Finding the right words

Published March 1, 2012

Since 1984, the Anglican Communion has promoted the Marks of Mission as a resource to help local missioners focus their tasks. To date, there are five marks.Back in 2007, the Anglican Church of Canada proposed a sixth Mark of Mission, one relating to peace, conflict transformation and reconciliation. This proposal rested on the realization that Christians need to turn their attention to the work of peace and reconciliation. Although the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) accepted the concept of a sixth mark at its meeting three years ago, the exact wording has yet to be determined.At the May 2009 ACC meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, the Canadian church presented its 2007 proposal again as resolution 14:05. Responding, the ACC endorsed the request from the Anglican Church of Canada and the 2009 Mutual Responsibility and Mission Consultation in Costa Rica to add a sixth Mark of Mission relating to peace, conflict transformation and reconciliation to the current list of five. It also requested the mission department of the Anglican Communion Office to take this process forward and report to the 15th ACC meeting scheduled for Auckland in October-November, 2012.”We’ve had recent experience of how complex the process of healing and reconciliation is, and we are looking at a variety of wordings in conjunction with the Anglican Communion Office,” says Suzanne Lawson, national campaign liaison, Resources for Mission. “The challenge is to find the right words.” After the ACC standing committee reviewed the first draft, it recommended further refinement. To that end, Lawson is working with the Rev. John Kafwanka, director for mission at the Anglican Communion Office in London. There’s no serious semantic problem, however. “It’s just the procedure we follow,” says Kafwanka. “It was decided that the final wording would be presented and adopted at ACC-15.”And according to Lawson, the sixth mark may move up the ladder a rung to number five, following mark four, which is: To seek to transform unjust structures of society. “The list of marks is not based on priorities,” she says. “There’s a sequential aspect, and we’ve proposed that this one become number five.” Lawson will attend the New Zealand meeting, which starts Oct. 27, with Bishop Sue Moxley of the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and the Very Rev. Peter Elliot, dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver.


  • Diana Swift

    Diana Swift is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine editing and production. In January 2011, she joined the Anglican Journal as a contributing editor.

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