The desire for intimacy and accountability inspired the formation of mission groups, made up of 2 to 15 members, gathered around a shared sense of vocation or God's calling. Accountability to others provides a support to encourage us to follow the path of our spiritual journey faithfully and deepen our relationship with God. Mission groups provide the fundamental unit of community and accountability in the church, with each person following their own sense of response to God's call for relationship and service.
Membership in Eighth Day is based on commitment to Christ and on response to God's call to deepen the inward journey and to serve God through actively participating in a mission group. Mission groups are the center of life in the Eighth Day Faith Community. They are the structure we have found most helpful in supporting God's individual and corporate call. Mission groups consist of at least two members who have responded to a particular call to ministry.
Mission groups generally meet once a week for 2 - 3 hours, to support one another in spiritual growth and outward mission. The meetings are broken into periods of worship, personal sharing, study, and work on the mission. Members move into closer relationship during their meetings and in the context of their mission.
Since commitment to, and accountability for particular disciplines, are central to the life of the church, only covenant, intern, and community members are included in mission groups.
The missions vary widely. Some, like Academy of Hope, a basic adult education school, originally gave birth to small missions that have gone on become large nonprofit groups now only marginally related (or not related at all) to Eighth Day, while their mission groups have disbanded replaced by boards of directors. The common factor is that all arise out of a call heard by one person and shared by at least one other person to follow Jesus in some particular manifestation of the outward journey.
Current mission groups include:
Inward Journey Mission Group: (Kate Lasso, Ann Barnet, Gail Arnall, Eliana Wright-Aguilar, Nancy McCormick-Pickett,
) The call of the Inward Journey mission group is to broadly extend the invitation to deeper participation in spiritual and communal life through intentional inward journey practices that enliven our awareness of God's presence in the world and in our lives. By encouraging these practices we seek to make larger the inner space that nourishes us on our journey home to God and a life with purpose, hope and belonging. Specifically, the Inward Journey Mission Group will foster opportunities to engage in activities such as bible study, spiritual conversations, book discussions and classes. We meet on Thursday evening from 5:30 - 7:00 pm. For more info, reach out to Kate Lasso. (firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 744-0440)
New Creation Mission Group: (Karen Mohr, Jennie Goshé, Brooke Lacock-Nisly, Wendy Dorsey, Connie Ridgway, Meade Hanna) Co-creates with God, advocates, models and teaches a creative process. We seek to be musicians, artists and liturgists in worship and the world. We meet Mondays from 5:30-7:30pm. For more information, reach out to Connie Ridgeway. (email@example.com, (202) 425-5094).
Companions Mission Group: (Marja Hilfiker, David Dorsey, Barbara Oldland, Eve Tetaz) The mission of Companions is to accompany others across the barriers of race, social class, disability or incarceration. We currently meet by phone on Thursday mornings at 10:30 AM. To get more information, call Marja Hilfiker (firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 387-2347).
The Conversation Project: (Mike Brown, Marcia Harrington, Bill Mefford, Amalia Phillips) The Conversation Project (TCP) Is a mission group dedicated to art of conversations inside and outside our camp as a way to experience a world larger than our own social and cultural bubble. The Swahili word, Ubuntu, meaning I am because you are, catches the essence of our spirit. We seek to enlarge our public and private spaces for vibrant, authentic, and critical conversation that nurtures our common good. For more information, please reach out to Marcia Harrington email@example.com (301) 512-5470).
Anti-Racism Mission Group: (Wendy Dorsey, Sito Sasieta, Steve Mohr, Meade Hanna, Kathy Doan, Sharon Lockwood) Our mission is to be a team that serves, leads, and collaborates with the council & the community in discerning how we can practice anti-racism as a collective body. For more information, reach out to Wendy Dorsey (firstname.lastname@example.org, (301) 587-5326).
Other missions founded or assisted by 8th Day members
ACADEMY OF HOPE- adult basic education for immigrants or people who dropped out of school.
BETHANY - home for homeless families with services to help them move into permanent housing.
COALITION AGAINST LANDMINES (CALM) - committed to helping children injured by landmines in Ethiopia and advocating against the US military's use of landmines.
JOSEPH'S HOUSE - home, community and hospice for homeless men and women in the terminal stages of AIDS and cancer.
JUBILEE JUMPSTART - day care center for neighborhood residents.
L'ARCHE GWDC - permanent homes where adults with and without intellectual disabilities live in community together.
TASSC (Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International) - provides assistance to newly settled survivors of torture and advocates against torture anywhere.