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Gathering at God's Table

The Meaning of Mission in the Feast of Faith

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"The work before us-this mission of God's-is immense, cosmic, even. The world is hungry, thirsty, homeless, sick, lonely, imprisoned and enslaved-because some parts are. The creation is groaning in travail because of our abuse of the garden in which we have been set. The body is ailing. Participating in God's mission is about seeing and responding to that collective suffering, and beginning to understand our interconnection with the other parts of the body." - from the Introduction

In the Christian tradition, believers are called to do more than sit around and pray. Throughout the Gospel-and throughout history-people of faith have been quite literally booted out into the world to bring God's love to everybody, not just a select few. That's the meaning of mission-from the Latin verb mitto, meaning, "to send." It is the work that Jesus and his disciples set out to do-feeding, healing and teaching.

In an insightful and powerful voice, Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, explores the meaning of mission in the context of contemporary life, reminding us of the Anglican Communion's Five Marks of Mission:

  • Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  • Teach, Baptize and Nurture New Believers
  • Respond to Human Need with Loving Service
  • Seek to Transform Unjust Structures of Society
  • Strive to Safeguard the Integrity of Creation, and Sustain and Renew the Life of the Earth

"A love story between the churched soul and the all-consuming work of God on earth. This compilation of stories and commentary, confession and hymning joy, will move even the most recalcitrant of us to greater humility and more gratitude." - Phyllis Tickle

"Teems with the particulars of human care, human contact and human compassion.... Readers will be able to 'take heart' and 'lift up our hearts' at Katharine's compelling testimony." - Walter Brueggemann

Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church in June 2006. She serves as Chief Pastor and Primate to The Episcopal Church's members in 16 countries and 110 dioceses.

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