The noun “mission” is a mid-16th century English word that is derived from the Latin word “missio.” The word was originally used to describe one of the main themes of Pentecost – the sending of the Holy Spirit into the world. This early use of the word reminds us that mission is, at its foundation, an activity of God. That is, mission is an initiative of divine, not human, origin. Mission, then, is a work of grace that God is engaged in in the world. God’s gift of the Spirit to us is an invitation to participate in God’s mission.