Report Number: 009
In 1984 the Anglican Consultative Council accepted the following five-fold definition of mission, which was reaffirmed in 1990, 1993 and again in 1996:
Sharing this broad sense of mission and vocation for the Anglican Communion as a whole, the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada in 1995 adopted a Strategic Plan which included as one of its priorities, to “strengthen our mission and development partnerships outside Canada.” The Partners in Mission Committee has worked within this priority, under the following mandate:
To promote and develop mission, with enthusiasm and prayer, in a manner which engages the church in circles of partnership, locally, nationally, globally and ecumenically.
The Committee has 15 members, including 1 ecumenical member and 1 international member. In this triennium, the ecumenical member has been Mr. Bob Morris of The Intercultural Ministries Centre (TIM) of Tyndale University College & Seminary in Toronto. The international member has been The Rt Revd French Chang-Him bishop of the Diocese of Seychelles. The committee has met twice each year, in September/October and in February. In October of 2003, the Committee travelled to Jamaica for its meeting, and also for an exposure to the work of the Diocese of Jamaica. The Committee did some of its work as a full plenary committee, and at other times divided into three regional sub-committees (Africa, Asia/South Pacific/Middle East, Latin America/Caribbean) or two functional sub-committees (Mission Education, Overseas Personnel). The report of each of these sub-committees follows.
As part of its mandate, the committee is responsible for overseeing our church’s relationships with the Canadian Council of Churches, the Anglican Consultative Council and the World Council of Churches.
During this triennium, Dr. Janet Somerville retired as General Secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches, and was replaced by the Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton. Our church has continued to be a strong supporter of the Canadian Council of Churches, with good participation in the various commissions and working groups and yearly financial support. Our representatives on the Governing Board, the Rev. John Steele, Ms. Dorothy Davies-Flindall, the Ven. Jim Boyles, Dr. Ellie Johnson (alternate) continued for a second triennium of service.
The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) held its twelfth meeting in Hong Kong in September 2002. Anglican Church of Canada representatives on ACC have been Bishop Michael Ingham, Archdeacon Sue Moxley and Dr. Stephen Toope. Sue Moxley, now Suffragan Bishop of Nova Scotia & PEI, is no longer eligible to sit as our clergy representative and will be replaced by the alternate, Canon Allan Box. Bishop Ingham has been serving as the alternate, replacing Bishop Stewart Payne. That nine year term has now expired, so the nominating committee of the Council of General Synod will appoint a new Episcopal representative.
The ACC’s Inter-Anglican Standing Committee on Mission and Evangelism (IASCOME) met in Jamaica in December 2003. Dr. Ellie Johnson serves on this Commission, along with twenty-one other members from twenty-one different provinces/churches of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Dr. Johnson, Mrs. Amy Newell, PIMC chair and member of the diocese of Ottawa, and Capt. Bruce Smith, Church Army, attended IASCOME’s Anglican Mission Organisations Conference in Cyprus, February 2003. The Rev. Sandy Copeland, diocese of Niagara attended a third IASCOME gathering, A Consultation of Provincial Coordinators of Mission and Evangelism, Nairobi, 2002.
The World Council of Churches has experienced significant restructuring and staffing reductions during this triennium. The Rev. Dr. Konrad Reiser has retired as General Secretary and has been replaced by The Rev. Dr. Sam Kobia. Alice Jean Finlay from the Diocese of Toronto serves on the Central Committee and will continue to do so until the next General Assembly in Brazil in 2006.
There continue to be yearly consultations with Voluntary Mission Agencies that serve the Anglican Church of Canada, in accordance with the policy of 1989 governing relations between the General Synod and these agencies. These consultations continue to be occasions of information sharing and dialogue about mission theology and practice, and relations between the agencies and the General Synod are supportive and friendly.
KAIROS is the ecumenical expression of the churches’ call to justice. The Partners in Mission Committee is grateful to KAIROS for its work in monitoring events in the various parts of the world where the Anglican Church of Canada has significant partnerships, and for its research and analysis of global issues. Partners in Mission staff assist in KAIROS’ work as regional resource people in working groups and program committees.
