GLOBAL MISSION FORMATION PROGRAM
The 2021 Formation Program was held online May 24-27
- Four two-hour sessions (for a total of eight hours):
- Monday, May 24, 7-9 pm
- Tuesday, May 25, 10 am-12 pm
- Wednesday, May 26, 12-2 pm
- Thursday, May 27, 7-9 pm
- Online Program Fee: $35 Non-members / $25 GEMN Members
- Course materials and login information will be provided electronically after registration
Due to limited enrollment of first-time participants, the Formation Program held in May 2021 focused exclusively on the “Year 2” content, for participants who began the Formation Program in 2020 and were returning for their second session. Because of this, GEMN plans to offer another Year 1 Formation Program session in the Fall of 2021. The schedule will be similar to the May schedule described above: 4 two-hour sessions offered in a combination of daytime and evening hours. If you are interested in beginning the Formation Program as a Year 1 participant, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. When the new 2021 Formation Program dates are determined, we will post them here and on the GEMN Facebook page.
The centerpiece of the GEMN Global Mission Formation Program is a sequence of two eight-hour sessions over a two-year period. While this typically occurred as a full day of training in conjunction with the annual Global Mission Conference, in 2020 the Mission Formation Program was held online, and that practice will continue in 2021. Alternatively, the program can be offered locally or regionally by leaders from the GEMN Formation Team.
Participants explore mission theology and history, mission discernment and standards, partnership and companionship in mission, congregational and diocesan support groups, mission team and project development, leadership styles and group process.
In addition to program attendance, participants complete reading, carry out a project between Year 1 and Year 2 and prepare mission reports. Upon completing the program, participants receive certification as Global Mission Agents.
The Global Mission Formation Program was traditionally held annually on the day just prior to the start of our Global Mission Conference. In 2020 we held the Mission Formation Program online instead, spreading it out over four days, with a two-hour session each day. We are continuing that practice in 2021 and will continue to discern what the best format for this course is in the future.
Desired Learning Outcomes:
The GEMN Global Mission Formation Program is designed so that participants will:
- Be familiar with Biblical Foundations for Mission.
- Know the broad outlines of Anglican and Episcopal Mission History.
- Situate themselves among various options in Mission Theology.
- Develop Cross-Cultural Sensitivity.
- Understand Mission Companionship and how to develop it.
- Understand how to form Mission Committees in parishes and dioceses.
- Know the Episcopal Church’s Standards for Sending and Receiving Missionaries.
- Understand how to lead Short-Term Mission Teams, including youth teams.
- Identify their own Leadership Styles and how they interact with others.
- Cultivate Methods of Group Process.
The Mission Formation Program seeks to catalyze the desired learning outcomes through a number of components. Participants will:
- Attend a total of 16 hours of training, 8 hours in Year 1 and 8 hours in Year 2.
- Conduct fieldwork over the course of the year between Formation Program sessions.
- Complete required readings and some optional readings from the Formation Program Bibliography and submit an evaluation of each book.
- Attend a diocesan or regional mission event.
- Participate in an international or domestic mission team, or undertake an alternative approved by the Formation Team.
Ideally, each participant attends two successive Formation Program sessions, but if circumstances make it difficult to attend in two successive years, one can extend the program over a longer period of time.
The sessions are designed to balance cognitive learning with growing spiritually. As the learning outcomes suggest, there is material to learn, but the sessions feature an inductive and discussion-based approach. The Formation Program provides a small, comfortable group in which to grow in God’s mission. Graduates have commented that they cherish the friendships that are formed and the inspiration that comes from sharing with one another.
Formation Fieldwork is a project related to global mission awareness or activity, and its focus can be local, diocesan, organizational, or international. The project is proposed by the participant and approved by the Formation Program Team at the participant’s first daylong session or shortly thereafter. Each participant is assigned a mentor. The participant submits an update in January and a final report at the second daylong session. Examples of appropriate fieldwork include:
- A diocesan global mission inventory.
- A study of a particular parish, diocesan or organizational global mission initiative.
- A study of Companions in Transformation.
- Formation of a diocesan or parish mission committee, and reflection on it.
- Participation in a global mission team, and reflection on the experience.
- An interview-based study of a global missionary.
From Our Graduates:
“I joined the Mission Formation Program at the 2013 GEMN Conference in Bogota to make connections with people already involved in mission. What I got was a family of like-minded individuals who taught me the important ‘ins and outs’ of mission work. The Mission Formation class gave me ideas that hadn’t occurred to me in the preparation phase of our mission.” Jeff Cornforth, Missionary to Bolivia, Diocese of Iowa
“The Mission Formation Program broadened and enhanced my knowledge of mission theory and experiences of others, and it continues to influence my own thought process as I try to serve the least of these. I strongly recommend that you participate in the program.” Terry Franzen, Diocese of Atlanta
“Global Episcopal Mission Network provides educational opportunities and support for the apostolic missionary work God is calling us to do. If you are ready to say HERE I AM, SEND ME and are looking for an educational opportunity to affirm your skills and empower your ministry, the GEMN Global Mission Formation Program is the opportunity you have been seeking.” The Rev. Canon Lura M. Kaval, Missionary to Honduras
“My GEMN Mission Formation Program fieldwork resulted in re-establishing the United Thank Offering at my parish in Atlanta. The offering had been off the radar there for some years, so it required both education and publicity to get folks excited about daily prayerful thanksgiving and the tangible results that comes from dropping coins into the blue box. Those coins lead to more financial grants for global mission needs.” Mary Brennan, Office of Communication, The Episcopal Church