Friday, July 20, 2012

Toronto, Chapter 5

Things are beginning to wrap up here at the Canadian Church's Forum on Mission. We have spent a day with the head officers of our YASC program, talking about logistics and what it means to be a missionary, specifically for the Episcopal Church. Petero A.N. Sabune, the partnership officer for placements in Africa, told us that we are answering a very essential  call in what it means to be a Christian: to go! "You cannot be a Christian by yourself," he said, "you have to go!" Go and be with your neighbor, go and talk with a friend, go make a friend, go worship with a community, go out and worship in the community, go to Japan, go to Conway, go to camp, go into the world.

Other than that we've been doing a lot of detail-specific preparation. Days are getting long so coffee is a must!

Yesterday, we hosted a panel discussion on Decolonization, which was very interesting. Later in the day we discussed how mission had been a part of the colonization process. We talked about ways to begin healing this broken past and building a better future. Most importantly, I think, this involves developing a critical mindset: the ability to be aware of the social systems that we are in and how they function, how they empower some people and suppress others.
After a day full of discussion, we were instructed to meet outside our residence hall with nothing in our pockets. Everything we needed would be provided. We were given an address and some subway tokens and told to find our way. We hoped dinner would be waiting. It was simply a small exercise in what it is really like to answer God's call to go. We couldn't see the whole picture we had to trust that everything we needed would be provided for. And of course, it was:

Good eats at an ethiopian restaurant! 

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