World Mission at General Convention: Legislative committee to hold hearing on Thursday, June 23

As the Episcopal Church prepares for the 2022 General Convention this summer, the convention’s World Mission Committee will hold a public hearing online on Thursday, June 23, on global mission matters coming before General Convention this summer.  The hearing will be held via Zoom, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Legislative Hearings are open to all, but registration by two business days in advance is required to observe or testify.  An email from GEMN to the over 1,000 people on its mailing list went out advising interested recipients to register by the end of business on June 21.  Here’s a link to the schedule of upcoming hearings by all legislative committees.

At Thursday’s hearing, the World Mission Committee will consider six resolutions.  Five of them, the “A” resolutions, have been submitted by the Standing Commission on World Mission in its Blue Book report to General Convention.  The sixth is a “D” resolution submitted by deputy Warren Wong.  Here is the list:

A016 Adopt, Study, and Promote Guiding Principles for World Mission & Initiate Global Mission Advocate Program

A017 Assessment of Past Colonialism in the Church’s World Mission Ministries

A018 Teaching World Mission and Theological Education Beyond the United States

A022 Commend the Work of Episcopal Migration Ministries

A028 Join, Participate, and Fund the Global Episcopal Mission Network

D079 80th Anniversary Programs Honoring Florence Li Tim-Oi

GEMN members and all mission activists are encouraged to participate in World Mission Committee hearings, for they are a major forum for churchwide discussion of issues on global mission.  Whether one is a newcomer to the scene or an old hand in church processes, all are welcome.

The report of the Standing Commission on World Mission (SCWM) is a major source of resolutions related to global mission submitted to convention.  Here is the link to the commission’s report, which narrates the commission’s work over the last four years and offers 15 resolutions (including its five above) for consideration.

The centerpiece of SCWM’s work has been the drafting of its Message to the Church: Becoming a World where Love is the Way: Crossing Boundaries, Listening Deeply, Living like Jesus, Together.  Videos related to the vision are available at the Global Mission Digital Toolkit.  The commission has compiled a four-week study guide for the message and the guiding principles, which is available here as a free download.

The Covid pandemic recently prompted the church’s leadership to reduce the size and duration of the 80th General Convention.  There will be just four legislative days: Friday, July 8, through Monday, July 11.  Only deputies, bishops, some alternate deputies, and essential staff and volunteers will attend.  As a result, only legislation deemed essential will be considered at this convention. No visitors will be allowed, and there will no exhibit hall, no affiliated events, nor any public worship services.

GEMN had rented a booth in the exhibit hall for convention, to be staffed by GEMN members, but that is no longer possible in the new model for convention.  Nor can GEMN send members or staff to advocate for global mission at convention this year.  At the 2018 in-person General Convention in Austin, by contrast, GEMN had a full booth, hosted the Global Mission Reception at a nearby restaurant, and mobilized testimony at the hearings of several legislative committees.  Pictured above are GEMN Secretary Grace Burton-Edwardes and former Executive Director Karen Hotte at the GEMN booth a the 2018 General Convention.

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