The first CWM Pre-Assembly gathering in preparation for Global Assembly 2020 was held in the Caribbean on February 2-5 in Georgetown, Guyana. Delegates from the Guyana Congregational Union and The United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the two-member churches of CWM Caribbean region, met for worship, study, discussions, and orientation to the Assembly.
An action-provoking keynote presentation was delivered by Guyana national Rev Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth who unpacked the theme Rising to Life with Jesus. In her delivery, Rev Sheerattan-Bisnauth urged the group to discern “the systemic issues which are at the core…of the economic, race and gender injustices, and climate change devastation, and the consequent burdens born by those who suffer the consequences.”
A stirring bible study series was led by Prof Rev Dr Roderick Hewitt of Jamaica. He urged delegates to contemplate that the path of rising to life with Jesus goes through death. However, “God’s power of life in this world is stronger than the destructive forces of death”.
Time was taken to reflect on and discuss the decision by the Board of CWM to make a public apology and reparations for slavery.
An impactful session on the promises of prosperity arising from the discovery of an estimated 8 billion oil-equivalent barrels in Guyana’s offshore territory took centre stage one afternoon during the gathering. Members of GCU, ecumenical partners, and representatives of the Government of Guyana engaged in discussions which yielded greater understanding and indicators of potential avenues of mission for GCU.
The CWM Caribbean Pre-Assembly was supported by CWM staff in the region – Mission Secretary, Karen Francis, and Deputy General Secretary Rev Wayne Hawkins. General Secretary, Rev Dr Collin Cowan, visited during the forum on Oil and Gas in Guyana.
February 8, 2020