Dear Lausanne friends,
Exciting things are happening in North America! Let me share just a few.
First, Urbana ’12 was a great success! There’s so much to be thankful for as I reflect on directing the Urbana 12 Student Missions Conference, the largest missions conference in North America. I’m so proud of my team, the 1,500+ InterVarsity staff across North America, and many Lausanne leaders who served, including Bible expositor Calisto Odede. The team rallied together around a vision for this Urbana to be clearly connected to its historical vision, clearly rooted in scripture and the gospel, and clearly contextualized to the language and culture of this generation. For more on the highlights, see: http://www.tomandnancylin.com/post/40445754196/top-10-personal-highlights-from-urbana.
Second, several initiatives have emerged as a result of this past summer’s Lausanne North American Younger Leaders Gathering, where nearly 150 leaders in their 20s, 30s, and 40s gathered.
- A Network has formed so that we can move together in unity to deeply impact North America as God’s people. Our North American Younger Leaders Network now has 65 people interacting on our facebook page.
- The gathering this past summer consisted of ten topics around which participants brainstormed. We will be publishing a book on the outcomes of these discussions, possibly involving publishers such as InterVarsity Press. The book is co-edited by Ann Chow and JR Rozko. Some of the topics include: business as mission, ministry with Muslims, truth in the arts and media, discipleship, developing Christ-centered leaders, and ministry to those in poverty and those who are marginalized.
Third, from April 11-13, 2013, the inaugural Missio Alliance gathering will occur in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. Missio Alliance is an emerging initiative for the theological formation of North American Church leaders for mission. The need for such an initiative has arisen from several years of observations, conversations, and collaboration among church leaders who, although diverse in terms of denominational heritage and areas of work, are united in their commitment to witnessing fully and faithfully to the good news of God’s kingdom and a shared desire to engage in critical dialogue about the most pressing theological and cultural issues of our day. Missio Alliance has identified its work as in the vein of, indeed proceeding from, The Cape Town Commitment: A Confession of Faith and a Call to Action. For more on this great event, visit http://www.missioalliance.org/.
Fourth, I want to extend my congratulations to Michael Oh on his new appointment as executive director of Lausanne International. I’m very excited about Michael’s passion for both global missions and catalyzing the next generation, the same things that are at the very heart of Urbana, InterVarsity, and Lausanne. All of us here in North America look forward to working closely with Michael.