March on 19 April 2014
Why a Provincial Vision and Mission Statement?
God calls us to proclaim the gospel afresh in every generation. The coming of democracy to South Africa in 1994 ushered in a new era for the Anglican Church in Southern Africa, and with it the need to consider what was at the heart of our calling to mission and ministry within these changed circumstances.
Aware of this new chapter in the vocation of our Church, in 2002 Provincial Synod made a commitment to develop a Vision Statement that would state afresh our identity and calling. The 2005 Provincial Synod reaffirmed the task, and asked the Provincial Standing Committee to address the issue. However, it again received little attention, and in effect was put on hold as Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane retired and was succeeded by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.
Archbishop Makgoba invited Ms Glenda Wildschut to chair a consultation in June 2008 to consider the synergies between the Charge he gave at his enthronement, and the current life and ministries of the Province, and to propose ways in which, through these, a Vision for the Province might be expressed.
Following endorsement by the 2008 PSC meeting (which identified the key themes of Gospel Vision and Kingdom Values), a Task Group was appointed to take the process forward.
The Task Group, again with Ms Wildschut in the chair, looked at a range of visions and mission statements from dioceses and parishes around the Province. They reflected on what Anglicans in Southern Africa hold in common and on how we differ, and considered the many challenges facing our diverse Province. In September 2009 they reported to PSC, which, with minor changes, approved their draft Vision and Mission Statement and priorities for action at Provincial level.
The Vision, Mission Statement, and Missional Priorities are to be placed alongside those of dioceses and parishes. They are not intended to displace them, nor to impose any framework ‘from above’ on the grass-roots life of our Church. Rather, they identify issues that are best addressed at Provincial level, to encourage, strengthen, and support what is being done in these areas at parish and diocesan level.
Two other themes – transformation, and holistic mission that is rooted in a full commitment to evangelism – were also noted; but these were seen as running through and undergirding all eight priorities, rather than as matters to be addressed separately.