December Mission of the Month | Church Missionary Society
Who are the easiest people to care for? Those in our immediate vicinity of course! For many people, this makes caring for missionaries quite tricky because they are often only in our midst for a couple of months every few years.
Sadly, most missionaries find that the longer they are away, the less they hear from people at home. There is a flurry of contact immediately following each Home Assignment, but as the months and years pass, the contact can often wear thin.
Ongoing care is essential for missionaries. Below are some ways that you can continue caring for missionaries long after they have gone on location, as well as when they’re back in Australia for Home Assignment.
But don’t forget that missionary service is a partnership and missionaries want to care for their supporters as well. They love to receive updates from you so that they can be praying for you, your church and your family while they are on location.
Keep in touch
Write a letter or email to missionaries while they are away. You can encourage them by asking them about their life and by telling them about what’s been happening in your life, work, family and neighbourhood.
You can also keep them in the loop by telling them about what’s going on at your church or by sending them the parish bulletin occasionally.
If you prefer talking to writing, send them an audio or video of you or people at your church.
Note: When emailing missionaries in secure locations, check before sending messages or attachments. In some countries, emails are monitored and there are topics that you should avoid mentioning for security reasons. Make sure you read our guide to communicating with secure missionaries before you email—but don’t let it stop you from keeping in touch!
As well as praying for them on your own, you can bring your missionary’s prayer needs before your church or group. Aim for brief but regular updates.
- Include prayer for your link missionary in your church services.
- Distribute their prayer points and newsletters to members of your church and small groups. (Don’t forget to help your church kids pray! Contact your branch for a copy of the children’s prayer diary, CMS Prayer Around the World.)
- Encourage people to subscribe to your missionary’s prayer points so that they can receive them directly.
- Start a mission prayer group.
- Encourage people to take part in CMS prayer events.
- Use the Monthly Prayer Points to pray for up-to-date and specific things in the lives of CMS missionaries.
- Let missionaries know that you have been praying for them.
You can help missionaries to feel cared for by sending birthday cards, videos, magazines, books or things for their children. Many missionaries enjoy receiving parcels while on location.
It is best to check with them first to see what they would like and if there are any restrictions about what you can send as some countries have unreliable postal services or require people to pay heavy customs duties. It is particularly important to do this for missionaries in secure locations. Make sure to mark your parcel as ‘printed matter only’ or ‘NCV’ (no commercial value) or ‘gift’, depending on the contents, and to tell your link missionary when you send the parcel and what is in it.
If you have any questions, general or specific, about sending mail to missionaries, feel free to contact your local branch.
Send resources to help with their work
It can be very encouraging for missionaries to receive items that help with their ministries, such as books, craft ideas and supplies, balls and pencils, puppets to explain Bible stories, creative ideas for activities and presentations, and much more.
Remember to check first before sending things, just as we outlined above. But don’t let it stop you—missionaries in sensitive locations need just as much care as those who aren’t.
A well planned visit from supporters can be a great encouragement to missionaries. Perhaps you are passing through on your own travels and want to say hello, or maybe you want to organise a short-term trip with your church to help with a particular ministry. For more ideas and suggestions, head to the Church Connect or Resources page on this website.
Caring for missionaries | CMS Australia
Parish Council Update
- We opened the meeting with Bible reading (Romans 4) and prayer
- Instead of a minister’s report, we considered the Synod Summary:
- Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill – it would be good to have teaching in this area within the Parish, be a public voice in the community in workplaces, and encourage parishioners to write to local members.
- Women in ministry – Parish Council requested Ministry Staff consider the opportunity for women serving in visible roles in appropriate ways and continue to consider a female voice on topics of relevance. Ultimately it would be good to have a clarified position of the Senior Minister and pastoral staff team.
- Domestic violence training “Before it starts” (aimed at Youth) – Parish Council recommend all youth leaders look at the material and encourage the incoming Youth Minister to consider it within their programming for 2023.
- Know Domestic Abuse online training – Parish Council strongly encourage staff, lay leaders, including Parish Councillors, and growth groups leaders to complete the course. You can find it here.
- Indigenous Ministry – explore whether there is Indigenous ministry locally (within Wollongong) and how we may partner or support.
- Recognising local Indigenous history – consider an Acknowledgement of Country (verbal) at large public meetings or services. Parish Council and Ministry staff should establish a limitation on what, for example we wouldn’t want smoking ceremonies with spiritual content.
- Mark has had ~10 or more conversations with potential applicants for the Assistant Minister role and is seeking to appoint the right person for the growth of the Kingdom.
- We thanked Allan Munroe for his many years of service as Parish Councillor and Treasurer. The Wardens are talking with potential replacements.