Celebrate World Mission Sunday on Feb. 11 – or any other time you choose!

The Episcopal Church’s World Mission Sunday, an annual observance designated by the 1997 General Convention, occurs on the Last Sunday in Epiphanytide – this year on February 11. But it can also be celebrated on any other Sunday of your choosing!

Epiphany celebrates the showing forth of the light of Christ in all the world – over all the diversity of nationalities, cultures, races, languages and ethnicities. This is symbolized in the journey of the Magi to Bethlehem: they were non-Jewish foreigners, probably from Persia, the present-day Iran.

The theme of Christ’s glory being shown forth in the world culminates every year in the Transfiguration of Jesus on the last Sunday of the season. Jesus was transfigured by the glory of God in order that he might be strengthened to undertake the last and most challenging stage of his missional work, which took him to the cross.

In the collect of the day, we pray that we may be changed into Christ’s likeness, “from glory to glory,” an echo of 2 Corinthians 3:18.  God likewise invites us into God’s mission of transforming the world.

How might you observe World Mission Sunday in your congregation? –

• Explore blogs from current Episcopal missionaries.

• Invite an Episcopal Volunteer in Mission or a Young Adult Service Corps missioner to talk with the congregation about their work on Zoom or another platform during the Sunday Forum or in an informal coffee hour conversation. The Office of Global Partnerships can help connect you.

• Highlight the congregations’s existing global engagement by inviting parishioners to talk about the initiatives they’re involved in – in a forum, during the announcements or during coffee hour.  As an example, the banner image above is from Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, where the Mission Committee coordinates initiatives in South Sudan, Uganda and Honduras.

• Invite parishioners from other countries to talk about the life of the church in their homeland – how people worship, how they express community, how they participate in God’s mission.

• Consider using missional prayers and other liturgical resources for World Mission Sunday. During the Prayers of the People, pray for missionaries, specific mission initiatives, and guidance in becoming more globally engaged.

• Show one of the many short videos about mission work from Missio, the Global Mission Conferences sponsored by GEMN.  The 2022 conference alone, on Women in Mission, featured work in Iraq, Haiti, Guatemala, India, Madagascar, Pakistan, Cuba and Costa Rica. Explore video resources from the 2023 Missio on ‘Mission: Journey into Healing.’ You can use World Mission Sunday to convene a small-group study of global mission:

• Gather a group for the 4-week course, Becoming a World where Love is the Way: Guiding Principles for World Mission, developed by the Standing Commission on World Mission (SCWM).

• Gather a group for the 7-week course, Questing: The Way of Love in Global Mission, developed by the Global Episcopal Mission Network (GEMN).

• Explore the resources of the Global Mission Digital Toolkit, developed by the Office of Global Partnerships, SCWM and GEMN.

• Use the 30-day Global Mission Cycle of Prayer, which lifts up the wide range of global mission initiatives around the Episcopal Church.

Upcoming Opportunities:

• Attend the Mission Thursday webinar on the companionship that the New Jersey Community of St. John the Baptist has with the Benedictine Sisters of Bethany to support orphans in Cameroon – Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. Eastern, sponsored by GEMN. Free registration at Eventbrite is here.

• Participate in the 2024 online Missio conference on ‘Joining God’s Mission in Tension Times,’ where presenters will illuminate how to be companions with people under pressure from violence, war and persecution.  Sponsored by GEMN, it will be held March 20-22, 12-3pm Eastern each day.  Free, with donations invited.  Register now here.

• Save the Dates: Mission Formation Program – Tuesday-Thursday, Sept. 17-19, online, 12-3pm daily.  Learn about biblical foundations, mission history and theology, mission companionship, cultural dynamics, leadership dynamics and team logistics.  Stay tuned for registration details.

Global Partnerships Networking Call will be held at 2 p.m. Eastern, on Wednesday, Feb. 14. Theme: ‘Looking ahead to World Mission in 2024.’

• The deadline for Young Adult Service Corps applications has been extended to March 1. This is a unique opportunity for people ages 21-35 to serve Christ and God’s people abroad for a year. Assignments vary widely and are always interesting. Apply here.  Let young people in your congregation and circles of friendship know about this unique opportunity, which has been life-changing for Episcopal young adults for almost 25 years.

Posted in GEMN Conference, Global Mission Conference, Global Mission News, Global Mission Resources, Mission Formation Program, Mission Practice, Mission Thursday, Office of Global Partnerships, World Mission Sunday.