Haystack Study IV. Mission Today: The Haystack Revisited
IV. Mission Today: The Haystack Revisited
Supplies: Newsprint, colorful markers, crayons, magazines, glue, scissors.
In the 200 years since the Haystack Meeting our understanding of mission has changed. When we first sent out mission personnel it was with an attitude of having all the answers. Many believed the right and only way to do things was the American way. Some mission personnel acted inappropriately. Some felt we were smarter than the people whose lands in which we were guests. In triads discuss:
What are some of the ways early missionaries used Western culture to color the Gospel of Jesus Christ? (20 minutes)
Resource available by calling 1-800-537-3394: Year 175: A Brief History of the United Church Board for World Ministries, by David Stowe, pp. 6-7, “Mission and Social Change.”
Reconvene the group and ask them to share stories from their triads. (20 minutes)
Today we send overseas mission personnel only to those churches and agencies requesting them. Concurrently, we benefit when a partner church sends mission personnel to churches and ministry settings within the United States.
Global Ministries, the mission body of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, uses these Guiding Principles in our work around the world. (Have available on newsprint.) (15 minutes)
1. Within covenantal bonds with other partner churches and ecumenical bodies throughout the world, we commit ourselves in Christ to share life, resources and needs.
2. As part of the ecumenical church and its response to particular historical and geographical contexts, we affirm our commitment to share persons in mission.
3. We commit ourselves to discovering and sharing exciting new ways to sing the song of faith … hearing, telling and participating in the story of God’s love in Jesus Christ.
4. Relying upon God’s grace, we commit ourselves to share in God’s healing of God’s continuing creation.
5. Recognizing the freedom of God’s Spirit to act in diverse ways, we commit ourselves to engage in dialogue, witness, and common cause with people of other faiths and movements with whom we share a vision of peace, justice, and integrity of creation.
Ask each triad to take one of these principles and discuss ways it might impact our mission work in another country. Instruct each group to take a sheet of newsprint and illustrate what the principle looks like. Reconvene the group and ask each group to share their written and illustrated reflections. (30 minutes) (Note: these pieces of art might be hung in a hall in the church. Take digital pictures of one or all and send to the Mission Education Office, Global Ministries, 700 Prospect Ave Cleveland, OH 44115.) Close with a prayer for God’s light to continue to break forth in our lives and in our churches.