Council for World Mission (CWM) held its New Year Service with Holy Communion during the staff devotion on 9 January 2023 at 5:00 PM Singapore Time, attended in-person by staff in Singapore and virtually by CWM global staff from various regions. The liturgy was led by Mission Secretary – Ecology & Economy, Rev. Daimon Mkandawire, with the CWM General Secretary, Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum delivering the sermon.
During the sermon based on Proverbs 16:1-6 and Matthew 5:14-16, the General Secretary mentioned “perma-crisis” as Collins Word of the Year. It reflects the ongoing crisis faced by the world such as pandemics, military conflicts, climate crises, and social, political and economic inequalities, driven by life-threatening forces such as greed, self-centred motives, and corruption that destroy life and peace, said Dr Keum.
Dr Keum also emphasized that a perma-crisis presents a perma-opportunity where God will meet and understand us in our deepest crisis. The gospel of the reign of God challenges a world that retains the status quo of hopelessness, and CWM, as a community of transforming disciples, will have the courage to let God’s love and peace shine brightly in the world.
The first in-person Management Meeting was held over the next two days as CWM leaders received updates, deliberated on issues and discussed programme development and planning for 2023. After the opening prayer for a renewed passion and commitment to God’s mission, the mission secretaries presented detailed plans for the first quarter of their respective programme areas under the New Programmatic Structure.
Dr Keum urged CWM leaders to confidently step up in faith and compassion in responding to ongoing crisis. “CWM has to play a role in encouraging member churches and ecumenical partners by contributing to the ecumenical movement despite fears of a global recession” he said.
In view of the forthcoming CWM Assembly in 2024, Dr Keum invited the management for a brainstorming session on various aspects of the the Assembly. Since there has been a long gap from the previous Assembly, and the global community is still in crisis in this post-pandemic context, he stressed the strategic importance of the Assembly to provide spiritual and missional accompaniment to the member churches. He emphasised that as we pay attention to the signs of times, the theme of the Assembly must not only address the global context but also the context of the host region. He encouraged the Management Team to continue to reflect upon various aspects of the Assembly to further strengthen the spiritual aspects of the Assembly.
The Management Team warmly welcomed Mission Secretary – Discipleship and Dialogue & Europe Region Rev. Dr Graham Mc Geoch, who commenced work on 1 January 2023, and Mission Secretary – Education and Empowerment & Pacific Region Rev. Dr Amelia Koh-Butler, who will be on board on 1 March 2023. Impressed by the treasure trove of mission history found in the Singapore office, Rev. Dr Koh-Butler said, “It is such a privilege to be learning new ways to engage in mission following in the tradition of the faithful.”
Dated 12 January 2023