September 2010

Dear IAMS Colleague:

Greetings from New Haven! My last letter to the membership was written nearly ten months ago, and it is time to send you another personal report from the crow’s nest of the IAMS Executive Committee.

Meetings of the executive continue to be conducted by teleconference, the latest on July 12, with another scheduled for October 8. Cathy Ross, piggybacking on the June 17–20 ASM/APM meetings in Techny, our intrepid General Secretary doubled back to Toronto, where she met with members of the Toronto hosting committee. She was reassured by what she saw and heard. Parenthetically, I should mention that the ASM, with no request from us, voted to contribute another $1,000 to IAMS.

Notice of meeting for the thirteenth assembly is now being circulated in all customary channels, and I would ask that you do what you can to publicize the event among your colleagues and professional acquaintances. Please take note that the dates for the conference have been set for August 15–20, 2012. This is one week later than indicated in my January letter. In case you have not yet seen it, here are most salient elements of the official announcement:

Theme: Migration, Human Dislocation, and the Good News: Margins as the Center in Christian Mission

Call for papers: The IAMS 2012 Toronto Assembly will explore the profound missiological dimensions of human migration and dislocation, past, present, and future. We will attend especially to the many repercussions of widespread contemporary human movement for the theory and practice of Christian mission.

We welcome papers on mission and diverse aspects of human mobility from across the disciplines. These can touch upon a range of themes including ethnicity, race, gender, HIV-Aids, human rights, violence, poverty, nationalism, other religions, and ecclesiastical tradition. In addition, we urge IAMS Study Group members to prepare papers and share research, especially as these relate to the Assembly’s migration theme.

Study Groups: Previous study groups have organized around: *Healing and Pneumatology; *Biblical Studies in Mission; *Women in Mission; History;*Interreligious Relations; *Globalization and Mission; *Ethnic Minorities and Mission; and Documentation, Archives, Bibliography and Oral History. IAMS welcomes suggestions for other thematic groups, and volunteers for facilitating, organizing and chairing study groups that have been inactive (indicated by an asterisk*) since 2008.

Timeline: (1) Proposed topic, with 150–200-word abstract, is due by July 1, 2011. (2) Draft paper is due by January 1, 2012.

Guidelines for writing paper: Papers are not to exceed 4,000 words, including notes. Writers will be expected to strictly adhere to the Style Guide for Mission Studies

Process governing acceptance of paper: All proposals with abstracts will be carefully reviewed by the IAMS Executive Committee, who will finalize the Toronto program at its 2012 January meeting. Writers will be notified of the committee’s decision before April 2012.

I would be remiss if I were not to report on two other matters. First, Dr. Gerald Anderson continues to make steady progress in researching and writing the commissioned history of IAMS. It is our expectation that it will be published in time for the Toronto meeting. Second, the DABOH Study Group continues to be active, under the energetic leadership of Dr. Michael Poon.

DABOH’s Program Design Group met at the General House OMI in Rome from 26 to 29 May 2010 to plan for their participation in the IAMS 2012 General Assembly in Toronto. At that meeting, it was resolved to ask the Executive Committee

“to ratify Marek Rostkowski, OMI, Director of the Pontifical Missionary Library, Rome, to be a co-chair of the DABOH Study Group, effective from July 2010, for an eight-year term. This would bring DABOH more in touch with the Roman Catholic and non-English-speaking worlds. To encourage continuity and fresh impetus, DABOH further recommends that the present co-chair, Michael Poon, should relinquish his responsibility in 2012, to allow a new co-chair from the non-Roman Catholic world to assume co-leadership for a term of eight years.”

DABOH also decided to commission a book project – a manifesto – on the theology of memory, to be published soon after the IAMS 2012 Toronto General Assembly. The goal of the book will be to make the theological case for being faithful stewards of memory for the sake of evangelization. Programme details can be found at (Please ‘right’ click on link and ‘Open in New Window’)

These two resolutions were the concrete outcome of the 2008 Balaton DABOH resolution to strengthen structural ties with Roman Catholic counterparts, and to pay greater attention to the theological foundation of archives.

I want to acknowledge with gratitude the good work of Hugh de Saram and his colleagues at CMS in Oxford in improving the functionality of our site, so that it is now possible for members to view the entire membership. But I would also like to draw your attention to some disturbing information—dated 17-09-2010—concerning our membership:

Total membership: 672

Paid up members:126

Inactive members:504

Honorary members:7

Please check to see whether your membership is current. (

If you are unable to access the website, send an email or write a letter to Cathy Ross, our General Secretariat, at Without current, paid-up members, both our integrity and our ability to function as a scholarly organization are severely compromised.

Finances are tight, but steadily improving. We have been working hard to find funding to subsidize members from countries or institutions whose financial capacity precludes the possibility of coming to Toronto, with modest results. Many of the organizations from which IAMS has traditionally received assistance are themselves in severe financial straits. Please help, as you are able. One hundred members contributing one hundred dollars each would fill our coffers to bursting. And donations are easily arranged, thanks to the convenience of our website [].

As we now begin the detailed planning for the Toronto meeting in 2012, the executive committee would welcome your suggestions regarding sub-themes, Bible study leaders, resource persons, workshops, and resources. We expect to be engaging the assistance of an experienced conference organizer/planner/facilitator to ensure “feet on the ground” in Toronto. Although the Executive Committee will need to convene at least one, extensive joint-meeting with the Toronto Hosting Committee sometime next year, we will continue as a matter of course to do whatever we can to meet via teleconference.

Cordially yours,

Jonathan J. Bonk