Partners in Mission is part of the larger Partnerships Department that also includes the work of EcoJustice and Indigenous Ministries & Justice. The staffing complement for the Partners in Mission work has remained steady during the triennium, though an additional staff person is needed. Program work has been shifted around and added to existing workloads in response to staffing cutbacks in 2000. PIM has continued to grow apace with partners in the difficult, challenging complexities of life globally in the new millennium. The current PIM staff team is as follows:
The priority of the Asia/Pacific/Middle East (A/P/ME) work of Partners in Mission continues to be the development and deepening of mission partnerships between the Anglican Church of Canada and Asian/Pacific/Middle Eastern Anglican and post-denominational churches, and ecumenical organizations. Anglican partners in Asia over the past triennium have included the Episcopal Church of the Philippines, Philippine Independent Church, Anglican Church of Korea, Province of South East Asia, Nippon Sei Ko Kai (Holy Catholic Church of Japan), Province of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, Church of the Province of Myanmar, and the two dioceses of the Church of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). South Pacific Anglican partners have included the Provinces and dioceses of the South Pacific Anglican Council, namely the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Church of the Province of Melanesia and Diocese of Polynesia. The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East has been our Anglican Middle East partner. Post denominational and ecumenical partners include the Church of North India, China Christian Council, Christian Conference of Asia, Pacific Conference of Churches, the ecumenical National Councils of Churches in the Philippines, Myanmar/Burma, India, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, and other ecumenical organizations and institutions. Canadian ecumenical colleagues include KAIROS, Canadian Council of Churches, Pacific Peoples’ Partnership, and each of the PLURA and Roman Catholic churches.
Through visits, correspondence and consultations, Asia/South Pacific partners continued to identify a) theological education and church leadership training, b) strengthening of Provincial and Diocesan infrastructure, and c) conflict transformation, reconciliation and peace with justice, as mission priorities. While partners’ specific contexts vary, regional situations affecting all include increasing militarization and small weapons proliferation, inter-ethnic intolerance, and religious fundamentalism. Middle East partners continued to express the urgent and ongoing need for solidarity and advocacy for peace with justice in the region, especially in Palestine and Iraq. These mission priorities will guide the development of Asia/South Pacific/Middle East partnerships in the triennium ahead.
Through PIM: A/P/ME, the Anglican Church of Canada has assisted in the development of church leadership in Asia and the South Pacific through scholarships for graduate theological education, human rights internships, and lay training workshops for personnel from the Philippines, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands. While most support is directed for studies in the region, Asian and South Pacific partners have also come to Canada for short-term programs. Unfortunately, the 2003 SARS outbreak in the Peoples’ Republic of China and in Canada led to the cancellation of summer theological English studies for six young Chinese church leaders. A close working relationship with students’ home Provinces, and with Canadian dioceses and theological colleges makes these programs of study possible. An important continuing foci in regional educational workshops has been developing women’s skills for Bible study and theology. Regional theological colleges receiving support for capital works, library acquisitions and faculty assistance included St. Andrew’s Seminary, Manila, the two regional seminaries of the Philippine Independent Church, Aglipay Central Theological Seminary and St. Paul’s Regional Seminary; Bishop’s College, Calcutta; South Asia Theological Research Institute, Bangalore, Ditt Memorial Research Centre, Amritsar, Christian Institute for Research Studies, Batala, the Henry Martyn Insitute: International Centre for Research, Interfaith Relations and Reconciliation, Hyderabad, Holy Cross Theological College, Yangon; Newton Theological College, Popondetta; Bishop Patteson Theological College, Honiara, and Pacific Theological College, Suva.
We have also continued to support regional ecumenical associations of theological education in the South Pacific and South East Asia.
PIM has continued its historic commitment of undesignated financial support to Anglican Provinces and dioceses in the absence of a Provincial structure, to the Church of North India and the Philippine Independent Church. Partners disburse these funds to priorities in the overall administration of their national programs. Undesignated grants such as these to core operations are very much appreciated by partners. In today’s ethos of measurable outcomes, most northern churches and donor agencies have withdrawn this kind of support, preferring to designate funding to specific projects.
