Last Saturday (19th) saw CMSI host Ignite - its annual conference - which this year was an entirely online event.
Despite the disappointment of not being able to meet together in person, the event was a huge success. Over the course of the morning programme, almost 100 people from 12 different countries joined together to share greetings, hear updates, pray, worship and chat. The virtual forum ensured that many of CMSI's Global Partners were able to attend the meeting, bringing a truly international flavour to the gathering.
Looking Back, Looking Forward
The main conference gathering began with a series of greetings from 16 different leaders from across CMSI's global family. Mission Director, Jenny Smyth reflected on the past six months for the society and introduced an update film from CMSI's Covid-19 Response Appeal. Jenny also introduced the Society's new annual theme: Voices Of Hope. The session finished with a shared (muted) song and a video message from Archbishop Justin in South Sudan, in which he encouraged us to "push out into deep waters"...
In previous years, the Ignite programme has included three seminar sessions across the complex at Dromantine Conference Centre, with various updates and insights from CMSI's Global Partners and Mission Partners. This year, there was a 'DIY Seminars' approach, with delegates having an hour to choose from a range of short, pre-recorded films updates or to chat via Zoom with staff and other members. The nine films are available on the Ignite 2020 page of the CMSI website, along with accompanying prayer sheets from each country.
The Prayer Room
The conference closed with a time of prayer, as CMSI launched its new monthly gathering.
Bishop Samy Fawzy Shehata, Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Egypt, shared updates and prayer requests from the newly formed Province Of Alexandria. Delegates then spent time praying together in 'breakout rooms' before joining together for some final prayers for the Church in Ireland and the wider work of CMSI. The Prayer Room gatherings will follow a similar pattern - taking place on the first Wednesday of every month, beginning on 7th October.
Just wanted to thank you so much for the opportunity of meeting our brothers and sisters worldwide.
It was a joy see many I had last see 3 to 4 years back and even the new faces.
Appreciated, and be blessed! [Bishop Emmanuel Ntazinda - Kibungo Dicoese, Rwanda]
Really enjoyed ignite...
Was wonderful to see people from all over the world united together.
[Lesley Burton - St Mark's, Dundela]
Thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to join the Ignite conference. I really enjoyed it and good to see all our friends from different countries and the CMS team.
[Kapil Sharma - HDCS, Nepal]
Just wanted to tell you how wonderful the IGNITE conference was. It seemed everything went very well. I can only say that it didn't last long enough. Well done!
[Rev Patti Johnson - Albany Diocese, USA]