Forty years is a significant number in Scripture, signifying the life of a generation. In practice, celebrating a 40 year period provides an opportunity to bring together three generations, something that may be gone at 50. So the OCMS 40th anniversary celebrations kicked off with a dinner in honour of our founders, Vinay Samuel and Chris Sugden and former director Wonsuk Ma. 140 joined us for the two days of thanksgiving, story-telling, scholarly papers and debate, great food and fellowship that followed. The energy and enthusiasm throughout was palpable, as more than 30 alumni from different periods of OCMS life joined with staff past and present, current scholars, trustees, friends and supporters. We tasted the rich diversity and common vision that unites the OCMS global community. Among the highlights: celebrating communion using the liturgy written by former Kenyan trustee, Dr David Gitari that was first used in a service in OCMS decades ago, stories from nine former students, old friendships rekindled and the launch of our alumni association.
Forty years not only signify the passing of a generation but also represent the passing of the baton and the anticipation of new life. The challenges that led to the launch of OCMS remain. Our celebrations provided the opportunity to share the vision God has given OCMS for the future:
– the equipping of scholar-leaders for the global church,
– deep exploration of the issues of our times so that God’s people can confidently and faithfully bear witness to the Good News in all its wholeness,
– combatting the continuing inequalities within the global church and the lack of institutional capacity and capability to do rigorous mission research by providing access to the highest levels of training.
We invite you to partner with us to respond to the opportunities and challenges before us and serve God’s purposes in our generation.
Put simply, OCMS needs new, regular funding of £120,000/year. Please pray and consider if you can help. Giving takes a matter of minutes but the impact can last a lifetime.