Council for World Mission (CWM) held its Board Meeting on 8-9 June 2023, gathering its Board Members and management staff for a time of discussion and deliberation on issues faced by CWM. Held in Changhua City, Taiwan, it commenced with opening worship and prayer by CWM Moderator Rev. Lydia Neshangwe.
Preaching from Acts 13:1-4, the CWM Moderator expounded on how Paul and Barnabas were set apart and commissioned by God to work together even though they were diametric opposites.
With the Holy Spirit having brought them together in ministry, Rev. Neshangwe interpreted this as a call to transformative accompaniment, which she challenged the Board members to practise with their member churches and one another as a Board. Rising to this call and embracing different approaches and ways of thinking would spur growth and a higher quality of spirituality, she added.
Subsequently, the CWM General Secretary Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum delivered his report where he highlighted CWM’s intensified commitment to resume missional work with member churches post-pandemic, as well as the successful completion of all the regional Members’ Mission Forum (MMF), which were instrumental in reconnecting and engaging with member church delegates in person.
Dr Keum stated that the MMFs provided the space and platform to surface missiological discernment such as strengthening ecumenical engagement, peace-making initiatives in regions of conflict, and engaging with youth who are disappearing from churches.
He also detailed other key programmes and activities such as signing the framework of co-operation with All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), a planning meeting on “Together in Transformative Ecumenism”, and a solidarity visit to Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China (HKCCCC), a CWM member church in the East Asia region.
The next day, the Board of Directors resolved to ratify and approve the Solidarity and Action Grants to Churches of Christ in Malawi (CCM) and Presbyterian Church of India (PCI) to strengthen their efforts to respond to Cyclone Freddy and current outbreak of violence respectively.
In addition, the Directors proposed to recommend to the Annual Members Meeting (AMM) the theme of the 2024 Assembly “Rise to Life: Together in Transformation”, event dates and host churches and region.
The Directors also approved several Common Resource Applications from Church of Bangladesh (COB), Church of South India (CSI), Presbyterian Church of India (PCI), Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA), United Church of Zambia (UCZ), United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands (UCJCI), and United Church in Solomon Islands (UCSI).
In addition, the Board approved several policies including the revised Environment Policy, Travel Policy, Investment Policy, and received the Communications Strategy 2023 – 2025 by Rev. Dr Young-cheol Cheon, Mission Secretary – Communications.
As the meeting officially drew to a close, Mrs Albertine Ehari Kabaru gave thanks for their opportunity to steward what God had entrusted to them and prayed that God would be glorified in their decisions and conversations.
The next Board meeting will be held on 12-14 November 2023 in Durban, South Africa.