Tuesday, September 06, 2011

indigenous Anglicans claim a new mission mark

Indigenous Anglicans will ask the Anglican Consultative Council to make developing indigenous leadership within the Communion a new ‘Mark of Mission.’

The Anglican Indigenous Network (AIN), which met in Sydney late last month, has issued a statement asking the ACC to add that new goal to the five Marks of Mission it already proclaims … “We believe it is time,” for these national churches “whose borders are based on colonial conquest, to… acknowledge the reality of our existence and the implications (of that) for their ongoing life and governance.” (full story here)

Anglicans have 5 marks of mission. They are pretty excellent summary IMHO.

  • To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  • To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
  • To respond to human need by loving service
  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

At times I worry that all the talk about fresh expressions is a narrowing of these marks, that it is a focus on the first three (proclaim, disciple, serve) and pays less attention to the last two (prophetic challenge and creation care).

At times I worry that fresh expressions is simply white expressions (in page 2 and 3 of my report here). I’m glad to be serving a Uniting Church that in the Preamble, has taken indigenous voices seriously. And the implications for fresh expressions are many.

After a weekend listening to some stories of indigenous people in Australia, I’d certainly support a new mission mark. And probably at number one, not number six. Our misssion needs to start with listening, and for colonisors that does not come easily or naturally.

And while I’m posting – parkology looks a fascinating missional experiment – a missional community based around a park.

Posted by steve at 10:11 AM


  1. Thanks for the plug, Steve. I am expecting a bit of resistance, because it will mean giving up some ‘white power’ & the resources that go with it.

    Comment by Chris McLeod — September 6, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

  2. Where you there? Help me join some dots – can you tell me the exact wording they want for the 6th mark of mission?


    Comment by steve — September 6, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

  3. Hi Steve. Yes, I was. You’ll see me down the back. I’ll look up the exact wording and get back to you.

    Comment by Chris McLeod — September 7, 2011 @ 11:57 am

  4. Ask the AIN Secretariat to convey the request from the AIN 12th Gathering to the Anglican
    Consultative Council that an additional Mark of Mission “To encourage development of Indigenous
    leadership within the Anglican Communion”, be added to the current Five Marks of Mission.

    Comment by Chris McLeod — September 7, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

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