The Anglican Communion website states that “The Five Marks of Mission are an important statement on mission. They express the Anglican Communion’s common commitment to and understanding of God’s holistic and integral mission. The mission of the Church is the mission of Christ.” It goes on to affirm: “The first Mark of Mission, identified with personal evangelism at the Anglican Consultative Council in 1984 (ACC-6) is a summary of what all mission is about because it is based on Jesus’ own summary of his mission. This should be the key statement about everything we do in mission.”
The Five Marks of Mission:
1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.
2. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers.
3. To respond to human need by loving service.
4. To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation.
5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
How the Five Marks Came To Be
The Five Marks of Mission have evolved over a number of years. The first four marks were developed at the 6th Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Nigeria in 1984. The fifth mark was added at the 8th meeting in Cardiff Wales in 1990.
The Five Marks were included and affirmed in the official report of the 1998 Lambeth Conference. In 1999 the Mission Commission of the Anglican Communion commended the Five Marks of Mission to each province of the Communion. It also challenged each province to develop or revise their understanding of mission faithful to Scripture. It also provided some background and context to the Five Marks and suggestions for ways to continue “along the road towards being mission-centred.”
The Five Marks of Mission are seen as a framework to describe and encourage ministry throughout the Anglican Communion.
At General Synod 2010, the Anglican Church of Canada adopted a strategic plan (Vision 2019) which commended the Marks of Mission as a framework for the ministry of the Canadian Church.
The Five Marks at the Cathedral
As part of the Anglican Church of Canada, we at Christ Church Cathedral are called to shape our ministry in light of these five marks. It is not an insignificant task, so as a pastoral team we are intentionally focusing on one Mark at a time to get ourselves into the habit of thinking about all aspects of our mission with Christ.
Our reflection on the first mark of mission led to the development of two formation offerings:
1. A workshop by the Rev. Scott Gunn of Forward Movement. Scott will give a half day workshop on "Anglican Evangelism For Ordinary People." The session explores everyday ways we can spread the Good News in our lives, wherever we are. You can register for this workshop here.
2. A Bible Study course facilitated by Deacon Jeffrey Preiss on “Finding God in the Workplace”. Deacon Jeffrey facilitates this bible study course where we explore how to find joy and meaning in our lives and in our work. The format includes scripture study and small group discussion. You can get further details and register here.
This is by no means exhaustive. Throughout the winter we offered an Anglicanism 101 course which drew both lifelong Anglicans wanting a refresher, and newcomers to the church seeking to deepen their relationship with God through Jesus. The pastoral team is engaged in ongoing reflection on the five marks of mission and we are excited to be able to share more initiatives with you in the weeks and months ahead.