General Synod 2007

GS07 Report 14
Partners in Mission

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In 1984 the Anglican Consultative Council accepted the following five-fold definition of mission, which was reaffirmed in 1990, 1993 and again in 1996:

Sharing this broad sense of mission and vocation for the Anglican Communion as a whole, the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada in 2004 adopted the Strategic Plan Serving God’s World, Strengthening the Church: A Framework for a common journey in Christ. This Framework included as one of its priorities Sustaining International Partnerships for Mutual Support. The Partners in Mission Committee has worked within this priority under the mandate (Last revised: July 1998):

To promote and develop mission, with enthusiasm and prayer, in a manner which engages the church in circles of partnership, locally, nationally, globally and ecumenically.


Partners in Mission Committee

The Partners in Mission Committee (PIMC) has 15 members, including 1 Ecumenical and 1 International member. In this triennium, the ecumenical member has been Margaret Sadler of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) from Edmonton. The international member has been the Rev. Canon Christian Glasgow, Grenada, the Church in the Province of the West Indies (CPWI). The committee has met twice each year, in September/October and in January/February/March and has been hosted by various dioceses: September 2004, Community of the Sisters of the Church, Oakville; March 2005, Saint John, Diocese of Fredericton; September 2005, Winnipeg, Diocese of Rupert’s Land; February 2006, Scarborough, Diocese of Toronto; September 2006, Saskatoon, Diocese of Saskatoon; and February 2007, Vancouver, Diocese of New Westminster.


As part of its mandate, the committee is responsible for overseeing our church’s relationships with the Canadian Council of Churches, the Anglican Consultative Council and the World Council of Churches.

During this triennium, our church has continued to be a strong supporter of the Canadian Council of Churches, with good participation in the various commissions and working groups and yearly financial support. Our current representatives on the Governing Board are the Ven. Michael Pollesel, the Ven. Dennis Drainville, and the Rev. Kate Merriman.

The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) held its 13th meeting in Nottingham, England in June 2005. Anglican Church of Canada current representatives on ACC are the Rt. Rev. Sue Moxley, the Rev. Canon Alan Box and Ms. Suzanne Lawson. Anglican Church of Canada representatives were prohibited from speaking at ACC 13 in observance of Archbishop Eames’ alternative to the Windsor Report recommendation banning Anglican Church of Canada and ECUSA participation. A delegation of Anglican Church of Canada presenters were invited to address ACC 13 to explain the (then) current situation in Canada regarding the theological and biblical rationale informing the Church’s consideration of the blessing of committed same-sex unions, and the ways in which we endeavour to remain in dialogue and communion (Primate’s Letter to Members of ACC, June 21, 2005). Delegates included: The Very Rev. Peter Elliott, the Rev. Canon Robert Falby, The Rev. Dr. Stephen Andrews, and Ms. Maria Jane Highway.

The ACC’s Inter-Anglican Standing Committee on Mission and Evangelism (IASCOME) held its fourth meeting in Larnaca, Cyprus, in 2005. Dr. Ellie Johnson, Director of Partnerships, has served on this Commission, with twenty-one other members from twenty-one different provinces/churches of the worldwide Anglican Communion. IASCOME recommended A Covenant to Communion in Mission to ACC 13, believing a Covenant enshrining the values of common mission that could be used as a basis for outward-looking relationships among the churches, mission organizations and societies, and networks of the Communion would provide a significant focus of unity in mission for the Anglican Communion. In this Covenant, IASCOME signified our common call to share in God’s healing and reconciling mission for our blessed but broken and hurting world. In our relationships as Anglican sisters and brothers in Christ, we live in the hope of the unity that God has brought about through Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit (March 2005).

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has experienced significant restructuring and staffing reductions during this triennium. The Rev. Dr. Sam Kobia is General Secretary. The WCC held its 9th Assembly in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in February 2006. The Rev. Canon John A. Steele, Diocese of British Columbia, was elected to the WCC’s Central Committee, replacing Ms. Alice Jean Finlay.

Voluntary Mission Agencies

There continues to be a yearly consultation with Voluntary Mission Agencies that serve Canadian Anglicans, in accordance with the policy of 1989 governing relations between the General Synod and these agencies. This consultation is an occasion of supportive and friendly information sharing and dialogue about mission theology and practice.

KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

KAIROS unites Canadian churches and religious organizations in a faithful ecumenical response to the call to “do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). PIMC is supportive of KAIROS’ work in monitoring human rights situations (civil, economic, social and cultural) in various parts of the world where the Anglican Church of Canada has significant partnerships. KAIROS is valued for its research, analysis and advocacy of global and local justice issues. Partners in Mission staff assist KAIROS’ work as regional resource people in working groups and program committees. Ms. Alice Jean Finlay represents the General Synod on the Governing Board of KAIROS.


