For Bishops in Europe looking to sponsor an API group
How can we envision and equip Christians and churches to be agents for reconciliation in divided communities and societies?
If, as a diocesan bishop, you’re pondering a question such as this, then you’ll want to consider sponsoring a group to participate in an Anglican Peacemaking Institute (API) Reconciling Mission programme. The API Reconciling Mission process is focused on resourcing participants with a vision for mission as part of joining in God's reconciling work, marked by deep engagement with local communities, along with tools for the church to play a creative role in promoting reconciliation within society.
What would I be committing myself to?
If you sponsor a group, you and your team will be committing yourselves to the following:
- You, as the diocesan bishop, identifying and investing in a diverse team of four
- Meeting with your team in advance to clarify hopes and expectations
During the API Reconciling Mission course, the team will develop a provisional plan for implementation in their own parishes, and for sharing learning and resources across your diocese. They will also identify a partner team from another diocese or province.
Over the following 18 months, your team will participate in a series of online video conferences, with their partner diocesan team. These conferences will function as an action learning group and will be facilitated by an API facilitator. You can expect:
- For you or one of your senior staff to meet regularly with your team to take forward implementation and agree next steps. (Typically, meeting within a month of the API, then every three or four months.)
We also hope that you and your team will offer feedback to subsequent API programmes, via short pre-recorded video interviews. Where possible, team members will also attend occasional regional gatherings of API ‘graduates’, to share stories of impact and learning.
Who should I sponsor as participants?
Your four participants will typically be clergy, although lay people are welcome if they can commit the time involved (for example, if they work for the diocese). They should ideally meet these criteria:
- mid-level leaders with potential to go on to more senior roles;
- a mix of genders, typically two women and two men;
- people who reflect some of the diversity within your diocese;
- people of some emotional maturity, who are not extreme characters; and
- expected to be in the age range 30-49.
In addition, ideally they should each have completed some foundational training in handling conflict through Bridge Builders, Place for Hope or a similar service. Or, alternatively, they should be aiming to complete such training within a few months of participating in the API Reconciling Mission course, in order to enhance their skills for working with tension and conflict.
Once you have identified a team of four, please notify our director. If you want to make an exception to the guideline criteria, you’ll need to explain why. Then invite each team member to read the pages of this website, and to complete the application form.
What’s it going to cost my diocese?
The proposed contribution for the API Reconciling Mission programme beginning in July 2020 is GBP £850 per participant, GBP £3,400 for a group of four. We may, however, be able to help you seek financial sponsorship from a charitable trust to cover more of the cost. (For the API Practical Peacemaking programmes in Southern Africa and East Africa, contributions have yet to be finalised.)
The diocese will also need to cover each participant's travel costs to the course venue.