Now Featured at the Patheos Book Club
Gathering at God's Table
The Meaning of Mission in the Feast of Faith

By Katharine Jefferts Schori

"The work before us—this mission of God's—is immense, cosmic, even. The world is hungry, thirsty, homeless, sick, lonely, imprisoned and enslaved—because some parts are. The creation is groaning in travail because of our abuse of the garden in which we have been set. The body is ailing. Participating in God's mission is about seeing and responding to that collective suffering, and beginning to understand our interconnection with the other parts of the body."
—from the Introduction

In the Christian tradition, believers are called to do more than sit around and pray. Throughout the Gospel—and throughout history—people of faith have been quite literally booted out into the world to bring God's love to everybody, not just a select few. That's the meaning of mission—from the Latin verb mitto, meaning, "to send." It is the work that Jesus and his disciples set out to do—feeding, healing and teaching.

In an insightful and powerful voice, Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, explores the meaning of mission in the context of contemporary life, reminding us of the Anglican Communion's Five Marks of Mission:

  1. Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  2. Teach, Baptize and Nurture New Believers
  3. Respond to Human Need with Loving Service
  4. Seek to Transform Unjust Structures of Society
  5. Strive to Safeguard the Integrity of Creation, and Sustain and Renew the Life of the Earth

"A gift to our worldwide Communion, indeed to the whole church. These gems sparkle with insight and challenge.... A classic for renewal in the church's commitment as servant to God's mission."
—Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate, the Anglican Church of Canada

"A love story between the churched soul and the all-consuming work of God on earth. This compilation of stories and commentary, confession and hymning joy, will move even the most recalcitrant of us to greater humility and more gratitude."
Phyllis Tickle, author, Emergence Christianity: What It Is, Where It Is Going, Why It Matters

"Teems with the particulars of human care, human contact and human compassion.... Readers will be able to 'take heart' and 'lift up our hearts' at Katharine's compelling testimony."
—Walter Brueggemann, professor emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

 "Invites us to gain strength from the stories of courageous mission leaders, listen for God's call into new and sometimes risky places and to become transformative leaders for the church today."
The Rev. Margaret R. Rose, Ecumenical and Interreligious Deputy, The Episcopal Church

"Wide-ranging, biblical and creative ... weaves a tapestry of spirituality for the Five Marks of Mission that inspires a discipleship of solidarity and illuminates what the church's faithfulness in God's mission means in the twenty-first century."
The Rev. Canon Dr. Titus Presler, principal, Edwardes College, Peshawar; author, Going Global with God: Reconciling Mission in a World of Difference

About the Author

Katharine Jefferts SchoriKatharine Jefferts Schori is the presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church. Prior to being elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada in 2000 and her ordination to the priesthood in 1994, she was a visiting assistant professor in Oregon State University's department of religious studies, a visiting scientist at Oregon State's College of Oceanography and an oceanographer with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle. She became the Anglican Communion's first female primate in 2006. She is the author of The Heartbeat of God: Finding the Sacred in the Middle of Everything (SkyLight Paths); A Wing and a Prayer: A Message of Faith and Hope; and The Gospel in the Global Village: Seeking God's Dream of Shalom.