St Stephen’s church has active mission partnerships with a number of ministry agencies. Our partners are: The Church Missionary Society (CMS) on the global horizon; the Bush Church Aid Society (BCA) on the National horizon; Access ministries on the local horizon; Anglicare as an explicit expression of support for caring ministries; the Evangelical Fellowship of the Anglican Communion (EFAC) as an explicit expression of support for evangelical Anglicanism; and Ridley Melbourne as an explicit expression of support for the training up of evangelical Anglican ministers.
Our mission partnerships reflect our ministry values and priorities, with a balance between ministries that proclaim the Lordship of Christ Jesus and those that actively demonstrate his love, together with those that are rightly considered as being our specific responsibility. We currently support Medical education in Rwanda, Village Outreach & Bible Distribution in Zambia, Church Ministry in remote regional Victoria, school chaplaincy at Balwyn High School, and Anglicare Food assistance for disadvantaged people in Box Hill.
These mission partnerships enable us to: engage personally with mission and justice concerns; think both locally and globally; fulfill our local responsibilities; pray intelligently for the wider world; give financial support to good gospel causes; raise up workers and supporters for our partners; and join with like minded people to achieve common goals.
Our partnerships recognize an alignment of our goals and ministry values, such that it is true that the mission organization can be said to be acting on our behalf. Consequently we seriously examine the organizations we support, ensuring that what they do and how they do it is compatible with our own ministry values.
Whilst partnership rightly involves generous financial support of our partners, it includes much more than that. Effective partnership includes active prayer, ongoing collaboration and keen participation, enthusiastic promotion of activities, and encouraging people to work within the organization, both here and overseas. Personal involvement and interaction with others foster mission support and we maintain active links with missionaries. Both our church and the missionaries gain from these link relationships. For us, link missionaries provide a focus and a human face for world mission and our gospel horizons are widened. For the missionaries, the prayer, financial and pastoral support received is essential for their ministries.