CMSI hosted their Annual Members' Day and AGM, Shine, on Saturday 30th March in the Emmaus Renewal and Conference Centre in Swords, Dublin. Over 50 CMSI members and staff joined together to hear the latest news and updates from global partners and parishes, as well as holding the Annual General Meeting with the election of new members for the CMSI Board of Trustees. The members present were representative of the entire island of Ireland with people travelling from Coleraine and Cork to take part in the day.
The programme included uplifting worship, prayers and reflective readings which set a lovely tone for the day. Staff and volunteers shared stories highlighting CMSI's 2019 annual theme, 'In the Margins.' Members heard how the global church in South Sudan, Nepal and Burundi is reaching out and meeting the needs of people in the margins.
Carla Campbell, from Comber parish, shared her experiences of being part of a Peace and Reconciliation Team to meet with global partners from across South Sudan who are currently refugees in Uganda. She painted an inspiring picture of partnership and the impact that personnel connections with those they met has had on her life as well as the beginning of 'life-long friendships'. She shared her hopes for the growth of partnership links between Comber parish and the church in Maridi.
Billy Smyth, from Moira parish and a former CMSI Mission Partner, shared his recent experience of visiting Yei Diocese, South Sudan at the invitation of Bishop Hilary in February. Billy shared his insights into the current peace situation and his desire to continue to support the diocese as it strives to be a place of hope and practical help for the local community. Billy is due to return to Yei later in April for the reopening of the Vocational Training College.
Lunch was an opportunity to meet and greet each other, and forge new connections and shared mission interests.
CMSI Chairperson Rev. Adrian Dorrian led the AGM after lunch. Addresses from Adrian and Mission Director, Jenny Smyth, gave the membership great insight into the thought-through and well-developed plans that the CMSI staff work to, highlighting that the current strategic plan is not simply gathering dust but rather a well-leafed document used by all departments.
(CMSI staff L-R: Roger Thompson, Linda Abwa, Jen Christie, Jenny Smyth, Rachel Brittain and Gillian Maganda. Anne Buckley, Roger Cooke and Kelly Yates not present)
Former trustee Olwen Laird gave a comprehensive financial report and shared some encouraging highlights from the patterns of giving from individuals and parishes over the last year.
New trustees were elected to join the Board, members are (L-R) Prof. Frank Dobbs, Mr Will Grier, Mrs Olwen Laird (stepping down), Mr David Reynolds, Mrs Maureen Clarke, Rev Adrian Dorrian (Chairperson), Mrs Lou Talbot- Beirne, Ms Gracious Nyamupachitu, and Mr Norman Jackson. (Rev. Captain Geoffrey Walmsley and Mr Niall Manogue not in photograph.)
The day finished with the membership saying the CMSI Stars prayer together as a reminder of the unity of those connected with the Society, with CMSI global partners and with God.
"May the God of Light shine brightly on the CMSI Family, bringing blessing to - and through - staff, volunteers, members, mission personnel and global Partners..."