Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 76th General Convention adopt the following "Five Marks of Mission" as articulated by the Anglican Consultative Council and addressed to the Anglican Communion:
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.
- To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth; and be it further
Resolved, That the 76th General Convention recommend the Five Marks of Mission as the five top strategic priorities for the Episcopal Church, and request Program, Budget, and Finance and the Executive Council to center the budget for the 2013-2015 triennium around these strategic priorities; and be it further
Resolved, That Convention recommits The Episcopal Church to mutual responsibility and interdependence in the Body of Christ with the provinces and churches of the Anglican Communion in keeping with "A Covenant for a Communion in Mission" commended by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC13-2005); and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the General Convention communicate the substance of this resolution to: The Archbishop of Canterbury, the General Secretary of the Anglican Communion, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and Primates, and the leadership of the churches and provinces of the Anglican Communion.
The "Five Marks of Mission," adopted by the meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC6-1984, and ACC8-1990), are the accepted standard in the Anglican Communion for participation in God's mission. This resolution adopts the "Five Marks of Mission" for The Episcopal Church.
This resolution further recommits The Episcopal Church to work cooperatively in God's mission with sisters and brothers in Christ in the Anglican Communion in keeping with "The Covenant for a Communion in Mission" commended by ACC13. The text for the "Covenant for a Communion in Mission" is as follows:
A Covenant For Communion In Mission
This Covenant signifies our common call to share in God's healing and reconciling mission for our blessed but broken and hurting world. In our relationships as Anglican sisters and brothers in Christ, we live in the hope of the unity that God has brought about through Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. The preamble recognises that the world is one that has been graced by God but that God's work through Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is to seek to heal its hurts and reconcile its brokenness. The preamble reminds us that as Christians we are called to share our relationships in the mission of God to the wider world, bearing witness to the kingdom of love, justice and joy that Jesus inaugurated.
The nine points of the covenant are predicated on Scripture and the Sacraments providing the nourishment, guidance and strength for the journey of the covenant partners together.
Nourished by Scripture and Sacrament, we pledge ourselves to:
1. Recognize Jesus in each other's contexts and lives
The nine points begin with Jesus Christ, the source and inspiration of our faith and calls for those covenanting for mission to look for, recognise, learn from and rejoice in the presence of Christ at work in the lives and situations of the other.
2. Support one another in our participation in God's mission
Point two acknowledges that we cannot serve God's mission in isolation and calls for mutual support and encouragement in our efforts.
3. Encourage expressions of our new life in Christ
Point three asks those who enter into the covenant to encourage one another as we develop new understandings of our identities in Christ.
4. Meet to share common purpose and explore differences and disagreements
Point four provides for face-to-face meetings at which insights and learnings can be shared and difficulties worked through.
5. Be willing to change in response to critique and challenge from others
Point five recognises that as challenges arise changes will be needed as discipleship in Christ is deepened as a result of both experience in mission and encounters with those with whom we are in covenant.
6. Celebrate our strengths and mourn over our failures
Point six calls for honouring and celebrating our successes and acknowledging and naming our sadness and failures in the hopes of restitution and reconciliation.
7. Share equitably our God-given resources
Point seven emphasises that there are resources to share - not just money and people, but ideas, prayers, excitement, challenge, enthusiasm. It calls for a move to an equitable sharing of such resources particularly when one participant in the Covenant has more than the other.
8. Work together for the sustainability of God's creation
Point eight underscores that God's concern is for the whole of life - not just people, but the whole created order - and so we are called to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain and renew the life of the earth.
9. Live into the promise of God's reconciliation for ourselves and for the world
This last point speaks of the future hope towards which we are living, the hope of a reconciled universe - in which 'God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven' for which Jesus taught us to pray.
We make this covenant in the promise of our mutual responsibility and interdependence in the Body of Christ.
The conclusion provides a strong reminder that we need each other. We are responsible for each other and we are mutually interdependent in the Body of Christ.