Partners in Mission is part of the larger Partnerships Department that also includes the work of EcoJustice, the Healing Fund, and Anti-Racism. (Indigenous Ministries was included in the Partnerships Department until January 2007, at which time it was established as a separate department headed by Bishop Mark MacDonald). The staffing complement for the Partners in Mission work has decreased by 2 full time staff during the triennium to 4 full time staff. The reduction of staff is in direct response to the continued decline of General Synod revenue since 2000. Program work has been reorganized into two portfolios: Global Relations, and Mission Education and Personnel. Global Relations comprises the integration of three historic regional programs (Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia/South Pacific/Middle East) into one global program for nurturing relations between the Anglican Church of Canada and church partners globally, including scholarships to partners for training for ministry and grants to partners for mission priorities. In this triennium, more than 2 million dollars were sent over 3 years for these priorities. Mission Education and Personnel reflects the bringing together of the Volunteers in Mission and Theological Students International Internship Programs with the Companion Diocese, Partnership Visits and People Exchange Programs, production of mission resources including the PIM web site and Praying with Our Partners, and mission education.

The current PIM staff team is:


The operating budget for Partners in Mission has decreased 36% over this triennium. In 2004, the PIM annual operating budget was at 1.8 million dollars, disbursed in regional and global grants to partners, to international and national church councils, Volunteers in Mission and Student Internship program, Canadian ecumenical organizations, PIMC meetings, office overhead and staff salaries.

In 2007, the PIM budget is at 1.3 million. 20% of this budget is allocated to office overhead and staff salaries, reflecting the largest reduction in program expenses over the triennium. PIM continues to work with partners to ensure appropriate accountability for funds received. Independent financial statements and narrative reports on supported programs are required.

Global Relations

Global Partners

Church and ecumenical partners with whom the Anglican Church of Canada through PIM is in relationship for mission:

Mission Priorities of Our Partners

1. Theological Education: Theological education and training for ordained and lay ministry, and advanced academic degrees in aid of the accreditation of local seminaries and theological colleges, continue to be priorities of most partners. Many PIM core grants to Provinces are passed on for this purpose to local theological institutions. A number of grants are sent with Provincial endorsement to colleges and seminaries for physical development projects, such as library developments, hostel renovations, and water systems.

Scholarships have enabled students to attend seminaries both in Africa and Canada, with graduates from the latter serving now as bishops and professors. Since the last General Synod meeting, we have been able to sponsor 15 students in basic and advanced level studies.

2. Conflict Transformation and Peace: Another priority for many partners is conflict transformation toward lasting peace with justice. PIM continues to work with global Anglican and ecumenical organizations in efforts toward the cessation of war and violence against persons oppressed by race, ethnicity and religion. While partners’ specific contexts vary, global realities affecting all include increasing militarization of human security and small weapons proliferation, inter-ethnic intolerance, religious fundamentalism and state sanctioned exploitation of resources.Many partners live in very difficult circumstances, where the denial of basic human rights, the existence of armed conflict and other forms of violence, intolerance, and frequent natural disasters prevail. PIM also works with Canadian-based social justice coalitions and networks, especially KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives. Through KAIROS, the Anglican Church of Canada has also been involved with justice concerns where we do not have church partners, such as Indonesia, West Papua, Aceh, East Timor, Colombia and Mexico.

3. Anglican Provincial Infrastructure: A third priority of many partners is infrastructure support for existing and new Provinces and dioceses. PIM makes regular undesignated grants to Provinces for basic office needs, all forms of transportation (bicycles, motorcycles, vehicles) and training in administration for catechists, evangelists and new bishops. Undesignated grants to core operations are very much appreciated. In today’s project-focused ethos of measurable outcomes, most northern churches and donor agencies have withdrawn undesignated support.

4. Serving God in a Religiously Plural World: The world in which the Anglican Communion serves is religiously plural. In Asia and the Middle East, Christianity remains a small faith minority within Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim majorities. The growth of Islam in Africa, as globally, continues to be an important focus of study and dialogue for Anglicans. Advocacy for peace brings Anglicans and other Christians, and peoples of all faith, and of no faith together in solidarity and action. PIM values its relationship with such partners as PROCMURA and the Henry Martyn Institute, and with Anglican partners seeking to study Christianity and other religions more deeply.

