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CCCAS to host Council for World Mission assembly

The Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa (CCCAS) will host the Council for World Mission (CWM) general assembly here for the first time. Held every four years, it will kick off on June 17 and finish June 22,  says CCCAS Acting General Secretary Rev. Reupena Alo.

He said the CWM is a network of churches who participate in Christ, to mutually challenge, encourage, and equip churches to share their resources— money, people, skills and insights to carry out their missionary work.

“It was established in 1977 in its present form,” explained Alo. “ It grew out from the London Mission Society, which was founded in 1795, the Commonwealth Missionary Society, founded in 1836 and the English Presbyterian Board of Mission, 1847.

“Most member churches have backgrounds in the reformed tradition, and many are united churches.”

Rev. Alo noted that the CWM was created as an experiment in a new missionary organization, with the resources no longer coming just from Europe. “They voted for a democratic structure — in which everyone contributes and receives from each other as equals.”

The 31 member churches span six regions and encompass a membership of more than 13 million people. “Churches are organized into six regions, which include Africa, the Caribbean, East Asia, Europe, the Pacific and South Asia.

“Every four years, about 125 representatives from all  member churches come together to read the signs of the times, to reflect, to listen, to seek God’s counsel, to set strategic priorities, and to select trustees for the forthcoming  four years,” he said.

The Reverend added that the daily devotion in the morning and evening will address the theme with spiritual reflection, drama and songs, round table panels and group discussions as well as the ‘talanoa’. There will be 200 participants from the regional churches attending and the theme for this conference is “Hope, the Language of Life”.

Rev. Alo said the theme’s focal point is how hope is interpreted as that which gives energy and focus to life throughout our member churches and regions —but asks what does this mean to them within their context?

The CWM 2012 General Assembly expects different interpretations of this theme from each member church, according to their perspective.

How is the language of hope spoken and manifested in your own communities?

What does hope mean to you as an individual and to your community and church?

What difference can hope make to a community? Does it channel energy? Does it convey focus and clarity?

What is hope to you and how would you define it?

Do you believe that hope is vital to life and faith?

The moderator of this organization is Rev. Dr. Prince Moisraele Dibeela from Botwanna, Africa and the General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Collin Cowan from Jamaica. According to the outline program available on line, the opening worship of the general assembly is on Sunday, June 17.

Governor Togiola Tulafono will welcome the regional representatives, while the CWM Moderator Rev. Dr. Dibeela will conduct the sermon.

Throughout the week, special events are scheduled, such as a traditional ava ceremony on Monday, along with a cultural evening later in the week, where there will be an opportunity for a parade of national costumes for this occasion and artifacts from the different regions will be displayed.

Additionally the regional representatives will have a ten-minute video on the “hopeful soundings” from their region.

“We are keen to learn about all the positive happenings” in the different regions, so that we can join them in the celebration of God’s activity among each other, “and also listen and share with each other such happenings so as to encourage and build up one another,” their website states.