The Global Episcopal Mission Network:
To proclaim, inspire and ignite the joy of God’s mission
As ambassadors of Christ, all Christians are called to bear Christ’s name, discern Christ’s image, and proclaim Christ’s good news of salvation, hope and love. We share Christ’s work of teaching, healing and reconciliation with the Church in every place. Empowered and nurtured by the Holy Spirit, we must pass on the Gospel and accept the commission to proclaim it, for this and succeeding generations. (Source: gemn.org)
We are called and privileged to share in the many-faceted mission of God. We do mission in our own families, churches, communities and societies. We do it in partnership with people in our own denomination and with those of other faiths. For most of us, most of the time, our mission from God is “domestic,” set in our own neighborhoods. The Global Episcopal Mission Network invites us into the global dimension of mission.
Almost 20 years ago GEMN, then called GEM (Global Episcopal Mission), was brought into being in response to a proposal to the 71st General Convention of the Episcopal Church to stop budget support for sending and supporting missionaries. Some bishops rose up to block that proposal, and led by the bishops of Southern Ohio and New York, GEM was formed as an association to support dioceses in sending (and receiving) international missionaries. This new organization worked with the Church Center in New York and other Episcopal and ecumenical missionary agencies to promote global mission. Ruth Jones from the Diocese of Southern Ohio was a founding member of the GEM Board and strong advocate of its work for many years, and Southern Ohio continues to be a major contributor of leadership and financial support to GEMN.
GEMN’s mission can be understood in two parts. The first is to invite the whole Episcopal Church to be aware of and support the international facet of God’s mission. The second is to invite, encourage and equip Episcopalians to become personally engaged in global mission at some level. This may involve material support, prayer and/or becoming educated about mission. It may also mean going on a mission trip! Whatever your role, it is always about being in relationship with our brothers and sisters, both in this country and around the world. Relationship is two-way; each member receives and gives blessing to the other.
GEMN provides education and networking to all who would like to discern where God is leading them in mission, both as individuals and as a church. Its goal is to connect everyone who is engaged or interested in global mission. You are invited to visit the GEMN website at gemn.org to learn about the Annual Global Mission Conference; the Global Mission Agent Formation program; the Global Mission Agent Train-the-Trainer program; and the new Global Immersion Program in Bogota, Colombia. The website also has a mission reading list and many mission resources which are free for you to use for yourself or in your parish.
The GEMN 2015 Global Mission Conference will be held in Atlanta next May. The theme is Mission as Transformation. Watch the GEMN website for details!
The Global Episcopal Mission Network is the largest independent mission organization in the Episcopal Church. It exists to foster and support mutually responsible and interdependent relationships and accountability among mission-minded individuals, organizations and dioceses within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. GEMN is a network for bringing people together in order to exchange mission ideas and best practices, encourage each other, and provide resources to those who are exploring their call to engage in mission.
GEMN would like to hear how you and your congregation are involved in global mission. Check us out at gemn.org and join GEMN today!
Mooydeen Frees is a retired deacon and serves as a board member and treasurer of the Global Episcopal Mission Network. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Global Episcopal Mission Network is people working together to discern God’s call to be the face of Christ in the world. GEMN began as a consortium of Episcopal dioceses interested in fostering mission. In recent years, membership has been opened to invite any individual, church, deanery, diocese or organization with a passion for mission, within or beyond the Episcopal Church.
GEMN is primarily a network for bringing people together in order to exchange ideas and best practices, encourage each other, and provide resources to those who are exploring their call to engage in mission. Three of GEMN’s major initiatives include:
• An annual Global Mission Conference, including high quality keynote speakers, insights from experienced missioners, opportunities for networking, workshops, site visits, mission organization presentations, and other resources to the mission community;
• Global Mission Training, ranging from global mission certification training for those engaged or thinking about engaging in mission, and for those who would like to bring global mission training to their own local area, to a 10-day Global Mission Immersion Program held in Colombia for those who want to combine theory with practice in a real-life mission setting; and
• Global Mission Resources that include mission planning materials, bibliographies, mission financing strategies and more.