Mission Study

"Peace I Leave with You. . ." - David A. Vargas

"Peace I leave with you," is what Jesus tells us at this time of reflection and celebration, and when we are also searching for why Jesus is calling us. "I do not give to you (that peace) as the world gives," Jesus tells us. "Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)

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"Critical Presence" as Good News: Meeting God's People and Creation at the Point of Deepest Need

It often takes major challenges in our lives to motivate us to explore and articulate alternative ways of thinking and acting in the world. We can, of course, respond to the challenges by closing ourselves. It may be the case that the most common response to change is to proceed with business as usual. However, when we take the challenges in the spirit of openness, they may lead us into alternative ways of thinking and responding to the world. Our Common Global Ministries Board (Christian Church-Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ USA) principle of "critical presence," understood as "timely and appropriately meeting God's people and creation at the point of deepest need," arose out of this spirit of openness to the challenges posed by our current context along with the recognition of our resources and capabilities.

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Peace in Africa, a personal perspective

I'm not going to pretend to have all the answers for the problem before us. What I would like to do is provide a perspective because Africa is a vast, vast continent—perhaps three times bigger than the U.S., so I'm not going to pretend to speak for the entire continent. What I would like to do is share and give a perspective. But before I do that, I would like to preface my remarks by highlighting an important personal scripture that has shaped our journey in peacemaking in many parts of Africa, but especially in the South Africa context. It's from Ephesians, chapter 2, verse 14. I just want to highlight one verse. "For he is our peace. In his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall that is hostility between us."

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Mission as healing

Mission as healing" is our topic this morning, and I would like to begin by posing some questions about the topic at hand. Let me say from the outset that I will not purport to define mission, as that is a much deeper exercise. We will brush up against that exercise, though, as we progress this morning and encounter aspects of mission. My initial questions have to do with the "healing" side of the equation. Some of the questions we will need to address are, What does healing mean? Who participates in the healing process? Who heals and who is healed? I will attempt to provide some possible answers to these questions in the context of mission, and want to begin by reading a familiar story from the Gospel according to John, which I think is a helpful paradigm for our discussions. It is the story of Thomas. From John 20:19-31, we read,

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Signs of a Radically New World

Isaiah 61: 1-3 John 15:26-27; 16:5-11 Acts 1:6-8 & Acts 2:1-21

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Global presence...for what?

David A. Vargas
President Division of Overseas Ministries and Co-Executive, Global Ministries

Presentation at General Assembly International Dinner: Charlotte, NC
October 18, 2003

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Update on Presence and Witness in the Middle East

Thursday, November 6, 2003 

It is indeed a privilege to participate in this "College of Mission" session with you this morning. Over the past few weeks, I have had the chance to teach two sessions of a couple of courses at Baldwin-Wallace College, a small historically Methodist school nearby, so the idea of teaching in a college setting is not something foreign to me this fall. In those two sessions, I was impressed by the interest and interaction of those college students on crucial matters of Islamic resurgence, Middle East politics, and the United States' role in the world. Since I usually don't get the chance to speak to such a large number of college students, I was pleased by the questions they are asking, but dismayed at the lack of opportunity they have had to engage on these important matters. Nonetheless, it was valuable for me and for them (I think and I hope!) to have had the time together..

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Critical Presence

Those of you who were present at the spring Global Ministries Board meeting will recall the discussion related to the challenges we are facing in terms of limited financial resources. It was out of that discussion that the term critical presence was introduced as a way of determining the placement of missionaries, as well as the allocation of funds. It was Eleazar Fernandez, a CGMB Board member who introduced the term critical presence in this discussion, however my colleague, Xiaoling Zhu began his work with this understanding as he approached the ministries in East Asia and the Pacific.

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Who Do We Say That Jesus is in Hong Kong

 Eric S.Y. So, CGMB Overseas Partner - Hong Kong

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Who Do We Say Jesus is in Haiti?

Patrick Villier, CGMB Overseas Partner - Haiti

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United States and CanadaLatin America and the CaribbeanAfricaMiddle East and EuropeSouthern Asia East Asia and the Pacific