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Vision 2019 is an opportunity to say ‘here’s what I think our church needs to be about.’”

Backgrounder on the Five Marks of Mission

1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
2. To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
3. To respond to human need by loving service
4. To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

The Five Marks of Mission have developed over several years.  Originally, there were only four.  The marks were first formulated and presented as part of the report of “Working Section I: Mission and Ministry” to the sixth meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) which took place in Badagry, Nigeria.

At the eighth meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Cardiff, Wales, a fifth mark was added.  The report of “Section II: Mission, Culture and Human Development” said:  “There has been a consistent view of mission repeated by ACC, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates’ Meeting and others in recent years, which defines mission in a four-fold way . . . We now feel that our understanding of the ecological crisis, and indeed of the threats to the unity of all creation, mean that we have to add a fifth affirmation:

to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

The Five Marks of Mission have never been adopted per se as resolutions of the Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Consultative Council or the Lambeth Conference.  As with the Consultative Council, however, the Five Marks were included and affirmed in the report of “Section II: Called to Live and Proclaim the Good News” in the official report of the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

The Five Marks of Mission were discussed in the report of MISSIO (the Mission Commission of the Anglican Communion) to the eleventh meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Edinburgh, Scotland, 1999.  The MISSIO report was published separately with the title Anglicans in Mission: A Transforming Journey and it is the comments from this report that appear on the Anglican Communion website with the text of the Five Marks of Mission.

MISSIO commended the Five Marks of Mission to each province of the Communion with the challenge to develop or revise their understanding of mission faithful to Scripture and provided some background and context to the Five Marks with suggestions for ways to continue “along the road towards being mission-centred”

The Anglican Church of Canada took up the challenge made in the MISSIO report in the years since 1999 and in November 2007 the Council of General Synod passed a resolution that endorsed

“the recommendation of the Partners in Mission and Ecojustice Committee that the Anglican Consultative Council consider adding a Sixth Mark of Mission to its current list, that relates to peace, conflict transformation, and reconciliation and the General Secretary communicate this recommendation and endorsement to the Anglican Consultative Council”.

(The suggestion has not yet been considered by the Anglican Consultative Council, which will meet next in Kingston, Jamaica, in May 2009.)

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