By Hope Hutchins, Christ Church Macon
“The Five Marks of Mission…
This weekend, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to a little town about an hour north of
Houston, TX called Navasota for a young adult retreat. The purpose of this retreat was to talk
about The Five Marks of Mission and how we can live into those marks of mission in our own
lives. I will be the first to admit that I had never heard of The Five Marks of Mission, but y’all,
they are so integral in how we live into our roles in the church.
Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom. Let the world know how truly awesome God is
and how he works in our lives! Too often as Episcopalians, we fear the “E-word”
(evangelism…yikes) but this is our chance to evangelize in whatever way we choose. This
doesn’t have to mean going up to a stranger and telling them plainly that God is your Lord and
Savior, but it could be the “Faith Friday” Instagram post that you repost or just through your
actions towards the people around you. Proclaim the Good News of The Kingdom!
To teach, baptize and nurture new believers. Love God, Love Yourself, Love Others. If
we share our gifts and knowledge with others, than that can help bring them to Christ. And not
only that, but when we share our gifts with others, that in turn comes back to us and we also
receive gifts from them that we otherwise wouldn’t have received. Whether that be the gift of
understanding, the gift of empathy, the gift of being humble, whatever it might be. God blesses
us by sharing with others and nurturing them in their journey.
To respond to human need by loving service. I think this completely emulates what
mission and what service is all about. Responding to human need with loving service. When we
see a human need arise around the world (hunger, oppression, social injustice, etc.) typically one
of responses is “what can I do to help?” Responding to these needs with loving service is
something we do more than we realize. I doesn’t mean you have to hop on a plane to Africa to
help combat the hunger need there, but doing the 30 Hour Famine at your church which raises
money for World Vision is responding to that need. Participating in The Hunger Walk for the
Atlanta Community Food Bank or attending Walk the Road for Emmaus House or even
collecting items for the homeless in your area is responding to human need by loving service.
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every
kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation. In our world today, challenging violence of
every kind and pursing peace and reconciliation is so crucial with so many violent and
socially unjust events occurring regularly.
Luckily for us in The Diocese of Atlanta, we have an incredible bishop who lives into this mark of mission daily. We see Bishop Wright peacefully protesting against the death penalty, we see him praying with The Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, we see him marching in the gay pride parade, and we see him continually praying for peace around our world. What better example to
have for the 4th mark of mission? Witnessing Bishop Wright live into the marks of mission daily gives us a better sense of how we can live into these marks. What can we do to help transform unjust structures of society and to challenge violence of EVERY kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation?
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of
the earth. What are we doing in our day to day lives that are helping to sustain and
renew the life of the earth? That’s probably not a thought that goes through our minds
during our days, but it should! Are we doing what we can to respect the dignity of the
earth that God created? Are we using his creation the way he intended us to use it?
Take a moment to think about this. Think about everything God created and then think
about the ways in which we abuse and neglect it. Now think about ways in which we
can help to change that. Possibilities are endless, y’all!
As young adults, it is sometimes hard to find our place in the church and what we
can do to live into our roles in the church. This is it, guys. Mission! Living into these Five
Marks of Mission and showing our local communities and the world how we can help
bring change. This weekend was incredible. I was able to listen to speakers from all
over The United States talk about how they are living into these Five Marks of Mission,
from the mission work they are doing all over the world to how they are combatting
social injustices locally. I was able to show up to Camp Allen in The Diocese of Texas
where I did not know a soul and left renewed, encouraged, and ready to change the