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"Mission and Discipleship: Challenges and Possibilities"


Our celebrations and themes are exciting and challenging during the month of August, because of the possibility of drawing the meaning of diverse events and ideas. We join in celebrating our Independence as a Nation from the colonial oppression of the British Raj. Our celebrations must transcend symbolic gestures to acts of commitment to celebrate freedom and justice in our own times as a nation. The words of Mahatma Gandhi are a timely reminder for us, "A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people."It is so satisfying to be part of the preparations for the 'Mission Month,' and really congratulate the leadership @ St. Andrew's for envisioning this idea and putting it into practice, and thank Mr. Franklin Edwin, Convener of Mission & Evangelism Committee for all the thoughts and planning.

It may be very difficult to provide an acceptable definition or understanding of Mission for all, because our understanding of Mission is shaped by our own perceptions, perspectives and purposes. But a particular emphasis on understanding Mission is probably inevitable or even helpful. In the Bible, we do not find a ready definition of Mission, but we do find diverse models or concepts of Mission. One of the most significant leads comes from Jesus Christ in his words to the eleven disciples who were gathered in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-20), generally known as the Great Commission, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nation... " (Matthew 28:19). This foundational idea of Mission is an invitation for us to see the close relationship in the understanding and practice of Mission and words, "Follow me"a call for all of us to be engaged in God's Mission (Matthew 16: 24-26)Mission is not an isolated or personal enterprise, but a collective experience of journeying together.

Only when we are involved and take discipleship seriously, can we be involved in Mission. Jesus first discipled, and then sent the Apostles to be involved in Mission; it was prophetic, intentional and visional. We are all called to live out this mission in our own times. Clarity on the relationship between Mission and Discipleship needs further conversations, study and attention. I am so happy that our Pastorate Committee along with the Mission and Evangelism Committee has planned for a Consultation and a Retreat for the congregation. We are looking forward to the 'Mission Jathre' on the first Sunday and hope it becomes another point of conversation. The involvement of each of the Wings and Fellowships on each Sunday during this month is commendable, and is a sign of our enthusiasm as 'People of God in God's Mission'. Glory be to God for the work of the church in Tubagere for over a decade, and for the work of Evangelist Sampath Nayak and his family. We probably need a review of our work in Tubagere, and explore possibilities of discovering new models or patterns of continuing our mission there. It is a matter of joy that we are providing a new emphasis in our mission engagement for the Elderly, 'Care for the Elderly', and the planned Retreat. It is our hope that we will take this mission seriously, even as Mr. David Soans is providing leadership in shaping this ministry. The Apostle Paul encourages us by saying, "For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord... " (2 Corinthians 4:5).

Journeying together in God's Mission
Rev. Dr. Dexter S. Maben
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