During this year’s virtual thanksgiving service for CWM’s retired missionaries, our General Secretary Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum recorded a short video greeting where he recognised their vision, commitment and sacrifice in responding to God’s call. The speech is as follows.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I greet you as partners and colleagues in the mission of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am Jooseop Keum, a child of CWM and of the ecumenical missionary movement. I am delighted to be serving as your General Secretary and I welcome this opportunity to greet you as we recognise your work in the ministry of Jesus Christ.
CWM is the outcome of the vision, commitment and sacrifice of young men and women who served the missionary movements wholeheartedly, responding to the call of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, on their lives. They understood their calling to be that of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to people around the world who had not heard the message of salvation and given an opportunity to respond.
As the missionary movement took root in places like the Pacific and Africa the missionaries started to make connections with the issues that affected people and to which the gospel spoke. As such the mission started to respond to education, health care and economic needs and wellbeing of the people in local communities. Schools and hospitals as well as business opportunities started and soon the sharing of the Gospel included responses to and engagement with social issues.
Our retired missionaries are the living embodiment and expression of such vision, commitment and sacrifice. And so, it is with heartfelt gratitude that I greet you in my role as General Secretary of the Council for World Mission. As some of you will know, I once served CWM as Executive Secretary for Mission Programme. I have returned to serve the organisation as General Secretary and I will do my best to honour your legacies and to carry on the noble tradition of service to God, proclaiming the Gospel of salvation in response to the needs of humanity and all of God’s beautiful creation.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, the member churches and my staff, I thank you for your labour of love and for the example of faithful service that you have been throughout your years of service on the mission field. Those of us who follow in your footsteps must learn from you and so continue the work to which you devoted the prime of your life. Of course, the issues may be different today from they were many years ago; but we must pledge the same discipline and dedication as we read the signs of time and discern the will of God. Under my leadership, we will work with our member churches “to serve the present age, our calling to fulfil”. I also pledge to work to inspire and nurture the young leaders to respond to the missional impulses of their generation.
Once again, I salute you for your sterling ministry. I wish you God’s blessings for good health and a life of fulfilment in your retirement. I pray for you and your family, that the Lord will be your shepherd at all times and that you will lack no good thing. And I promise that the work you started will continue to flourish as we, your sons and daughters, carry the mantle forward.
May God’s blessings surround you each and every day and may you find peace and satisfaction in your retirement.
Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum
Council for World Mission