Re-thinking mission

Within Sister Parish, we are often looking for resources that help explain our model to new people.  As we try to recruit for delegations or share our experiences with friends and family, it can be hard to explain.  Sometimes we do not know how to respond to the questions, “How was your trip?” or “But what do you do on a Sister Parish delegation?” when people are expecting to hear about a more traditional mission model.

Below are a number of articles about re-thinking mission trips and delegations.  The articles challenge our thinking and invite us to further reflection.  The authors encourage us to place relationships at the center, to receive as well as to give, to acknowledge our privilege and responsibility to others, and to learn from and support movements for justice in the countries we visit and at home, while recognizing how interconnected we are.

Long-term relationships are the heart of Sister Parish.  We also believe that reflection before, during and after a delegation is an essential part of the transformative experience. We hope these articles will be helpful in bringing in new people, as well as in supporting a process of further reflection for those already involved.

Things No One Tells You About Going on Short-Term Mission Trips
“Developing countries do not need short-term heroes. They need long-term partners….Please don’t stop taking short-term missing trips, but do consider helping your team understand that how we do short-term mission trips may, in fact, matter more than what we do.”

American Rabbis Visit Guatemala to Support Human Rights Advocates
“I am bringing back a sense that what happens here matters at home—and what happens at home matters here,” said Rabbi Michael Knopf of Temple Beth El in Richmond, Virginia. “We’re intertwined on levels we don’t fully appreciate or understand. And because we’re interconnected, we have a deep responsibility to one another.”

Rethinking that mission trip to Guatemala
“Let’s not merely offer our thoughts and prayers. Let’s offer solidarity and advocacy that give feet to our prayers. Let’s rethink that mission trip.”

The Cost of Short-Term Mission
“Short – term missions are expensive…But short – term missions can be worth every penny if they mark the beginning of a long-term relationship. Money invested in learning about the causes of poverty in developing nations – and what can be done – is money well spent.”

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Building community across borders.
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