The parish’s Global Mission Committee carries out the mandate of the Episcopal Church to share the presence and work of Christ in the world. Our aim is to build partnerships across geographic and cultural boundaries, and our vision is rooted in the baptismal vow to “seek and serve Christ in all persons,” along with Jesus’ prayer for his disciples: “That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you.”
Our committee directs our parish’s resources earmarked for ministry outside the United States, specifically carrying out our commitment to the Millennium Development Goals, which are endorsed by the United Nations, the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, and other faith communities. The MDG’s objectives provide a framework for how we address challenges faced by the world’s poorest nations.
The Global Mission Committee usually meets monthly from September through May. Committee chair is Judy Wyne <email@example.com>.
Focus: Honduras and South Africa
This nation is one of the poorest in the western hemisphere, with 60 percent of its population living below the national poverty level. Our Global Mission Committee has sent several mission teams to Honduras, beginning with a 2006 trip to El Hogar, an orphanage and school in Tegucigalpa.
In 2007, we established a five-year partnership with Iglesia San Patricio, a new Episcopal congregation in the agricultural town of El Progreso. Financial backing from the Chapel of the Cross was instrumental in constructing San Patricio’s church building.
In 2010, our committee became involved with the Hope of Jesus Children’s Home (La Esperanza de Jesus). This home is associated with the Diocese of Honduras and was founded and is directed by Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders missionaries Kim and Mike Miller. La Esperanza is located in the rural town of El Venado, and seeks to provide a loving, Christ-centered, family-oriented environment for abandoned, orphaned, and abused children. It includes a farm with livestock and a small coffee plantation that provides food for the children and helps to fund La Esperanza. In 2011, a generous Chapel of the Cross parishioner provided funds for a chapel at the home, called La Capilla de la Cruz.
In 2006, the Chapel of the Cross began a relationship with Kwasa Centre, a ministry of St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican Church in Springs, South Africa, a former mining town, Kwasa provides school, after-school, and orphanage facilities for boys and girls from a local impoverished settlement of 20,000 people dating from South Africa’s apartheid era. Some students are from households headed by children, resulting from the death of both parents from HIV/AIDS. Delegations from Kwasa and the Chapel of the Cross have exchanged visits on several occasions. In 2013, a pilgrimage group of thirteen people from our parish went to Kwasa and then toured other parts of South Africa.
Initiatives in Other Countries
Our committee also supports former Chapel of the Cross parishioner Cameron Graham Vivanco and her husband, Roberto Vivanco. The two serve as missionaries in Quito, Ecuador and work with Youth World. This ecumenical program trains youth leaders for service in Ecuador and other parts of Latin America. Another of the Vivancos’ numerous ministries is a scholarship program, Education = Hope, which provides educational opportunities for children in desperate and difficult circumstances. Other sponsors of the Vivancos include International Teams, a non-denominational missionary agency, and the Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders.
Haiti, the Middle East, and Around the World
In 2010, following the earthquake in Haiti, our committee began annual contributions to that country via Episcopal Relief and Development. Through ERD, we also support St. Luke’s Hospital located in the West Bank city of Nablus. This full-service medical facility offers surgery, pediatrics, women’s health services, and intensive care to all in need, without concern for the ability to pay.
Elsewhere in the world, our Global Mission Committee periodically responds to unexpected international humanitarian crises by contributing funds to appropriate relief agencies, including Episcopal Relief and Development and UNICEF. In 2008, the Diocese of North Carolina and the Diocese of Botswana agreed to a Companion Link for Ministry. In 2010, two of our Chapel of the Cross parishioners visited Botswana to participate in HIV/AIDS workshops for church leaders and to assess other opportunities for partnerships and joint ministry.
Mission Trips and Pilgrimages
Mission in the Episcopal Church is based on companionship with other dioceses, parishes, and individuals at the international level. Global Mission Committee members and other Chapel of the Cross parishioners periodically go on mission trips and pilgrimages to establish and affirm our companion relationships. Based on the concept of growing together as equals, these companionships form the basis for a common community in Christ. Support for cross-cultural exchanges is central to our outreach ministry.