CWM Annual Members’ Meeting (AMM) based on the theme “Break Down the Walls of Division” is currently underway from 10-13 June in Changhua, Taiwan. It will be a time of collectively discerning the signs of the times in global and local contexts, reimagining and rejuvenating post-pandemic mission, and reviewing the work of the Board and Secretariat.
The opening sermon was delivered by CWM Moderator Rev. Lydia Neshangwe, who preached from John 12:20-24 on “the spirituality of unlearning”. She emphasized that as people with ease of access to knowledge, spirituality is more about unlearning than learning, and to empty ourselves of the ways of the world as Jesus did. When we are filled with God’s wisdom and ways, we become God’s instruments to discern and participate in breaking down the walls of division.
Subsequently, the AMM Chairperson Rev. Rupert Hambira from United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), who was elected by the member church delegates, gave the welcome remarks and adopted the agenda, before the keynote address by former CWM Moderator Rev. Dr Huang Po Ho.
In the CWM Moderator’s Report, Rev. Neshangwe reported on the work of the Board of Directors since the last AMM including its discernment towards climate justice. In addition, she highlighted key initiatives undertaken by CWM in its accompaniment with its member churches such as Gift of Grace solidarity grants, Misson Support Programmes (MSP) and Member Church Initiatives (MCI) for capacity development. The pursuit of cutting-edge academic studies such as gender justice and peace building was enabled through CWM’s Special Academic Accompaniment Programme (SAAP), CWM’s scholarship grant. She expressed her confidence that CWM will continue to enable member church congregations to rise to life and transform them into life-flourishing communities.
CWM General Secretary Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum then delivered his report where he spoke about CWM’s progress in implementing the New Programmatic Structure (NPS) through six programmatic areas and The Onesimus Project (TOP). With missional activities delayed during and after the pandemic, he noted crises afflicting several CWM’s member churches and that it was imperative to strengthen partnerships and rebuild resilience and solidarity among members. Through the NPS, CWM is taking significant steps in its endeavour towards equitable, life-flourishing communities.
He drew attention to the “Life-Affirming Theological Education in Mission” consultation held in January, which gathered as a network of alternative theological education institutes to discern the signs of the times and re-envision, revitalise and contextualise theological education for communities at the grassroots level. In addition, a dedication service was held to mark the official launch of the CWM’s first Theological Education for an Economy of Life (TEEL) Master of Theology programme, which responds to an increasing need by CWM member churches to educate young theologians and future church leaders to work towards an inclusive economy. Responding to a global shift in utilizing digital technologies after the pandemic, Dr Keum asserted that CWM will leverage on opportunities to engage mission as digital networking, communicating and collaborating with member churches, ecumenical partners and stakeholders in this missional space.
The member church delegates, directors and staff were hosted to a welcome dinner by Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) at the hotel.