Relationships and accompaniment are at the heart of our approach to global mission.
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority I heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:16-20
We affirm the importance of global mission in the whole ministry of the ELCIC. As a way of living out our relationship with The Lutheran World Federation, and a reminder that we are part of a global church, we encourage all expressions of the church to engage in global mission.
1. Shared vision amongst the national church, synods and congregations
It is crucial that all the expressions of our church share an understanding of how we are engaged in global mission, based on a theological understanding of accompaniment.
Accompaniment is defined as walking together in a solidarity that practices interdependence and mutuality. We seek to walk with our partners, learn from them and share with them; we do not seek solely to help or serve them. We also seek to learn and ask questions about our own communities and those who are included or excluded.
Building relationships is a cornerstone of mission. Through deep and meaningful relationships within our church and with our global partners, we can more fully share in each other’s lives and concerns. Authentic relationships allow God’s transforming power to change our lives and perspectives. Global Mission Companions and bi-lateral church relationships with our Lutheran World Federationpartners are ways to accomplish this.
4. Mutual decision making
In all our relationships and partnerships, we recognize each partner’s right to have a voice. Each partner needs to be included in decisions which concern them.
5. Identifying mutual giftedness between our partner churches and us
All of us have gifts to support God’s mission. Our gifts are varied, adding to the richness of the worldwide church. We recognize that our partners have great gifts to share with the global church, and strive to encourage ourselves and them to discover our full potential. We can discover some of these gifts through worship, music, prayer, learning and service.
6. Recognition of northern privilege
We recognize that due to the history of colonization and our current economic imbalances, we relate to most of our partners and companions from a position of power and influence. We commit to recognizing our privilege, not using it to our own advantage, and instead working towards identifying and correcting imbalances of power. We also seek to use our
privilege, in consultation with our partners, to promote fairness and justice in their context.
7. Long term view of mission
Whenever we engage in partnerships or other relationships, we do this with a long term commitment. We strive to develop lasting relationships. All short term projects, fundraisers, trips, and other activities need to support the long term plan.
8. Recognition of the capacities and limits of both partners, resources, time, energy
It is important to carefully evaluate our capacities before entering into a
partnership. Resource capacity also needs to be considered throughout the relationship, and as each new project, visit or activity is planned.
9. Cycle of evaluation, re-commitment or ending the companion relationship
It is important that each partnership be evaluated periodically to ensure that the original goals and expectations are still being realized. This evaluation may lead to adjustments to the existing partnership agreement. When the original goals and expectations of a partnership are no longer being met, the partnership may come to an end after consultation between the partners. This decision needs to be based on compassion and understanding.
10. Partnerships in global ministry
We seek to work with our global ministry partners, including The Lutheran World Federation and Canadian Lutheran World Relief, and participate in shared programs and resources wherever possible. We recognize that we maximize the effectiveness of our resources when we work together.