Moving beyond simple institutional maintenance and organizational survival and toward focusing energies on God’s mission is an underlying imperative of the church. A national gathering held in February 2009 focused on this goal.
Regional and national staff, educators, and leaders of diverse congregations and community ministries came together for conversations aimed at cultivating shared approaches to fostering healthy congregations and ministries participating fully in God’s mission. Goals included: building networks through strengthened relationships; telling stories of experiences, insights, and learnings; sharing resources; and deepening understanding of the contexts of ministry.
The following resources are offered to all those interested in engaging in the challenging work of cultivating greater integration in our approach to fostering healthy congregations and ministries that participate fully in God's mission.
- The Call to God’s Mission,[PDF: 2 pp/26 KB] by A.H. Harry Oussoren
- How Are Churches Living Out God’s Mission in the Latin American / South American Context? [PDF: 11 pp/76 KB] by Humberto Shikiya and Caterina Bain, CREAS (Centro Regional Ecuménico de Asesoría y Servicio)
- Mayan Prayer,[PDF: 4 pp/31 KB] by the National Conference of Ministers of Mayan Spirituality in Guatemala
- Musings toward a Postcolonial Feminist Intercultural Ecclesiology for The United Church of Canada in the 21st Century,[PDF: 5 pp/48 KB] by Greer Anne Wenh-In Ng, Social Justice & Ethnic Ministries, Toronto Conference
- The Song of the Salmon,[PDF: 6 pp/41 KB] poem by Scott Douglas, an award-winning writer and playwright
- Open to the Spirit: Five Traits of Lively Congregations
Use six flexible, participatory sessions to explore five traits of lively congregations, including radical welcoming, justice-making, and empowering leadership. Sessions are built on stories, analysis, and theological reflection for action planning. DVD included. Available from UCRDstore.
- DVD: “The Box, the Book, and the Preacher: Beyond Survival” Key Address, by Mark MacDonald
MacDonald is the first National Indigenous Bishop for the Anglican Church in Canada. From the viewpoint of his own experience of the mainstream church in Aboriginal communities Mark offers an incisive analysis of the church’s history with Aboriginal peoples in North America. Describing the spirituality of the church as that of “a Box (building), the Book (Bible), and the Preacher,” Mark offers stories, subtly powerful images, and new ways of looking at ancient scriptures as guides to help us all both recover the power of the gospel for today and find our way “out of the box” and into God’s mission in the world. Available from AVEL and/or for purchase from UCRD.
- DVD Study Guide: A Suggested Outline for Using the DVD “The Box, the Book, and the Preacher: Beyond Survival Key Address [PDF: 2 pp/51 KB] by Mark MacDonald” in a group.
- Recommended Resources [PDF: 2 pp/31 KB]