The Mission School of Ministry is part of the Mission Abbey. What is the Mission Abbey?
The Mission Abbey is an intentionally rooted, creative, diverse, and empowered communion of parishes, chapels, and works that seeks to love God and reveal His kingdom by stewarding His goodness, truth, and beauty in our neighborhoods, our city, and the world.
Many of us have been part of organizations and maybe even churches that have wonderful ideas and dreams. Ultimately, if those dreams are not organized and pursued with strategic intention, we are left feeling frustrated and discouraged. The Mission Abbey is a community that has agreed to organize our fellowship around some very specific intentions. Very little that happens around at the Mission is accidental or haphazard. From our Abbot (Chris Sorensen), to our Pastors, our Council, volunteers, and staff, you will find that there is a purposeful “why” behind every “what” we are doing (Josh 6, Neh, 1 Chr 12:32)
The roots of our Anglican tradition reach back approximately 1900 years, to our Celtic forefathers. These roots stabilize us, order us, and inform our right thinking and practice. We are comforted in the knowledge that our fellowship is instructed more by the great story of the Church than the particular personalities and worldviews of our local clergy. (Matt 16:17-19, 1 Cor 14:33, Heb 12:1-3, Jer 6:16, 1 Ptr 1:10-12, Eph 3:14-19)
We do not necessarily believe that every church is called to seek creativity as a core value, however we do believe that creativity is a particular passion that God has put on our hearts as the Mission Abbey. The team that originally launched the Mission included five professional musicians, one visual artist, and a writer. God is the original “Creative,” and it is clear from what He has made that He values innovation and creativity. (Gen 1:26-28, Gen 2:15, Rev 21:24, Rev 21:26)
We are called to be one, without regard to socio-economics, class, or ethnicity. We believe that greater depth and richness is found in holding in tension people’s unique perspectives than in trying to force uniformity on every level. (Gal 3:26-28, Js 2:1-10)
The Mission Abbey is a fellowship of missionaries. Each person has something unique to contribute within our community as well as a Spirit-led calling to live out beyond our walls. Our Mission Leadership looks to equip, protect, and serve our people so that we each are empowered to live into ministry. (Rom 12:3-8, Eph 4:11-16, 1 Pet 2:9-10, Rev 5:9-10)
True community involves honesty, love, sacrifice, struggle, and forgiveness. Living into community together at times requires each person to sacrifice one’s own sense of personal rights for the sake of unity. Safety is found in the knowledge that even when we make mistakes, we will still be loved. Our unity is often made real in and through the crucible of reconciliation and grace. (1 Cor 12:12-31, John 17:20-26, Matt 5:23-24, 1 Corn 1:10, Matt 5:9)
There are three parishes that make up the Mission Abbey. Each parish has been given spiritual oversight over a certain geographic area (Chattanooga, Red Bank, and Cleveland). These parishes are led by parish priests, and each parish has developed a unique charism befitting of the area in which it is ministering.
Everything begins with relationship. God desires us to love Him, not just gather knowledge about Him. (Luke 10:17, John 14:21)
Our belief in God can best be described by the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. We believe that these adequately describe the Triune God that we discover in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
At the Mission, we do not feel lead to market, sell, or convince anyone of anything. Instead, we simply desire to be like a mirror, as others see Christ in our words and deeds. (2 Cor 5:20, 1 Cor 3:9, Matt 16:9)
The Kingdom of God is breaking into our world. It is a kingdom that defeats the darkness and pain that we witness all around us, and brings about hope, justice, goodness, and order. Jesus, the King, will some day return and bring with him a new heaven and new earth. Until then, his kingdom is both a journey and a destination. It is already but not yet. (Rev 21:1-4, Matt 6:9-13, Matt 1:5, Dan 2:44)
We are a community under the rule of a mighty king, Jesus, and have been given the responsibility of stewarding His kingdom until He returns. The Kingdom is his, and yet we each have a vital role to play. We each bring our time, talents, and treasures to bear in the work of stewarding His kingdom. (Acts 28:31, Luke 19:11-27, Prov. 16:4, Mk. 12:43-44, Matt 19:16-24)
God’s kingdom is good. It is just. It favors those who are other-than, marginalized and oppressed. We desire to reveal God and His kingdom through acts of compassion, justice and love. (Amos 5:24, Is 1:17, Ps 136, Ps 105, Ps 34, 1 Cor 13:4-6)
God’s kingdom is true. Truth dispels darkness. It sets people free from bondage. We desire to reveal God and His kingdom through revealing His truth. (John 8:32, John 14:6, 1 John 3:18)
God’s kingdom is beautiful. He is the ultimate artist. All that is wonderful and beautiful in this world originates from His craftsmanship. We seek to use the arts and music as a means of reflecting God and His kingdom. (Ps 150, Ps 104, Rom 1:20, Gen 1)
We believe that God and His kingdom relate to humanity in an incarnational way. This means that God has a particular revelation of His heart for every neighborhood in which our chapels worship. We are interested in seeing what God wants to say and do specifically in each neighborhood around us at this particular moment in time. (Mark 12:31, Acts 17)
God not only has a particular revelation in mind for each neighborhood of our city, but He also has a citywide hope that He longs to reveal. We hope to be partners with God through discerning His vision and responding obediently in participation with His Spirit. (Jer 29:7)
In general and specific ways, we feel called to reveal God and His kingdom throughout the world. Specifically, we believe that God is calling us to plant similar Mission Abbeys in other places both near and far. (Matt 28:19-20)