Council for World Mission (CWM) held a virtual Board Meeting on Zoom on 20-21 February 2023, gathering its Board Members and management staff for a time of discussion and deliberation on issues faced by CWM. The event commenced with an opening reflection and prayer by CWM Moderator Rev. Lydia Neshangwe at 6:00 P.M. SGT, where she spoke about loving God in a holistic manner (Deuteronomy 6:4 and Mark 12).
Elaborating on spiritual intelligence, Rev. Neshangwe said, “The gift of discernment that God gives us is what brings us to a place like this, and we are able to make decisions and reflect, all in God’s name. Loving God with our minds means to let God use our mental or academic intelligence to articulate our values and vision.”
This was followed by the CWM General Secretary Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum’s report on key CWM programmes and engagements with member churches and ecumenical partners since the last Board Meeting in November 2022. As CWM begins to fulfil the missional agenda for the strategic period of 2020-2029, it has been engaging with its member churches and partners in confessing witness to life-flourishing communities through various initiatives.
As part of the GS’ report, Dr Keum shared his theme reflection ahead of the CWM Assembly 2024, where he said that all six CWM regions should consider what God’s mission is in today’s wounded world, and how they can participate in it together as a global community and partnership of churches in mission. “How can we witness to God’s life-affirming mission through our Assembly?” he asked.
With this year being the 50th anniversary of the Bangkok World Mission Conference, he suggested drawing lessons from what he dubbed “a hallmark of the history of mission” amid deep crisis, which advocated a “holistic approach to the theme ‘Salvation Today’” in both its spiritual and socio-political aspects. In concluding his report, Dr Keum called on the Board to “collectively discern the will of God to lead this community of churches in mission towards rising to life”.
Following his presentation, the Chairperson of Programme Reference Group (PRG) Rev. Dr Setri Nyomi delivered a brief PRG update, and the Chairperson of The Onesimus Project (TOP) Rev. Dr Roderick Hewitt shared TOP updates. Dr Hewitt outlined several priority areas such as establishing reparatory justice through educational exposure for psychological healing; building bridges of belonging between Africans in the diaspora and Africans in the continent; strengthening research and publication focused on restorative justice; and raising awareness among member churches of various forms of modern slavery.
On the second day, the Directors engaged in a plenary discussion deliberating on various topics and considerations of the assembly theme, as well as the reports presented. The Management will consider the theme, missiological reflection, and prepare a proposal. This proposal will be presented at the next Board of Directors Meeting in May 2023.
Dated 23 February 2023