‘We are all missionaries’

Posted on November 12, 2011 by Global Mission Support

The Rev. Philip J. and Lou Knutson are ELCA missionaries in South Africa. Philip is the regional representative for southern Africa. To support the Knutsons, or another of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.

Some of the seminary students who attended the workshop.

Some of the seminary students who attended the workshop.

Cape Town, November 2, 2011
Dear friends,

There were emotions of doubt and excitement among 60 seminary students at a recent workshop entitled “Christian Education for Mission” held at the Lutheran Theological Institute (LTI) in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.   (The ELCA supports theological education at LTI and scholarships for graduate students in theology at the University of KwaZulu/Natal.)

What really got the students excited and talking was the discovery that the Triune God is a Missionary God revealed in the way of Christ’s incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection, and that it is not a plane ticket but our baptism that affirms that we are all, by God’s grace, claimed, gathered and sent to participate in God’s mission for the sake of the life of the world.

Some students did a role play at the end of the workshop to demonstrate what they will be saying when they return to their communities and home congregations over Christmas.

They responded to the question “What did you learn?” saying:

I learned that we are all missionaries through baptism and that we are all learners and teachers.  I learned that mission is the work of the Triune God.  I learned how to be a missionary in the mission of the Triune God.  I learned about the three dimensions of mission: transformation, reconciliation and empowerment.  I learned what I did not know, that we are all missionaries and do not need to wait for missionaries from outside Africa.  I learned that mission needs participants not spectators. I learned that Christian education is for the whole church and the way of evangelism.”

Thank you for your participation in the mission of the Triune God locally and globally.

Yours faithfully,
Philip Knutson
ELCA – Global Mission
Regional Program Assistant – Southern Africa