Caribbean and North America Council for Mission (CANACOM) Biennial Council Meeting 2023

Theme: “Mission 2023 and Beyond: Reflection for Action” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

by CWM Communications Team

The biennial Council Meeting of the Caribbean and North America Council for Mission (CANACOM) was held in Grenada. CWM’s PIM Coordinator and Programme Associate for the Caribbean region, Mrs. Vickeisha King Burke attended the Council Meeting representing CWM and bringing greetings from the General Secretary, Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum.  The meeting was hosted by the Presbyterian Church in Grenada (PCG) under the theme, ‘Mission 2023 and Beyond: Reflection for Action’ with a key focus on 2 Corinthians 12:9, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness’. Over 20 persons were gathered including Chairman, Rev. Carlington Keen, Education in Mission Secretary, Mrs. Jennifer P. Martin, and delegates from CANACOM’s member churches in the Caribbean and North America. CWM’s mission partner to the host church, PCG, Rev. Nigel Lindsay was also in attendance.

In his greetings from CWM to the Council Meeting, which was read by Mrs. King Burke, CWM’s General Secretary indicated that CANACOM held a special place in his heart as his first major assignment after becoming the General Secretary was to sign an MOU with CANACOM to affirm the partnership between the two mission organisations. Partnership, ecumenical solidarity, and mutual support are the key aspects of the CWM for doing God’s mission. As a mission organisation committed to promoting justice, peace, and reconciliation through mission, CWM values the important work that CANACOM is doing in the Caribbean and North American regions. Rev. Dr. Keum also highlighted that the theme, “Mission 2023 and Beyond: Reflection for Action” is very relevant and timely to reflect, discern, and envision the mission of God for the Church and society as they moved into a future filled with many uncertainties. The “Action” in their theme called to move beyond rhetoric and put collective efforts together in proclaiming the message of hope and bringing communities together to act in solidarity for promoting life in its fullness for all, including planet Earth. Their mission should not only be about evangelism but also about engaging with the world around them, addressing social, economic, and political issues, and working towards the transformation of society.

At the end of the greetings, a presentation was made to the Chairman of a plaque with CWM’s vision and mission statements noting that these were shared in the partnership between CWM and CANACOM and another presentation of CWM’s Strategic Plan for 2020 to 2029 to CANACOM’s Education in Mission Secretary so she could further understand CWM’s new way of working and thereby communicate same to the CANACOM member churches.

Council delegates were challenged by a riveting keynote presentation from UCJCI’s Rev. Astor Carlyle. In his address, he set the context in which the church operates. He reminded the gathering that the church must be the agency that helps in the performance of God’s work. Using a term coined at the end of World War 2, Rev. Carlyle indicated that the church operated in a VUCA world which was surrounded by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. To respond to these challenges, the church needed to be a VUCA church which he described as one which has a Vision, was Unflinching, showed Compassion and was Agile.

The opportunity was also given to Mrs. King Burke to share more information on the Partners in Mission (PIM) programme and Rev. Nigel Lindsay, a PIM to PCG also shared some of his experiences. Mrs. King Burke led an evening devotion in which she focused on partnership. She referred to Proverbs 27:17, ‘As iron sharpens iron; one man sharpens the other’ and described partnerships as being powerful, patient, and protective. Delegates were reminded of the importance of working together as there was power in numbers and that they could go much further together.


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