The annual Mission Formation Program for global mission activists and advocates will be held in four online sessions from April 27 to May 1 this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Global Episcopal Mission Network (GEMN) has announced.
“Offering this vital program online both responds to the constraints of the Covid-19 situation and enables people from all over the Episcopal Church and the world to participate,” said the Rev. Holly Hartman, who coordinates the program on behalf of GEMN. “We’re looking forward to a stimulating time with people passionate to be more involved in God’s global mission.”
Registration for the program is accessible here. The program dates and times via the Zoom platform are: Monday, April 27, 7-9 p.m.; Tuesday, April 28, 10 a.m.-12 noon; Wednesday, April 29; 12 noon-2pm; and Friday, May 1, 7-9 p.m. These have been arranged at a variety of times in order to accommodate individual preferences and styles – some people learn best in the morning, others in the evening, and so on.
Held by GEMN for over 20 years, the Mission Formation Program gives people involved in parish and diocesan global mission initiatives the opportunity to explore biblical foundations, mission theology and history, cultural and inter-religious sensitivity, discernment, short-term and longterm mission standards, companionship in mission, mission team and project development, leadership styles and group process.
Ordinarily offered in conjunction with the annual Global Mission Conference, which was cancelled this year due to the pandemic, the Mission Formation Program is a two-year process in which participants carry out a project between the first and second years. A number of participants are returning from 2019, and registration is open for new first-year participants.
Led by Coordinator Holly Hartman, global mission coordinator in the Diocese of Massachusetts, the Mission Formation Team that will conduct the 2020 program includes Dr. Martha Alexander, long active in the global outreach of the Diocese of North Carolina; the Rev. Jean Beniste, former missionary from Haiti to Dominican Republic and now rector of Christ Church, Waukegan, Illinois; the Rev. Jeffrey Bower, chair of the global mission commission in the Diocese of Indianapolis and associate rector of St. Paul’s Chuch, Indianopolis; the Rev. Maurice Dyer, associate rector at St. David’s Church, Radner, Penn.; and the Rev. Titus Presler, Th.D., missiologist, president of GEMN and former missionary in Zimbabwe and Pakistan.
Founded in 1994, GEMN is the church’s freestanding network of mission-activist dioceses, mission organizations, congregations, seminaries and individuals dedicated to “proclaim, inspire and ignite the joy of God’s mission.”