The Pacific Region pre-assembly was a successful and great gathering of church leaders young and old from 9 member churches throughout the Pacific including our newest member and soon to be officially welcomed into the CWM family Maohi Nui Protestant Church. It was a time of fellowship, worship and meeting in preparation for CWM Asembly in Jeju Island, South Korea next month.
We explored the CWM assembly theme Hope: Healing in Action. Our Key note speaker was Rev Dr Nasili Vakauta, Principal of Trinity Methodist College in Auckland, New Zealand. He talked about fakamanavahake, the breath of life that is in everything. He led us through the reflection by inviting us to renewal and hope by asking: ‘Is the gospel and how we receive its message from the pulpit “stale”?’. ‘What can we do to refresh our churches to the gospel imperatives in our everyday lives?’
Rev Dr Monica Melanchthon who led the Bible Studies took us on a journey of the prophet Habukkuk using as a guiding question: ‘How long have I cried out to you God and you did not listen?’ We were challenged to consider where in our contexts this same question is relevant. She encouraged us that it was in order for us to challenge God when confronted with situations that overwhelm us and seem to be met by God’s silence. We also considered that story of Mary. ‘What about Mary?’ Who did she represent socially, economically and politically? What about the stigma around God choosing her, a young single woman from her community?
Rev Dr Peter Cruchley helped us to explore the theme considering our relationships with those around us, individually and collectively. How might healing manifest as hope in action in the brokenness that often characterises our relationships?
All in all it was a successful pre-Assembly and we are now counting down the days to Jeju Island 2016.