Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Happy New Year 2018! As we turn our calendars over to a new year, all sorts of opportunities, challenges and activities spread themselves out before us like the abundance of Christmas cookies most of us enjoyed recently (maybe a little too much)! We all have our seasonal holiday favorites, and we each pick and choose which ones are worth the calories. As Christians, however, our decisions about how to spend the 365 days of 2018 are not just driven by our personal preferences; they are driven by our Lord’s Great Commission to “go and make disciples of all nations!” (Matt. 28:19).
As a province, we have set aside a day early in our calendar year to highlight this great co-mission to reach our neighbors, both locally and globally, with the saving message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This year World Mission Sunday is February 4th, the fifth Sunday after the Epiphany. Once again, the Anglican Church in North America and Anglican Global Mission Partners (AGMP) have teamed up to provide you with helpful resources to educate, empower, and equip your parishioners to engage in mission.
Visit the New Wineskins Missionary Network site at newwineskins.org/worldmissionsunday for a plethora of resources, from videos to show and discuss, to litanies to use for prayer, to mission courses to offer in your parish. As always, we encourage you to highlight mission projects and partners that your own congregation supports, and take up a special offering on their behalf.
Our theme “Mission On Our Doorstep” at last year’s Provincial Assembly inspired a renewed emphasis on reaching international students in the U.S. Over one million international students are studying on our college campuses. In Leviticus 19:34, we read:
“The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”
Every year we add a special video to our World Mission Sunday resources. This year Lisa Espineli Chinn challenges us to reach out to students: “The world is here, my friends. Is your door open?” Watch her talk:
Other inspiring videos to use are Gary Haugen’s “God’s Passion for the World” and “The State of the World: The Task Remaining” – all of which you can now find in one place for your convenience at: newwineskins.org/worldmissionsunday.
A listing of AGMP partners, who are available to speak, train, or preach, can also be found at newwineskins.org/partnerships or contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance. Thank you for your partnership in proclaiming the Gospel in both word and deed, both locally and globally, and not just on February 4th, but everyday!
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of North America