The new CWM Moderator and Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in India (PCI) Rev DC Haia launched CWM’s new Disability Action Project and Grant Programme at the Head Office of CWM in Singapore. The Moderator was joined by Rev Dr Collin Cowan, CWM General Secretary, whose vision it is, to support this important new area of frontier ministry.
Entitled ‘A More Able Church?’, this grant fund will challenge and inspire member churches to devise projects that honour the lives, contribution and ministry of people with disabilities. The General Secretary, spoke of CWM’s justice-centred vision of mission, recognising how the marginalisation of persons and communities in today’s world often impacts heaviest on people living with disability when he stated, ‘It is also clear that disability, marginalisation and poverty often go together. The World Bank estimates that approximately 20% of the poorest people in the world have some kind of disability’. This initiative that Rev Dr Cowan has prompted and steered, marks his own deep and personal commitment to disability advocacy as a justice issue and as an outcome of his many years of work advocating for the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities within communities.
The Moderator spoke from personal family experience of the challenges and struggle facing people with disability in his home in North East India. Rev Haia testified to the blessings churches and families receive when people with disabilities are fully included. ‘This enables us’, he said, ‘to create the rich partnership where we do the best for all God’s people’.
The General Secretary concluded the launch by calling on member churches to be ‘bold and passionate in their commitment to building inclusive churches and spaces in the community where the gifts of all God’s people can be honoured and harnessed in the realisation of fullness of Life in Christ for all’.
CWM Disability Action Project Summary
CWM seeks to pioneer life-affirming missional congregations. These congregations work towards the fullness of life Christ brings, from and with the full range of persons and resources in its midst. When the church embodies life in fullness, works for life in fullness, fullness of life flows and can be shared with the communities our congregations serve. As part of this vision CWM is seeking to inspire new work within the member churches to advocate the life and leadership of people with disabilities within the mission of the churches. CWM has set aside a sum of S$150,000 per year in 2017-2019 and is inviting member churches to propose projects by Oct 31st 2016 that raise the level of participation and leadership of people with disabilities within their mission and work. It is hoped that these projects can become learning centres for the wider CWM partnership.