2022 CONFERENCE THEME
Reconciliation: God's Mission through Missions for All
Dr. Karen Fancher
Professor, Global Studies and Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice at Multnomah University
Dr. Al Tizon
Affiliate Professor of Missional and Global Leadership at North Park Theological Seminary
Dr. Darren Duerksen
Associate Professor, Program Director of Intercultural and Religious Studies at Fresno Pacific University
Globalism, along with massive migrations, interethnic and racial conflict, and rapid growth in secularism/atheism all contribute to polarization and heightened levels of conflict and the need for the church to work for justice, reconciliation and healing. The world as it is has faced us with COVID, K-shaped recovery dropouts, people confronting injustice, recognizing marginalized BIPOC … – but what and who defines our mission? The conflicts and troubles of this world?
How can a truly gospel centered missio ecclesia be reimagined that derives from the missio Dei (as from the missio Spiritu and missio Christi) calling all people back to the heart of God that is rooted in the call to be reconciled reconcilers? David Bosch’s Transforming Mission shaped the beginning of a new mission paradigm – a missional church that is with the people, bears the creative tension of being in the world, but not of the world, persevering in conflict, but not being people of conflict and paving the way to be true reconciled reconcilers. But never did he mention “mission as reconciliation”. The Lausanne Cape Town Commitment then brought forth: “Reconciliation to God is inseparable from reconciliation to one another. Christ, who is our peace, made peace through the cross, and preached peace to the divided world of Jew and Gentile.”
The conference aims to address new ways of holistic mission for the future of the Church with the mission as ministry of reconciliation at its heart. Challenged with many societal issues and conflicts of people, the local churches seek to find answers and outreaches rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ that bring people back into their initial calling to be in relationship with God. Doing shalom and reconciliation work according to 1 Cor 5 is not an add-on to missions but at the heart of God’s mission. God calls us to be reconciled with himself; the Church is sent to accomplish this calling. Being reconciled with God, means to live the love towards God, self, and neighbor in restored relationships including to steward creation and leads to enabling the local church to be (become again) a light in the city.