time during the conference to illustrate the diverse ways in which people are participating in the richness of God’s mission. 

American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem
Food for the Poor 

Five Talents

Stand With Iraqi Christians
Helping Hands for Hospitals 

Tribute to the late Rev. Beth Frank

Conference Attendees gathered to remember the Rev. Beth Frank on the evening of the Thursday of the 2023 conference. GEMN’s Executive Director, The Rev. Canon Dr. Titus Presler, led a time of remembrance, at which Beth’s colleagues, The Rev. David Kendall-Sperry, The Rev. Canon Margaret D’Anieri, The Rev. Dr. Grace Burton-Edwards, and Dr. Grecia Reynoso spoke. Also included was the Mission Testimony remembering Beth from the 2022 Conference, Women in Mission. A festive reception in Beth’s honor followed in the courtyard. 


GEMN’s Pre-Conference Mission Formation Program is recommended for mission activists seeking a background in biblical mission, mission theology, mission history, cultural dynamics and practical organizing skills.  Registration was available for the one-day Formation Program alongside the conference registration.  The program began at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2, and concluded with lunch on Wednesday, May 3. Fee was $85. A discounted fee of $40 was offered to officially designated Diocesan Global Mission Advocates. 

Registrants of the Formation Program affirmed their choice on the Conference Networking Form when registering for the Conference. 

More information about the Mission Formation Program is available here.

Mission Formation Program attendees were asked to watch the following presentation before attending the program:


2023 Global Mission Conference Schedule

Conference details are subject to change. Stay tuned for more information as it develops.


Pre-Conference Mission Formation Program

 Sponsored by the Global Episcopal Mission Network

 3-5 May 2023 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

 13312 Cain Rd, Tampa, Florida 33625

This one-day program is recommended for mission activists seeking a background in biblical mission, mission theology, mission history, cultural dynamics and practical organizing skills.

 Tuesday, May 2

 1:00 Mission Formation Program begins

 5:30 Break

 6:00 Formation Program dinner

 7:30 Evening session

 Wednesday, May 3

 7:00 Breakfast at Hotels

 8:15 Mission Formation Program resumes

 Formation Program continues through lunch & adjourns


Conference Schedule

Tampa Airport is about 15 minutes by car from St. Mark’s Church and the nearby hotels. Please travel by taxi, Uber or Lyft.

Wednesday, May 3

12:00 Lunch at St. Mark’s Church (for attendees who registered for lunch)

1:00 Conference Convenes, Welcomes & Opening Worship

  • The Rev. David Kendall-Sperry, Conference MC
  • Ms. Ayda Patricia Martin, GEMN President
  • The Rt. Rev. Douglas Scharf, Bishop of Diocese of Southwest Florida
  • The Rev. Robert Douglas, Rector of St. Mark’s Church
  • The Rev. Canon Dr. Titus Presler, GEMN Executive Secretary

1:30 Networking Circle – We each introduce ourselves around the circle – in one minute!

 2:30 Plenary: Healing in God’s Mission: A Theological Perspective

  • The Rev. Dr. Alberto Moreno, Latino Missioner, Diocese of Oklahoma

 3:30 Table Groups Discussion

 4:00 Break & Hotels Check-in

 4:45 Plenary: Healing in Medical Mission & Public Health

  • Ms. Rebecca cander Meulen, Executive Director, J. C. Flowers Foundation

 5:45 Q&A with Table Groups

 6:10 Mission Spotlight

 6:15 Reception

 7:00 Dinner

 8:00 Compline


 Thursday, May 4

 7:00 Breakfast at Hotels

 8:30 Morning Worship

 9:00 Plenary Panel: Healing of Mission Relationships Post-Pandemic

  • Ms. Christy Wallace, Executive Director, Dominican Development Group
  • Ms. Deb Parker, Executive Director, Stand With Iraqi Christians
  • Dr. Benjamin George, Executive Director, Helping Hands for Hospitals

 10:00 Table Groups Discussion

 10:30 Break

 10:45 Eucharist with Bishop Douglas Scharf of Southwest Florida

 12:00 Lunch

 1:00 Annual Meeting of Global Episcopal Mission Network

 All conference attendees are invited to attend.

 2:00 Plenary: Healing amid the Legacies of Racism & Colonialism

  • The Rev. Canon Walter Brownridge, Canon to the Ordinary for Cultural Transformation, Diocese of Vermont

 3:00 Table Groups Discussion

 3:30 Break

 5:15 Mission Spotlight

 4:00 Networking Time – an opportunity to network around shared interests

  • Haiti, Sudan, Middle East, Medical Mission, Global Mission Advocates
  • Feel free to suggest an interest group that you’d like to meet with!

 5:20 Reports:

  • Standing Commission on World Mission: Ms. Martha Gardner
  • Office of Global Partnerships: Ms. Jenny Grant
  • Partnership for World Mission: Dr. Titus Presler

 5:50 Evening Worship

 6:20 Reception in Honor of the late Rev. Beth Frank – former SCWM vice chair, mission activist in Diocese of Ohio, GEMN benefactor

  • Tributes

 7:00 Dinner


Friday, May 5

 7:00 Breakfast at Hotels

 8:30 Morning Worship

 9:00 Panel: Healing amid Poverty

  • The Rev. Carola von Wrangel, Episcopal Partnerships Manager, Food for the Poor
  • Mr. Dale Stanton-Hoyle, Chief Executive Officer, Five Talents
  • Ms. Terry Franzen, Co-founder, Haiti Companions

 10:00 Table Groups Discussion

 10:30 Break

 10:45 Summary Remarks & Discussion

 11:30 Closing Worship

GEMN Annual General Meeting, 2023

On Thursday, May 4th, GEMN held its Annual General Meeting. Participants heard presentations from officials and voted on new Board members. The Agenda for the meeting was made available in advance. Click here to find the meeting documents.