The ten member churches of the CWM Pacific Region met on the 2nd to 4th May at Novotel, Nadi for the Regional Assembly guided by the CWM sub-theme “Healing the Broken Body: Hoping for Renewal.” The Regional Assembly provided an opportunity and the space for member churches to share their stories of success and challenges, affirm their solidarity, and a time to look ahead into the future.
The keynote by the Mission Secretary, Rev Dr. Cliff Bird, highlighted the interpenetration of missional issues and challenges facing all the member churches in their own contexts. Out of 42 participants, 37 delegates hailed from member churches in American Samoa, Kiribati, Ma’ohi Nui, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu. They led daily morning and evening worship where choruses or hymns were sung, bible verses read and short sermons presented.
Also, we were blessed to have Dr Yvonne Dawkins from CWM to talk about CWM programs and how it has helped in responding to mission within their church, community and ecumenical bodies. Having highlighted CWM’s strategic focus of mission in the context of empire, she also presented on the evaluation process, asking delegates to think seriously about the continuity and relevance of the key thematic and strategic areas for the new strategy beyond year 2020. Members were encouraged to highlight emerging issues in their contexts, and to be actively involved in the process of evaluation.
Guest speaker Father Kevin Barr presented on “Hoping for renewal through re-imagining mission”. He challenged leaders to be “the Church today to inspire and empower the community of those who follow Jesus, to always keep their eyes fixed on Jesus, to have his mind and heart, to pray as he prayed, to have the courage to make his priorities their own and so challenge and change the world of our times to be the place God wants it to be. This will inspire us and compel us to work for the coming (and realization) of the Kingdom of God in our world today”.
The Assembly concluded with determination and hope for closer and meaningful relationships. Pacific Regional Office hoped to work closely with all member churches and to provide help according to their needs. Likewise, churches expressed their hopes to continue to work with, and pray for each other, as well as seek ways to increase connectivity and build healthy and life-affirming relationships within the member churches.