2023 Global Mission Conference
The first in-person Global Mission conference organized by the Global Episcopal Mission Network (GEMN) since COVID-19 was held at St. Mark’s Church in Tampa, Florida, May 3 to 5. Leading to the Global conference was the 2023 Mission Formation Program held at the same venue on May 2-3, and the program was designed to equip mission activists to participate in God’s mission with the desired knowledge and efficiency.
The theme of the Global Mission three-day conference was “Mission: Journey into Healing.” Healing took the center stage of the conference which stressing that healing/restoration in our world is needed now more than ever. The world that is filled with lots of ills: hatred, injustice, human trafficking and all sorts of corruption needs healing and restoration. To heal is also to be made whole. Individually, how can we glue together the broken situation in our various lives? Healing is needed. There were couple of presentations and each looked at healing through different dimensions.
Dr. Alberto Moreno with the Diocese of Oklahoma presented a theological approach to healing which combines biblical, historical and psychological and anthropological perceptive to healing.
Another presenter, the Rev. Canon Walter Brownridge from the Diocese of Vermont, presented healing from the perspective of racism and colonialism.
The Rev. Carola von Wrangel, Manager of Episcopal Partnerships, Food for the Poor, presented healing in the perspective of poverty and deprivation. She defines poverty not by economic deficit but by ‘inner hopelessness’ that needs healing.
There were other presenters and a panel discussion that inspired the conference. There was table discussions that generated feedback on various presentations.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Douglas Frederick Scharf, bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Southwest Florida preached sermon on healing at the Conference Eucharist.
The conference brought together the Global Mission Advocates appointed by various diocese in the Episcopal church in the United States, and the other attendees were from Dominican Republic, England, Guatemala and Honduras. There was an online option accessed by many who, for one reason or another, could not make it in person. About sixty-eight people attended the conference in person.