Justice and human rights concerns continued to be significant throughout each of the Middle East, South Pacific and Asia regions. Many partners work with people living in very difficult circumstances, where the denial of basic human rights, the existence of armed conflict and other forms of violence, ethnic, gender and religious intolerance, and frequent natural disasters prevail. The situations of conflict in Myanmar, the Philippines, Palestine, and Iraq remain especially acute, while cessations of hostilities in India, Sri Lanka, and the Solomon Islands are fragile.
Canadian-based Asia and Middle East social justice work continues primarily through KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives. Through KAIROS, the Anglican Church of Canada has also been involved with justice concerns where we do not have church partners, such as Indonesia, West Papua, Aceh and East Timor. PIM has continued to work with the Pacific Peoples’ Partnership in their advocacy for justice in issues relating to the impact of trade globalization on culture, climate, traditional economies and occupations, and the environment in the South Pacific.
Christian mission is, at its heart, people serving God and one another in mutual, respectful relationship through Christ. In the last three years, there have been many visits back and forth between the Anglican Church of Canada and Anglican churches and ecumenical organizations in Asia, the South Pacific and the Middle East. New and lasting mission relationships have grown and developed.
Diocesan companionships between the Dioceses of Qu’Appelle, West Malaysia and Lichfield, and the Diocese of British Columbia and the Church of the Province of Myanmar have continued into second 5-year covenants. The Diocese of New Westminster is in covenanted companionship with the Episcopal Diocese of Taiwan, as is the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador with the Diocese of Jabalpur, Church of North India.
National ecumenical relationship with the China Christian Council has been renewed. We are exploring with Canadian and Chinese church partners how best to work together in encouraging people exchanges and cross-cultural theological education, and in understanding religious freedom in China and Canada. Two delegations of senior leaders from the churches in China were received ecumenically in Canada in 2003.
Visits of solidarity by various groups of Canadian Anglicans and others to Palestine and Israel occurred over the triennium. Thousands of Canadian Anglicans stood with millions of people of faith worldwide to oppose the invasion of Iraq, and many continue to oppose the ongoing US-led occupation. Arab and non-Arab activists claim Christian opposition to this war and occupation countered two strong negative influences in the conflicted history of misunderstanding in western Christian-Muslim relations: the impression that all western Christians are Christian Zionists who back the war, and that western Christians are anti-Muslim. The need to communicate various Christian perspectives and actions, and to distinguish between Christian values and imperial hegemony continues.
A nine person ecumenical delegation visited Lebanon, Israel and Palestine in March 2004 at the invitation of the Middle East Council of Churches. The Rt. Rev. Peter Coffin, bishop of the Diocese of Ottawa and Dr. Andrea Mann, Regional Mission Coordinator: Asia/Pacific/Middle East represented General Synod on the delegation. The purpose of the visit was to further Canadian ecumenical advocacy efforts in bringing about a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians, to express solidarity with our partners, the churches and those suffering as a result of the conflict and violence, and to increase education and awareness in Canada regarding Middle East issues.
As we approach the beginning of a new triennium, 2004-2007, the Anglican Church of Canada, with Anglican churches and ecumenical organizations in Asia, the South Pacific and the Middle East, endeavours to serve God through Christ amidst brokenness and hopefulness in one another and the world. In partnership over the past triennium, we have grown in our understanding of mission toward peace, justice and the integrity of creation. We are deeply thankful for and look forward to partners’ continuing companionship on this journey of faith and witness.
In 2004, Partners in Mission has budgeted $267,500 for support of the work of partners in the Asia/Pacific/Middle East Regions.
This large, diverse region consists of over 35 independent states that range in size from Brazil, roughly the same area of landmass as Canada, to the southeastern Caribbean island states, many smaller than Prince Edward Island. The Anglican (at times called Episcopal) Church presence consists of some long established provinces, as the Church in the Provinces of the West Indies, the Southern Cone, and Brazil, as well as the newer provinces of Mexico and, most recently, Central America. The Episcopal Church of Cuba continues to be an extra-provincial diocese (since 1967) with metropolitan authority residing in the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the primate of the Church Province of the West Indies, and a senior bishop from Province IX of the Episcopal Church of the USA. The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada is the president of the Metropolitan Council of Cuba and the Latin America/Caribbean Regional Mission Coordinator of our General Synod is the secretary.
