Council for World Mission (CWM) held its Board Meeting in Singapore on 10-11 November 2022, where its Board Members met in person. It was a fruitful time of discussion, where they deliberated on issues CWM is facing as well as the strategic programme plan for 2023-2025.
The event commenced with opening worship by CWM Moderator Rev. Lydia Neshangwe on 11 November at Village Hotel Katong, who preached from Acts 10 about how the Italian army general Cornelius presented a positive, edifying challenge to them as a devout, God-fearing man, and stressed disciplined, regular prayer in “total humility before God”, recognising that the high-level work in policy and governance is “not our work, but God’s work”.
She prayed for God’s wisdom and discernment, for them to enter the meetings pure in heart (Matthew 5:8), and that they would experience God in their decision making as they begin to make future plans and view ongoing work.
Subsequently, the CWM General Secretary Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum presented his report where he described key programmes and engagements with member churches and ecumenical partners in the past five months such as the launch of The Onesimus Project (TOP), and his participation in the 11th World Council of Churches (WCC) Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany. As part of the GS report, he shared his missiological reflection on the WCC Assembly theme “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity”.
He highlighted that starting from God’s mission leads to an ecclesiological approach ‘from below’, thus it is not the church that has a mission, but rather, the mission has a church. Through the presence and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we receive the fullness of life that is God’s gift for each of us and are initiated into mission as the movement of sharing God’s love.
Rejecting the common belief of mission being limited to projects of expanding churches or charitable work supporting development projects from the Global North without relocating to the contexts, Dr Keum regarded this as an opportunity to rejuvenate the ecumenical movement, fundamentally rethinking “love”, and how it can move the world to true reconciliation and unity.
In addition, he presented the Programme Plan for 2023 and Strategies for 2023– 2025 for discussion and approval by the Directors. “Life-flourishing” is a key motif for CWM’s mission and radical discipleship, and through this, CWM challenges and re-envisions oppressive systems of empire and confesses witness to life-flourishing communities – creation, church in action, education, economy, ecumenism, evangelism, societies, spiritualities, and growth and advancement.
Following a short discussion on the GS report, Rev. Dr Setri Nyomi delivered the Programme Reference Group (PRG) presentation, where he affirmed that CWM can show leadership by bringing an authentic message to people on the values and power of God’s reign; fostering an alternate public theology from the margins; and strengthening programme delivery.
Stating that PRG welcomed the reaffirmation of the strategic direction of CWM Programmes by the CWM General Secretary, he reaffirmed that CWM is poised towards the next era of making an impact under the theme “Transforming Discipleship: Frontiers in Mission towards Life-Flourishing Communities”.
Dated 12 November 2022