Global Mission News 6/14/22: Conference responses / Helen Van Koevering joins GEMN Board / Partnership Officers speak

Global Mission Conference had encouraging evaluations

A record 159 people registered for the 2022 churchwide Global Mission Conference organized by GEMN and themed “Women in Mission,” including from 18 countries outside the USA. Among those who responded to the post-conference survey, 73% said the conference was “great” and 26% said it was “good.”  Components deemed most helpful were the Plenaries at 92%, Mission Spotlights at 80% and Testimonies at 61%. 66% of respondents said the Breakout Rooms were the least helpful. 80% thought 3 days was the right length, and 76% said 3 hours/day was just right.

Lots of themes were suggested for the 2023 Global Mission Conference, and here are some of them: Education in Mission, Culture in Mission, Mission in Disasters, Race and Mission, Mission & Covid-19, Mission Networking, Mission & the Sustainable Development Goals, Mission amid Violence, Mission in an Interfaith World, Translation in Mission, Medical Mission.

Formats for 2023? 74% said they would attend if the conference is online, 70% would attend if in person in the USA, and 51% would attend a conference abroad. Lots of venues were suggested, both in the USA and abroad. The GEMN Board reviewed the conference and the evaluations at its June 7 meeting and will take all suggestions into consideration in planning the 2023 conference.

Mozambique missionary Helen Van Koevering joins GEMN Board

The Rev. Canon Helen Van Koevering was appointed to the GEMN Board on June 7. Helen brings long experience as a missionary in Mozambique and wide engagement around the Anglican Communion. Helen joins Jenny Grant, Paul Rajan and Alan Scarfe, who were elected at the GEMN Annual Meeting on May 13. Read more about Helen here.

Partnership Officers speak at Mission Networking Call

On June 1, Global Partnerships Networking Officer Jenny Grant coordinated the second Global Mission Networking call of the season, this one focused on the four regional partnership officers. Middle East officer Paul Feheley reviewed the three dioceses of Cyprus & the Gulf, Iran, and Jerusalem. Glenda McQueen reviewed the five entities she connects with: Central America, Brazil, South America, Chile and Province IX of the Episcopal Church. Daniel Karanja surveyed the 14 provinces in Africa, 10 of which the Episcopal Church relates to with ease. With the little time remaining Bruce Woodcock offered a quick overview of connections in Asia and the Pacific.

A few takeaways from the meeting:

– Although non-Muslim religions are constrained in the UAE, 40,000 Christians celebrated Easter at the Anglican Centre in Doha, Qatar, with multiple Protestant groups using the facilities in addition to the Anglicans.

– Said Paul Feheley: Be very careful when people visit the Middle East for a week or two and now think they understand the issues. The havoc that Short-Term Mission teams wreak over the course of a week can take months and years to recover from.

– Christians worshiping at the four Anglican churches in Iran are beleaguered but not driven underground.

– Emphases in Latin America & the Caribbean: Networking with ERD and the Anglican Alliance; education and advocacy for migration, creation care, climate change, and the human rights of women; post-pandemic sustainability.

– 140 militia groups operate in the Democratic Republic of Congo amid a heartbreaking refugee crisis.

– A seminary is being established in Juba, Sudan.

– African provinces reluctant to relate to the Episcopal Church are: Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, and Indian Ocean.  This is a legacy of continuing disagreements, mainly about human sexuality.

– On her recent visit to the USA, Alice Garrick, the women’s desk officer in the Diocese of Raiwind, Pakistan, did much to share news of that united church, including at the churchwide GlobalMission Conference.

Here is the link to the recording from June 1, and the password is: 3HYYs=Wi. Jenny wrote about the next meeting: “Unfortunately, we did not have time for discussion, so we have decided to dedicate the next call to time for discussion and question and answer with the Partnership Officers. This will be a chance for you to ask about your current relationships and developing new ones, as well as an opportunity to learn more about the worldwide Anglican Communion. Because of the July 4th Holiday week, our next call will be held on Wednesday, July 13, 2-3pm Eastern.” 

Gina Zurlo is honored by B.U. School of Theology 

2022 Global Mission Conference presenter Dr. Gina Zurlo was honored as a Distinguished Alumna of Boston University School of Theology and received the school’s 2021 Emerging Leader award, according to the spring issue of “Focus,” the school’s publication. A parishioner of Christ Church of Hamilton & Wenham in the Diocese of Massachusetts, Gina is co-director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and co-author of the 3rd edition of the Encyclopedia of  World Christianity, about which she spoke at the mission conference. The BBC named Gina one of its “100 Women of 2019” for her work in quantifying religion and the role of women in religion around the world.  

DFMS Missionary Lorine Williams goes to glory

Former DFMS missionary Lorine Williams died May 31 in Boulder, Colorado, while at home in hospice care, at age 82. Lorine and her late husband James served as Episcopal missionaries from 1999 to 2013 in the Diocese of Matlosane in South Africa, and Lorine was ordained deacon there.  She and James played key roles in the full racial integration of the previously segregated St. Peter’s Church in Klerksdorp, about which a film was made in the “Windows on Mission” series about Episcopal missionaries. When James became a member of the GEMN Board, Lorine often joined him at meetings and at the annual Global Mission Conference. A service for Lorine will be held at their home parish of St. John’s in Boulder on June 22. Here is the link to Lorine’s obituary.

PWM will not hold its Annual Conference in 2022

Carolyn Gilmore of the Partnership for World Mission in the Church of England has been in touch with the news that PWM will not hold a conference in 2022. GEMN has been represented at the fall PWM conference in the past, and the growing relationship between GEMN and PWM has been helpful. We will let you know what plans PWM has for the future.

ASM to focus on Conversion of the Missionary 

“The Ongoing Conversion of the Missionary” is the theme of the annual conference of the American Society of Missiology to be held this weekend, June 17-19, at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.


Posted in GEMN Organization, Global Mission Conference, Office of Global Partnerships.