Our partners in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region are:
Our church has its strongest relationships with the Anglican Provinces in Brazil, the West Indies, the Southern Cone of South America, and with the Diocese of Cuba. The Anglican Provinces of Mexico and Central America, though independent, have strong historic ties with the Episcopal Church of the USA (ECUSA). Other countries in the northern part of South America are part of Province IX of ECUSA.
Our Anglican-Episcopal partners in the region, have identified the following areas of work as priorities: 1) theological education; 2) evangelism and missionary expansion; 3) justice-making; 4) infrastructure and material support
In the Church Province of the West Indies (CPWI) two seminaries serve the Anglican Church. The oldest of these is Codrington College in Barbados. For close to 300 years it has been training men, and more recently a few women for the priesthood. Its tradition is Anglo-Catholic. In Jamaica the United Theological College is an ecumenical seminary located on the campus of and affiliated with the University of the West Indies. The majority of the men and women Anglican postulants are from Jamaica.
In the Province of the Southern Cone of South America (IACSA) there is no provincial seminary, and dioceses use both locally initiated training programs and ecumenical institutions. This makes for a wide variety of standards both theologically and liturgically in the province. A number of IACSA priests are ex-patriot missionary clergy who have received their theological education in their sending country. There are no women priests in IACSA though there are a few female deacons ( Argentina and Uruguay).
In Brazil, training of men and women for the priesthood is undertaken in both diocesan and provincial seminary programs.
In Cuba the ecumenical seminary in Matanzas, founded jointly by the Episcopal, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches in 1948, is over subscribed as interest in Christianity and church attendance continues to increase. Three of the Cuban faculty members are Episcopalians and eight students, men and women are preparing to be leaders in the Episcopal Church of Cuba (IEC).
In Brazil, missionary activity was a major topic for discussion at the last two provincial synods. Two new missionary districts were created in 2001, and although the presence of the Anglican Church is small, the plan is that as the IEAB focuses its evangelical efforts in these districts, it will be possible to turn these missionary districts into missionary dioceses within a decade. This will be no easy task for the leadership, already stretched to capacity.
The Anglican Church in the Southern Cone of South America remains small in all its seven dioceses, though some growth has been experienced in the last three years, particularly as South American leadership develops. In the dioceses of Northern Argentina, Peru, Chile and Paraguay there is a significant indigenous membership of the Anglican Church, and a recent conference in Paraguay for indigenous leaders (May 2003) saw them share ideas on church planting and growth.
In the West Indies, a major concern is the declining numbers of young people in the Church. It is recognized that there has to be a concerted effort both in the dioceses and provincially to address this situation.
In Cuba, the opportunity afforded the churches by a government more open to Christianity than in the first 30 years of the revolution, is being enjoyed by many denominations. To some extent this is true in the Episcopal Church in Cuba, though growth in the congregations has been small. .
‘Doing justice’ can be seen in a number of areas in the Anglican Church in the region. It varies from the social concerns for those who live on the streets of Buenos Aires, the young street people in Uruguay, work among the new migrants in Lima, Peru and pastoral concern for the indigenous Guarani people in Brazil. Social activism is found in the Brazilian Church’s accompaniment alongside the Landless Movement occupations of unoccupied land, and the legal and moral assistance given to aboriginal people in Northern Argentina as they seek land security.
The gap between the poor and the rich in the region is growing steadily and alarmingly. Although the Anglican Church has not officially endorsed a ‘preferential option for the poor’ it is being challenged by its members to become more outspoken in its support for those who are on the margins of society and who need to hear a liberating gospel.
The Anglican Church of Canada’s Partnership Program provides financial support to provinces and dioceses. Most of this money is sent as block grants to the provinces which set their own mission priorities for its use. Roughly twenty percent of our annual regional budget is available to support minor projects and other requests, as these emerge during the year.
