By the Rev. Dr. Titus Presler, Diocese of Vermont
“Reconciliation: God’s Mission – and Ours” is the theme of this year’s Global Mission Conference to be held at Camp McDowell in the Diocese of Alabama, May 24-26 (Wednesday to Friday). Any individual, congregation or organization in the Diocese of Vermont is welcome to attend the gathering, which is organized by the Global Episcopal Mission Network (GEMN).
Reconciliation was chosen as the theme of this year’s conference out of a conviction that reconciliation is the overall direction of God’s mission in the cosmos and that all our outreach efforts in mission need to be guided by that vision. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “In Christ, God was reconciling the world to God . . . and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18).
Conference keynoters will bring insight and practical guidance for reconciliation in mission. Bishop Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada and former Bishop of Alaska in the Episcopal Church, has been active in reconciliation between First Nations and church and society in Canada. Ms. Heidi Kim, the Presiding Bishop’s Canon for Racial Reconciliation will address racial issues both internationally and domestically. The Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler will address interreligious reconciliation, especially between Christians and Muslims, from his mission experience in Tunisia, Egypt, and Caravan, an arts initiative in interfaith relations. Canon Phil Groves will address inter-Anglican reconciliation from his experience of guiding the Anglian Indaba Project.
Members of parish mission initiatives are especially encouraged to attend the conference, which will feature a host of workshops on practical mission themes such as partner relationships, Asset-Based Community Development, and missionary vocation. To find out more and to register, visit here. A companion opportunity is the Mission Formation Program, which will be held a day earlier on Tuesday, May 23 (enrollment available on the conference registration site). Camp McDowell is located in Nauvoo, Alabama, about an hour northwest of Birmingham, which is the closest airport (van transportation available). The registration deadline is May 12.
Oregon is a member diocese of GEMN, which is dedicated to equipping dioceses, congregations, organizations and individuals to participate in God’s mission on a global basis. GEMN’s Oregon representative is the Rev. Jim Boston, Interim Vicar of St. George, Roseburg.