Admiral of Morality: Ahead of Lambeth 2008, evangelism

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ahead of Lambeth 2008, evangelism

Episcopal Life carries the story about churches in the Diocese of Lichfield, in the Midlands of England, teaming up with parishes from around the world in advance of the Lambeth Conference next year.

"Mission teams from Canada, Germany, South Africa and South East Asia will descend on the West Midlands in June 2008 for a series of local evangelistic missions ahead of the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

Taking advantage of the global conference of Anglican Bishops, which is held once every 10 years, some 30 Church of England congregations from across the Diocese of Lichfield area have formed direct links with churches in the Anglican dioceses of Qu'Appelle in Canada; Matlosane in South Africa; and Sabah, Kuching and West Malaysia in South East Asia; as well as churches from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg in north-east Germany. The linked churches are using the internet to exchange news about themselves and their local community.

"CrossTalk allows people to pray with real understanding for each other, compare the challenges they face and reflect on their relative strengths, weaknesses and 'growing points,'" the Rev. Dr. Michael Sheard, world mission officer for the Diocese of Lichfield, said. "Email makes this an exciting possibility today as never before. We can swap pictures and even video clips as well as words."

The overseas guests and their bishops will join representatives from their host parish and the bishops of the Diocese of Lichfield at an international mission conference immediately prior to the Lambeth Conference.

"As part of our learning together, just before the Lambeth conference, the Lichfield church/parish will welcome a small team of two or three people from their overseas partner church to visit them for two weeks of mission, which can take whatever form emerges as the two partners think and pray together," said Sheard. "Some will have a parish mission, others a time of study, and other might run a special program for children or young people."

Founded in AD664 (formerly Mercia in AD 656), the Diocese of Lichfield is the Church of England in Staffordshire, (except for a few parishes in the south-east and south-west), the northern half of Shropshire, Wolverhampton, Walsall, and the northern half of Sandwell. It is one of the largest dioceses in the Church of England, serving a population of 1,922,000 in 1,744 square miles."

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