Council for World Mission (CWM) held a fruitful Core Group Meeting to concretise plans for The Onesimus Project (TOP) from November 28th to December 2nd in London. The meeting commenced with worship by CWM Mission Secretary Rev. Dr Michael Jagessar, followed by an inaugural address by CWM General Secretary Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum.
The CWM General Secretary stated that the theology of Jubilee is found in the Old Testament (Leviticus 25:8-10) and declared that this project goes beyond decolonisation to aiming for liberation. Rather than viewing TOP through the lens of the Apostle Paul, Dr Keum asserted that TOP is viewed from the perspective of Onesimus. Onesimus went beyond being a useful and faithful servant, to a transforming disciple who became the Bishop of Ephesus, martyred for liberating gospel for slavery.
Underscoring the deeply missional nature of the project, the CWM General Secretary stated that “we cannot speak of ‘partnership in mission’ while keeping injustice in our midst.”
“Justice is imperative for unity, and it demands radical transformation. We need to create a vision for bringing transformation and building a future rooted in justice.” Dr Keum explained.
Subsequently, TOP Core Group Chairperson and President of International University of the Caribbean (IUC) Rev. Dr Roderick Hewitt delivered the keynote address, followed by two intensive days of working group discussions and presentations. Those present were dispersed into four groups based on TOP’s four key areas of focus – Legacies of Slavery; Modern Day Slavery; Education for Liberation; and Transformative Ecumenism.
The concrete plans of TOP’s four key areas discussed at the Core Group Meeting will be implemented after final approval by the Board of Directors meeting, which will be held in February 2023.
Dated 2 December 2022