Speakers for Missio will focus on how to be companions with Christians pressured by unrest, war and persecution

Speakers for Missio, the annual Global Mission Conference, will highlight ways to be in missional solidarity with Christians around the world who are pressured by civil unrest, gang violence, war and religious persecution.

International speakers at the March 20-22 online gathering will be in conversation with their Episcopal counterparts about how constraints imposed by turmoil can be overcome as Christians form relationships of missional support and solidarity.  Such examples can offer a way forward for Episcopalians and Anglicans facing what can seem an intimidating world.  Register here.

Speakers will include:

  • On mission companionship amid war in Sudan, the Rt. Rev. Samuel Peni, bishop of Yambio and archbishop of the internal province of Western Equatoria in the Church of South Sudan, who will be in conversation with mission activists in the Diocese of Iowa: retired Bishop Alan Scarfe and Canon Kathleen Milligan.
  • The Rev. Dr. Helen Van Koevering, rector of St. Raphael’s Church in Lexington, Kentucky, on her longterm missionary service in Mozambique during that country’s civil war, in conversation with the Rt. Rev. Manuel Ernesto, bishop of Nampula in Mozambique.
  • On mission companionship amid violence in Haiti, the Rev. Jean Berthol Phanord of Bon Samaritan Episcopal Church in Bondo, in conversation with Ms. Beth Shires of the South Florida Haiti Project at St. Gregory’s Church in Boca Raton.
  • On mission companionship amid religious persecution, the Bishop Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters of the Diocese of Peshawar in Pakistan, in conversation with the Rev. Reagan Cooke and the Rev. Robin Reeves of the Texas-based Bridges to Pakistan.
  • On mission companionship amid conflict in the Holy Lands, the Rev. Jameel Maher Khader, rector of St. Philip’s and Good Shepherd’s Churches in Nablus/Rafidia in the West Bank, in conversation with the Rev. Max Sklar, a Young Adult Service Corps missionary whose ministry in Jerusalem was cut short by the current conflict.
  • On risk and solidarity in mission, Mr. Buck Blanchard, who has prioritized companionship with Christians under pressure in diverse parts of the world, in conversation with the Rev. Chris Bishop of Stand with Iraqi Christians and Mr. Greg Lowden of the Guatemala Youth Iinitiative.

Last fall the GEMN Board renamed the annual conference Missio, the Latin word for mission.  The Wednesday-Friday gathering will be held from noon to 3pm Eastern on each of the three days during the week before Palm Sunday.  Participation by people around the world is welcome.

Missio is offered free, and donations are encouraged to help support the conference.  Donations can be made via Stripe at registration.  (Checks with the memo “Missio Donation” can be sent to GEMN at PO Box 1434, Dublin, Ohio 43017.)

GEMN’s Annual Meeting will meet online an hour before Missio on Thursday, March 21, at 11 a.m.

In deciding that this year’s Missio will be online, the Board recognized the importance of in-person gatherings, especially with the experience of the post-pandemic Missio on “Mission: Journey into Healing” that was held last May at St. Mark’s Church in Tampa, Florida.  Meeting in person encourages friendship and enhances collaboration.  The online format for 2024, however, was chosen in light of other events in the spring and General Convention in the summer.

For Missio after 2024, the Board has designated Wednesday-Friday in the second week of Easter as the gathering time.  In 2025 Missio will be held April 30-May 2 in the Diocese of Honduras at the invitation of Bishop Lloyd Allen.  In 2026 the dates are April 16-18; in 2027, April 6-8.

Posted in Global Mission Conference, Missio, Mission amid Danger, Mission Practice, Mission Stories, Missionaries.