A Mission Possible
Ian Carter AM, Director, Advocacy Commissions
When we look at the Anglican Church, or more specifically the Anglican Diocese of Perth, you see so much going on in every direction!
We see over a hundred parishes with churches and church halls in local communities, and we have the “Mother Church” at St George’s Cathedral, the Deanery next door and Church House behind this. But we also have a huge number of Anglican Independent Schools and ASC Schools; and community service agencies; and then there’s Mothers Union, and the Social Responsibilities Commission and EcoCare Commission, and much more!
We are all driven by our Christian faith and mission, summarised so well in Micah 6:8 ‘This is what Yahweh asks of you, only this: that you act justly, that you love tenderly, that you walk humbly with your God’. It has also been played out in a more modern setting with the Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission:
- Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
- Teach, nurture, and baptize new believers
- Respond to human need by loving service
- Seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind, and to pursue peace and reconciliation
- Strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
So, we know what we need to do, and it’s not Mission Impossible it’s Mission Possible. The many components of the Anglican family in our Diocese do amazing work every hour and every day of the week. Sometimes I don’t think we appreciate all that is done in the communities in which we live. We also don’t realize that the Five Marks are not separate but connected. Parishes are not just about Marks 1 and 2, and agencies and schools are not just about Marks 3, 4 and 5. They are called to respond to all the Marks of Mission. Each in their own way.
In practice that means some parishes operating literally within and in partnership with ASC schools; fundraising by parishes to support the work of our community service agencies; Anglicare WA providing a small grants scheme to help parishes undertake local community projects; chaplains in agencies, schools and prisons and hospitals; the SRC running a wide range of community education/social justice workshops in parishes, and now EcoCare is asking parishes what help they need to respond to climate change and the challenges of net zero!
At the moment, the SRC is providing opportunities for workshops to be run on issues such as LGBTIQ+, Yokai Yarning sessions on understanding the Stolen Generation impacts on Aboriginal individuals and families, and The Voice Yarning Sessions exploring the upcoming Referendum. In the future, and in partnership with the Diocesan Family and Domestic Violence Working Group, we will be running workshops on explaining and understanding the impact of family and domestic violence in our communities and families.
We all need to reflect on our own journey across the Five Marks of Mission, and then commit to doing something for the future whether it be in your own life, or in your parish or school or agency. We touch tens of thousands of lives every year and we need to live out our calls to Mission, each in our own way.