Mission Crossroads

SUM 2018

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/983828

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 23

10 Summer 2018 of the program, whereby the church that was previously known for sending out missionaries has become, and in fact has always been, a mission field. e church cannot grow mission and develop partnerships in a one-way direction — welcoming missionaries by the sending church is also critical to the health of the church and continuity of mission both locally and globally. Transformation requires multiple and ongoing encounters and conversations in an atmosphere of genuine hospitality. Originally, the program was designed for six weeks, and was later reduced to four, but it was recently reduced to three weeks due to practical challenges. In 2013 MUSA began focusing on themes and regions, beginning with the Confession of Belhar and South Africa. is was followed by a focus on the Middle East (2014–16). Currently, the focus is on Christian-Muslim relations (2017–19). S ince 1984, the Mission to the U.S.A. (MUSA) program has connected the Synod of the Covenant in Michigan and Ohio with international clerg y and lay leaders through fellowship, hospitality, mutual sharing and awareness. MUSA, which was initially co-sponsored by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for about two decades, has helped each mission partner break down cultural barriers and truly become brothers and sisters in Christ. As Presbyterians, we affirm the unity of the church and the oneness of the global community of faith. We celebrate that over the centuries the gospel has spread from Palestine to the ends of the earth, arriving in North America through Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Given the history of missionary efforts, many Presbyterians tend to underestimate the interdependent nature of mission and our commitment to doing mission in mutuality and partnership. e mission of the church thrives on continuous exchange and is nurtured by active involvement and intentional fellowship and hospitality. e Synod of the Covenant's MUSA program affords congregations and presbyteries the invaluable opportunity to host and share fellowship with international mission partners (IMPs). Hence, in addition to sharing the gospel through sending mission co-workers and funding mission locally and globally, congregations can also nurture mission locally by experiencing the gospel as a mission field. e sending church is equally a receiving church. e Synod of the Covenant's MUSA program is a reverse mission based on the interdependent nature of mission. rough MUSA, the synod helps facilitate the listening to and discernment of God's call beyond the obvious institutional or organizational needs. Anxiety and divisions often prevail when the church is focused inwardly and distracted by the ego, property/building and resources. However, mission thrives where the church addresses human suffering, violence and injustice in society; that is, where congregations are focused outwardly, serving community and neighborhood, which are often impacted by global realities. e objectives include fellowship, hospitality, awareness and mutual transformation. Since the MUSA program's inception, the Synod of the Covenant has committed to improving and developing this missional and experiential program. For more than three decades, we have recognized that we have much more to learn and to accomplish. e program originally started by sending delegations from the synod to visit churches overseas, but soon we realized the limited impact of only sending mission co-workers and visiting delegations. ough it is essential to send co-workers and other church representatives to serve and visit with partner churches, we have come to also value and appreciate receiving international mission partners to visit with one congregation for the duration of their service in order to maximize the impact of fellowship. We have also come to appreciate the reverse-mission aspect A mutual reach beyond the oceans Reflecting on mission 'sending' and 'receiving' in the life of the church Raafat L. Zaki Dr. Leonard Chrysostomos Epafras, an international mission partner from Indonesia, speaks during the seminar on Indonesia and Christian-Muslim relations at the synod assembly. Synod of the Covenant

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