Cuba : The Rt. Rev. Jorge Perera retired as Bishop of Cuba, in February 2003. An electoral synod in September 2002 failed to elect a new diocesan. The Rt. Rev Julio Cesar Holguin, ( Dominican Republic) was the interim diocesan bishop to the end of 2003 when the Rt. Rev. Miguel Tamayo, Bishop of Uruguay, succeeded him. Bishop Tamayo will serve as bishop for both Cuba and Uruguay.
Proposed new Province of the Caribbean: In 2003 at its General Convention, ECUSA voted to incorporate Puerto Rico and Venezuela into its structures in January 2004. There were discussions in the Episcopal Church of Cuba to request a similar arrangement but the resolution was defeated. Thus, with the incorporation of Puerto Rico and with Haiti no longer interested in forming a new Province of the Caribbean, the discussions around this proposal have terminated.
Brazil : The Most Rev. Orlando Santos de Oliveira, diocesan bishop of Southern Brazil, was elected primate of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil in May 2003. A new Diocese of Manaus was formed with the Rt. Rev. Naudal Alves Gomes as its first bishop. The Rev Mauricio Andrade, former Provincial Secretary, was elected Bishop of Brasilia.
Southern Cone of South America: The Rt. Rev. Gregory Venables was elected Archbishop and Primate on the retirement of Archbishop Maurice Sinclair. Archbishop Venables is diocesan bishop of Argentina.
West Indies: The secretariat of the CPWI has established a permanent office on the grounds of Codrington College in Barbados. The hope is that this will result in a more effective working of the province.
Latin America Council of Churches: The Rt. Rev. Julio Cesar Holguin ( Dominican Republic) was elected to serve a six year term as President of the Latin America Council of Churches (CLAI). This is a significant appointment. Bishop Holguin and the Episcopal Church are seen as via media in this ecumenical council that includes both Pentecostals and Roman Catholics.
In 2004 Partners in Mission has budgeted $230,000 for the support of our partners in the Latin America/Caribbean region.
Our partners in the region include the following:
The Anglican Church in Africa is the fastest growing area of the communion. It ministers in the midst of extraordinary social, political and economic turmoil. The HIV/AIDS scourge affects all areas of life on the continent. There is increasing polarization between some parts of the Anglican Church in Africa and in Western countries over issues of human sexuality. Nevertheless, there are peace-building efforts, AIDS education and pastoral care programs, and leadership development and education carried out in many Provinces.
In agreement with most of the partners that Theological Education is a priority in the region, we have requested that a portion of our regular block grant to Provinces be passed on to theological colleges and seminaries in West Africa (St Nicholas), Tanzania (St Mark’s and St Cyprian’s), Kenya ( St Paul’s United Theological College), Seychelles (St. Philip’s), Madagascar (St. Paul’s), Uganda (Uganda Christian University), Burundi (Institut Théologique de Matana), Sudan (Bishop Gwynne College) and Congo (ISThA - Aru). Meanwhile we continue to support Theological Education by Extension (TEE) in Mauritius and South Africa and the work of ANITEPAM (African Network of Institutions of Theological Education Preparing Anglicans for Ministry).
Bursaries have enabled students to attend seminaries both in Africa and Canada, with graduates from the latter serving now as bishops and seminary professors. Since the last General Synod meeting, we have been able to sponsor eighteen students from the region.
A second priority is conflict transformation toward lasting peace with justice for all. Partners in Mission continues to work with regional Anglican and ecumenical organizations in efforts toward the cessation of war and violence against persons oppressed by race, ethnicity and religion.
A third regional priority is an ongoing need to support provinces and new dioceses. We make regular grants to provinces for basic infrastructure needs, as well as assisting with all forms of necessary transport (bicycles, motorcycles, vehicles) and supporting catechists, evangelists and new bishops through training programs.
We continue our partnership with the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), which is the most significant Pan-African ecumenical body. We continue to be partners with the Association of Christian Lay Centres in Africa (ACLA) and The TEE College in South Africa.
Africa is a multi-faith continent (African traditional Religions, Islam and Christianity being the largest). The growth of Islam in Africa, as globally, continues to be an important focus of study and dialogue for Anglicans. For this reason we value our partnership with PROCMURA (Project for Christian Muslim Relations in Africa) in its training and teaching roles.
In Canada, we have continued to do our Africa justice work ecumenically, through our participation in KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.
The Diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI initiated a new Companion Diocese relationship with the Diocese of Manicaland in Zimbabwe. The Diocese of Toronto has entered a Companion relationship with the Diocese of Grahamstown, South Africa, and the Diocese of Huron and Diocese of St. John in South Africa have also formed a new Companionship. Rupert’s Land and Central Buganda (Uganda) continue their partnership, after a review at the end of 2001; and the Diocese of Montreal has entered a companion relationship with the Diocese of the Seychelles, Province of the Indian Ocean.
We have been very moved by the messages of solidarity coming to us from our partners in Africa, who stand in support of our work of healing and reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, to which we have committed ourselves for the foreseeable future. We continue to learn more about the depths of partnership and feel blessed by the strength of our friendships.
In 2004, Partners in Mission has budgeted $282,500 for support of the mission work of our partner churches in the Africa.
The Volunteers In Mission (VIM) Program of the Anglican Church of Canada was approved at the Winnipeg General Synod in 1986. The first appointments were made in late 1988 and early 1989 to Fiji and Tanzania. Since that time 81 adults and 12 children have served as Volunteers In Mission in 27 countries and returned to Canada. Volunteers have come from 20 of our 30 dioceses, from BC to Nova Scotia.
Over the triennium there was a drastic reduction in the number of applicants to the VIM program – a reduction experienced by many mission personnel programs both in the Anglican Church and ecumenically after 9/11. Inquiries and applications have increased over the past year and we now have one volunteer beginning her service in the Diocese of Belize and 5 volunteers in various stages of preparation to depart for placements in Japan, Uganda, Papua New Guinea and Tanzania.
The joint program with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) continued until 1993 at which time the ELCIC decided to move its program operation to their national headquarters in Winnipeg. Both programs continue to consult and learn from one another.
Volunteers are required to form a support group in their local area whose functions are to provide moral and spiritual support and to raise the funds needed to cover the costs of such things as return airfare, health insurance and a modest monthly living allowance. Experience has shown this is quite possible and allows qualified volunteers to serve with minimal cost to the General Synod budget. The support group is also responsible for communication with the volunteer and with the parish and wider diocesan community.
Volunteers are required to participate in a cross-cultural Orientation Conference designed and delivered by the Canadian Churches Forum for Global Ministries. This is a well-planned event, ecumenical for both participants and presenters, and gives a solid grounding for the volunteers to draw on during their placement overseas. Returned volunteers participate in a Re-Entry to Canada Conference which is designed to assist them to integrate and use their experience in their continuing ministry at home.
We participate in the Forum for Global Ministries through an annual grant and by membership on the Board and the curriculum committee of the Forum.
The VIM program is a vehicle for mission education within the church here in Canada. Parishes and dioceses are closely connected to the volunteers and share their learnings and experiences. Parish-based support groups circulate letters and newsletters, sent home by the volunteers, within the parish and to diocesan groups. Some dioceses include letters from the volunteers in their diocesan paper. Volunteers return home greatly enriched and committed to sharing what their experiences have taught them. Their support group assists them, as needed, in arranging opportunities within their diocese to do so.
The PIMC initiated a program evaluation of Volunteers In Mission in 1997, when the program was ten years old. The purpose of the review was: "to assess the effectiveness of the Volunteers In Mission Program against the goals of the program and our church's wider goals of partnership and mission." The report was received in the fall of 1998 providing twelve recommendations to the PIMC. These recommendations have been largely implemented. While the committee has continued to work on the recommendation to use the VIM model for receiving mission personnel to Canada, it has not moved forward because of financial restrictions.
The goals of the program are:
This program was piloted in 1992 with the placement of one student in Belize. This pilot placement received a very positive evaluation and Partners in Mission Committee has continued the program. The theological students, their bishops and their hosts all evaluate the program highly. Thirty-two students have participated in summer international internships since the program began. In 2002, two students were placed in Jamaica and one in Tobago. In 2003, four students served in the Seychelles, the Solomon Islands, South Africa and Sri Lanka. In 2004, two students will be placed in the Philippines and St. Vincent, West Indies.