5. Evangelism and Church Growth: Missionary activity and church planting is a focus of discussion and action among a number of partners. The creation of new mission districts is a priority in Brazil, Northern Argentina, Peru, Chile and Paraguay. Elsewhere globally there is concerned response to the declining numbers of young people in the Church. In the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, the growth of the Melanesian Brotherhood, Melanesian Sisters, Community of Sisters of the Church, and other orders, attest to the strong commitment of South Pacific Island Anglicans to local evangelism.

Mission Personnel, Education and Resources

Personnel Programs

Volunteers In Mission

The Volunteers In Mission (VIM) Program of the Anglican Church of Canada was approved at the Winnipeg General Synod in 1986. The first appointments were made in late 1988 and early 1989 to Fiji and Tanzania. Since that time 86 adults and 15 children have served as Volunteers In Mission in 28 countries and returned to Canada. Volunteers have come from 20 of our 30 dioceses, from BC to Nova Scotia.

Over the triennium there was a drastic reduction in the number of applicants to the VIM program – a reduction experienced by many mission personnel programs both in the Anglican Church and ecumenically. Inquiries and applications have increased over the past year and we now have two volunteers continuing their service in the Provincial offices of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, and at Central Buganda University in the Church of Uganda. We also have a couple from the Diocese of British Columbia preparing to serve in the Anglican Church of Tanzania.

Through the Canadian Churches Forum for Global Ministries, the VIM program works ecumenically to train and prepare Anglican volunteers and to deepen our understanding of our missional context in Canada and Canada in relation to the world. Volunteers participate in a cross-cultural Orientation Conference designed and delivered by the Canadian Churches Forum for Global Ministries. This well-planned event is ecumenical for both participants and presenters and gives a solid grounding for the volunteers to draw on during their placement overseas. Returned volunteers participate in a Re-Entry to Canada Conference which is designed to assist them to integrate and use their experience in their continuing ministry at home. We also participate in the Forum through an annual grant and by membership on the Board and the curriculum committee.

Key to the VIM program is the volunteer’s support group, usually based in their parish community, which provides essential moral and spiritual support and raises the funds needed to cover the costs of such things as return airfare, health insurance and a modest monthly living allowance. The support group is also responsible for communication with the volunteer, within the parish and with the wider diocesan community.

The VIM program is a vehicle for mission education within the church in Canada. Parishes and dioceses are closely connected to the volunteers and share their learnings and experiences. Parish-based support groups circulate letters and newsletters, sent home by the volunteers, within the parish and to diocesan groups. Some dioceses include letters from the volunteers in their diocesan paper or on their web site. Volunteers return home greatly enriched and committed to sharing what they have learned of the wider world and our wider Anglican Communion.

Theological Students’ International Intern Program

The goals of the program are:

This program, piloted in 1992, continues to receive highly positive evaluations from the theological students who participate, their bishops and their hosts. Forty-five students have participated in summer international internships since the program began. In 2004, two students were placed in the Philippines and St. Vincent, West Indies. In 2005, four students served in the Belize, Central America, India and Tanzania. In 2006, three students served in Tanzania, Barbados and India, and in 2007, four students will be placed in Grenada, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Belize, Central America and the Seychelles, Indian Ocean.


The 2007 budget for the VIM program is $31,200.00 and that for the Theological Students’ International Intern Program remains at $30,000.00.


Companion Diocese Program

The 1998 Lambeth Conference set a goal to have every diocese in the Anglican Communion in companionship with another diocese of the communion. The Anglican Church of Canada is still short of that goal – of our 29 dioceses, 21 are in one or more companionships. Of these companionships, four are in Latin America, three in the Caribbean, two in Asia, five in Africa, five in Canada, two in the USA and two in the United Kingdom. The role of Partners in Mission continues to be encouraging dioceses to enter into companionships, enabling the flow of information and the sharing of resources, being a “matchmaker” for the companion diocese program in Canada and the wider communion, and offering advice and expertise through our mission staff. The Companion Diocese Program continues to be popular throughout the Anglican Communion, and has proven to be one of the best vehicles to enable contact between Anglicans at the parish level.

People Exchange and Partnership Visits

The People Exchange fund assists international visitors to come to Canada for companionship visits, conferences, or other special events. During this past triennium, visitors came to Canada from Uganda, Kenya, Seychelles, South Africa, Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, Myanmar, Northern India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.

The Partnership Visits fund provides small grants to dioceses and parishes in Canada to support individuals or groups making companionship diocese visits, attending conferences or other special events. In the last triennium, grants were disbursed to individuals, delegations, youth groups and students to visit companion dioceses and partners in South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Seychelles, Cuba, Guyana, Windward Islands, and to visit communities in the dioceses of Keewatin and Caledonia within Canada.

