Rethinking Mission conference and website will enable ‘robust and creative thinking about mission’
Contemporary mission in South Africa, the Caribbean, Pakistan and Britain was examined and discussed by church leaders at the first Rethinking Mission Day Conference, in London (18 March 2017).
The event – an initiative of USPG – was an opportunity for church leaders, trainee church leaders and theologians from Britain and Ireland and around the world to review what mission looks like today.
The conference also marked the launch of the new Rethinking Mission website – which is a global forum for articles, academic papers and book reviews with a focus on mission and missiology. The site also includes chat rooms that provide an opportunity for theologians and others around the world to discuss contemporary issues in mission.
The Revd Richard Bartlett, USPG’s Director of Mission Engagement, said of the event: ‘It was wonderful to be in a space that truly celebrated new thinking in mission with a global perspective.
‘I think the one of the challenges for Christians in the west is to think missiologically outside of our own cultural paradigms. Unless we do so we can easily miss alternative and fresh perspectives from around the globe.
‘As a global church, it is imperative that our understanding of faith and mission is a global endeavour. This, indeed, is the essence of USPG’s approach to mission: every person has a unique voice and perspective of God.
‘My hope is that our Rethinking Mission Day Conference – which will be an annual event – and the associated website will help bring the church together to engage in robust and creative thinking about mission.’
Talks from the first Rethinking Mission Conference can be accessed online:
The Revd Dr Canon Vicentia Kgabe, who is the first female Principal of the College of Transfiguration, in South Africa, spoke about doing mission in post-apartheid context. She asks: Is the church for the elite or the poor? How does it continue to speak truth to the powerful?
The Revd John Rogers, Rector of St George’s and Rural Dean of St John’s, Barbados, commented that the church and the world have done ‘crazy things’, but he reminded us that there is always a prophet in the wilderness calling out for justice.
The Ven John Perumbalath, who is the Archdeacon of Barking and chair of the London Churches Refugee Network and the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns, spoke about mission in post-Christian Britain. He says the church needs to recognise the world has changed and adopt an inter-cultural attitude characterised by a humble desire to learn from other faiths.
- The next Rethinking Mission Day Conference will be on Saturday 17 March 2018 in Birmingham Cathedral.