Mission Crossroads

SUM 2017

Mission Crossroads is a three-time-a-year magazine focused on worldwide work of the PC(USA). It offers news and feature stories about mission personnel, international partners and grassroots Presbyterians involved in God's mission in the world.

Issue link: https://missioncrossroads.epubxp.com/i/826794

Contents of this Issue


Page 18 of 23

Mission Crossroads 17 As we celebrate 180 years of international mission service, we recognize the 180-degree change we have made in how we do mission work. e early years of our international mission work relied heavily on establishing indigenous churches with whom we now partner. Early missionaries laid the foundation. Over the years we have recognized how important it is to do mission in partnership, learning from and being transformed by our brothers and sisters in Christ across the globe. It is in the spirit of partnership with our brothers and sisters in other places that the PC(USA), through an action of the 212th General Assembly (2000), encouraged congregations, presbyteries, synods and other church bodies to "do mission in partnership" internationally. e 215th General Assembly (2003) issued a new partnership policy for the whole PC(USA) to "do mission in partnership" within and outside the United States. Visit pcusa.org/ partnership to find a paraphrased version of the policy statement, updated by the new Book of Order. A partnership with another church body (such as a congregation, presbytery or agency) in another country provides opportunities for U.S. Presbyterians to express the unity of the church of Jesus Christ throughout the world, to engage in the global mission of the church and to experience mission alongside people in other parts of the world. It also provides an opportunity to witness what God is doing in the world and to expand our understanding of God through the insights of others with different worldviews and life experiences. Partnership has at its heart "mutuality" — giving and receiving, teaching and learning, listening and speaking. ese relationships can be a blessing for the whole church of Jesus Christ as we all seek to live out the gospel faithfully and to build up the body of Christ around the globe. Is your group, church body or organization willing and prepared to make a deep and lasting commitment? Before moving toward a partnership relationship, it is helpful for the mission committee or similar group in your church to consider the following 10 Tough Questions listed in the sidebar. Answering them before beginning to establish a partnership will contribute to a stronger and healthier relationship because you, as a group, will have more clarity about: • why you want to enter such a relationship; • your expectations of it; • your understandings of "partnership" and "mission." Stephanie Caudill is a mission associate for resources and promotion in World Mission. 10 1. Why have an ongoing relationship with a church or institution in another country? 2. What needs do we have that might be met through global partnership? 3. What gifts (spiritual, personal and material) do we have to share with a partner? 4. ln what ways might this partnership help, hinder or be in continuity with our witness in our local community? 5. How do we, as a group, understand "mission in partnership"? 6. Are there any specific characteristics or qualities we are seeking in a partner church? Why? 7. Are there people with cross-cultural experience or language capabilities in our congregation, presbytery or synod who could provide their expertise? 8. For congregations: Is our presbytery or synod already engaged in an international partnership? 9. For congregations: Are there other congregations in the presbytery that might wish to collaborate to build a relationship with an international partner? 10. How might we encourage a reciprocal relationship with a partner when forming and maintaining the partnership? For more help in establishing or evaluating a partnership that follows a Mission 180 model, see the World Mission Partnership Manual at pcusa. org/missionresources. How does your church MISSION? do Tough Questions M I S S I O N T O O L K I T | Stephanie Caudill

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