Mission Resources

Providing timely and interesting material for the PIM website is a growing area of resource production. Information and materials from partners, updates from other parts of the Communion, letters from Volunteers and Student Interns are now available.

Praying With Our Partners is a prayer cycle intended to accompany and supplement the Anglican Cycle of Prayer. It provides information and prayers about our Anglican and ecumenical partners around the world and within Canada, including mention of specific links with or support from our church. Praying With Our Partners was mailed to all parishes until November 2006. It is now posted to the Anglican Church of Canada website and parishes can download it for use. Partners In Mission provides hard copies for those parishes without access to the Internet.

MissionAlive is a newsletter, produced and mailed out on the same schedule as Praying With Our Partners for most of the triennium. MissionAlive contains short stories of mission activities and experiences from parish, diocesan and national levels of our church. It was sent to all parishes and to an additional list of interested individuals. Starting in 2007, this resource will once again be available on the PIM website.

Work is progressing on an updated Mission Education Resource Binder for the use of Diocesan Mission contact persons.

Collaboration with the Anglican Appeal has produced two Advent and two Lenten calendars, focusing on prayer for partners in Canada and around the world.


In 2007, Partners in Mission has budgeted $67,750 for Mission Education programs.


As we approach the beginning of a new triennium 2007-2010, the Anglican Church of Canada, with Anglican churches and ecumenical organizations globally, endeavours to serve God through Christ amidst brokenness and hopefulness in one another and the world. Over the past triennium, the PIMC and PIM program have grown in our understanding of mission. We are deeply thankful for and look forward to partners’ continuing companionship on this journey of faith and witness.

The PIMC is also committed to exploring new ways of working within the Anglican Church of Canada and its 5-fold definition of mission. As a first step in this exploration, the PIMC recommends the integration of the PIM and EcoJustice programs and committees of the General Synod for the purpose of promoting and developing the renewal of the life and witness of the church in circles of partnership locally, nationally, globally and ecumenically.

While healing and reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous members continues to be the focus of mission in the Anglican Church of Canada, several critical issues engage our church and the Anglican Communion. Partners within the Communion are intensely engaged in the realities and consequences of HIV/AIDS within their communities and countries, and in discussion and debate about the place of homosexual people within the church. These are also the focus of increasing discussion and debate within the Anglican Church of Canada.

Historically, international partnerships have provided the Anglican Church of Canada with important relationships and resources for mission within Canada and abroad. Many current partners look with keen interest and good will upon the life and witness of our church in this moment, and wish to be with us in discerning the will of God and in acting hopefully, courageously, faithfully in the world. As many partners struggle in dire economic conditions, treacherous political situations, with human rights violations and the results of vast environmental degradation, we struggle with issues of parish and congregational renewal, racism, homophobia and the need for healing and reconciliation. With partners and for partners we participate in mutual and responsible relationships of faith for action. It is strongly recommended that historical international relationships be maintained and developed further through the continued exchanges of people, material resources, consultations and grants to partner churches.

It is also recommended that mission education within our church become a top priority. While out reach and ‘in reach’ activities and theological reflection are taking place within many parishes and dioceses, and through national and international programs, most Anglicans are unaware of the history, the breadth and depth of our church’s mission. Efforts to increase awareness must include:

Members of PIMC 2004-2007

The Rt. Rev. Peter Coffin (Chair) Ottawa, and Military Ordinariate
Dr. Pat Appavoo New Westminster
Ms. Elizabeth Beardy Keewatin
The Rev. Katherine Bourbonniere Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island
Mrs. Julia Davies Saskatoon
The Ven. Peter Fenty Toronto
The Rev. Canon Christian Glasgow Windward Islands
Ms. Karen Hogg British Columbia
Mr. Robert Marsh Fredericton
The Rev. Canon Linda Nicholls (until 2005) Toronto
The Ven. Godfrey Mawejje Rupert’s Land
The Rev. Dr. Gregory McVeigh Montreal
Mr. William Mous Niagara
The Rev. Nigel Packwood Brandon
Ms. Margaret Sadler Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Mr. Rushan Sinnaduray (until 2005) Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island
The Rev. Sandra Sugden (until 2006) Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior
Ms. Cynthia Haines Turner Western Newfoundland

PIM program staff included: Dr. Eleanor Johnson (Partnerships Director), Ms. Claudia Alvarez, Mrs. Jill Cruse, Dr. Andrea Mann, Mrs. Clementina Thomas, Mrs. Yvonne Tsang (until 2005), and the Rev. Canon Philip Wadham (until 2006).


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