The 2004 budget for the VIM program is $34,700.00 and that for the Theological Students’ International Intern Program remains at $18,500.
A goal set by the bishops meeting in Lambeth in 1998 was to have every diocese in the communion in companionship with another diocese. The Anglican Church of Canada is still short of that goal – of our thirty dioceses, twenty-two are in one or more companionships. Of these companionships, two are in Latin America, three in the Caribbean, three in Asia, five in Africa, six in Canada, two in the USA, and two in the United Kingdom. The role of Partners in Mission continues to be encouraging dioceses to enter into companionships, enabling the flow of information and the sharing of resources, being a “matchmaker” for the companion diocese program in Canada and the wider communion, and offering advice and expertise through our regional mission staff. The Companion Diocese Program continues to be popular throughout the Anglican Communion, and has proven to be one of the best vehicles to enable contact between Anglicans at the parish level.
The People Exchange fund assists international visitors to come to Canada for companionship visits, conferences, or other special events. During this past triennium, visitors came to Canada from Uganda, Kenya, Seychelles, South Africa, Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, Myanmar, Northern India, Sri Lanka, and other parts of the world.
The Partnership Visits fund provides small grants to dioceses and parishes in Canada for sending individuals or groups overseas, also for companionship visits, conferences, or other special events. From 2001 to 2004, grants were disbursed to individuals, delegations, youth groups and students to visit companion dioceses and partners in South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Seychelles, Cuba, Guyana, Windward Islands, Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, Sri Lanka, and to visit communities in the dioceses of Keewatin and Caledonia within Canada.
There are 3 educational resources and several information brochures/packets that are produced and distributed.
Praying With Our Partners is a prayer cycle intended to accompany and supplement the Anglican Cycle of Prayer. It provides information and prayers about our Anglican and ecumenical partners around the world, including mention of specific links with or support from our church. It also includes information and prayers about EcoJustice and Indigenous issues. Praying With Our Partners is sent to all parishes.
MissionAlive is a newsletter, which started off as an occasional piece, and is now produced and mailed out on the same schedule as Praying With Our Partners. MissionAlive contains short stories of mission activities and experiences, written mostly by PIM committee members and staff. It is sent to all parishes and to an additional list of interested individuals.
An updated Mission Education Resource Binder was put together at the beginning of the triennium and distributed to each diocese for use by the local diocesan mission committee or whoever is entrusted with doing mission education locally.
Information brochures about the Volunteers in Mission Program and the Theological Students’ International Intern Program are distributed regularly. Work on a Partners in Mission logo and poster is in progess.
In 2004, Partners in Mission has budgeted $69,500 for Mission Education programs.
“The church exists by mission as a fire exists by burning” [Emil Brunner]
While the New Agape continues to be the focus of mission in the Anglican Church of Canada, several critical issues have emerged over the past triennium within our church and the Anglican Communion. Partners within the Communion are intensely engaged in the realities and consequences of HIV/Aids within their communities and countries, and in discussion and debate about the place of homosexual people within the church. These two issues are also the focus of increasing discussion and debate within the Anglican Church of Canada.
Historically, international partnerships have provided the Anglican Church of Canada with important relationships and resources for mission within Canada and abroad. Many current partners look with keen interest and good will upon the life and witness of our church in this moment, and wish to be with us in discerning the will of God and in acting hopefully, courageously, faithfully in the world. As many partners struggle in dire economic conditions, treacherous political situations, with human rights violations and the results of vast environmental degradation, we struggle with issues of parish and congregational renewal, racism, homophobia and the need for healing and reconciliation. With partners and for partners we participate in mutual and responsible relationships of faith for action. It is strongly recommended that historical international relationships be maintained and developed further through the continued exchanges of people, material resources, consultations and grants to partner churches.
It is also recommended that mission education within our church become a top priority. While out reach and ‘in reach’ activities and theological reflection are taking place within many parishes and dioceses, and through national and international programs, most Anglicans are unaware of the history, the breadth and depth of our church’s mission. Efforts to increase awareness must include the exploration of definitions of Christian mission, theological reflection on mission in the life and witness of the church, further development of people exchange programmes and diocesan companionships, and discussion with theological colleges and church leaders.