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Anglican Consultative Council

revising the marks of mission?

Anglican Consultative Council
Regulars here realise I initiated a call to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Consultative Council, beginning their meeting in Auckland this weekend, to revise the statement of the Marks of Mission. This included providing people the opportunity of signing their name to this. The best first draft so far of a possible revised Anglican statement of our marks of mission appears to be:

Anglicans are called to participate in the Mission of God. We do this by offering worship to the Holy Trinity, both in specific acts of individual or corporate worship, and through:

  • proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom
  • teaching, baptising and nurturing new believers
  • responding to human need by loving service
  • seeking to transform unjust structures of society
  • striving to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

This first draft comes about through discussions in the community around this site, here, on different social media, and in direct emails.

There is a growing consensus that worship is in a different category, a different species to the five marks, and to add worship as another mark would be to devalue worship*, rather than, as intended, to raise its explicit acknowledgement.

The above draft has been forwarded to the Anglican Consultative Council through the delegates from the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

I am grateful to all those who have added their name here, to the many comments and emails, to those many who have published this open letter on websites, facebook profiles, etc. I have been encouraged by a comment on Peter Carrell’s site that pointed to the second meeting (Ely 1996) of MISSIO which began reviewing the ‘Five Marks of Mission’:

we have come to believe that, as our Communion travels further along the road towards being mission-centred, the Five Marks need to be revisited…

An important feature of Anglicanism is our belief that worship is central to our common life. But worship is not just something we do alongside our witness to the good news: worship is itself a witness to the world. It is a sign that all of life is holy, that hope and meaning can be found in offering ourselves to God (cf. Romans 12:1). And each time we celebrate the eucharist, we proclaim Christ’s death until he comes (1 Cor. 11:26). Our liturgical life is a vital dimension of our mission calling; and although it is not included in the Five Marks, it undergirds the forms of public witness listed there….Anglicans In Mission (MISSIO report 1999)

[MISSIO was set up at ACC9 as a Standing Commission for Mission emphasising our participation in the MISSIO DEI (Mission of God)]

If you have an improvement or comment on the above suggestion – let’s hear it. There is one thread that is not keen on making the Marks of Mission statement longer/more complex. And I’m also wondering whether there may be some that would prefer its essence to stay in the “to proclaim…” format rather than altering to “proclaiming…”.

Let us also pray for the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council.

*I was delighted to be informed that, as a result of this movement, one community has suggested a sixth mark,”To acknowledge our createdness under God as expressed in Liturgy and Worship”, and this community is going to use all six marks in an intense eight month prayer and study period to bring change and renewal.

ps. The twitter hashtag for ACC15 is #ACC15

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