World Council of Churches

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Women’s pre-conference

Women’s pre-conference


Women have been prominently in mission spreading the gospel of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection since the time of Jesus. We know that Mary’s Magnificat is actually the ushering in of God’s good news. Women have been involved in mission and evangelism from the birth of the church: Martha of Bethany’s declaration of the Messiah at the death and hope of resurrection of her brother, Lazarus; the Samaritan woman who shared with her neighbours the news of the Saviour; the women at the tomb who encountered the resurrected Saviour; Mary Magdalene, the “apostle of apostles”; Priscilla in the book of Acts who had Apollos as her disciple – giving him theological instructions.  The initiative of a women’s prayer movement and a call for self-denial for home and foreign missions has now become the World Day of Prayers (1887), yet the mainline story of mission has often downplayed women’s role in mission. The mission story has been (his) story not (her) story – failing to take seriously the centrality of women in mission.

The Conference on World Mission and Evangelism’s location in Arusha, Tanzania, brings another level of challenges to the mission story – the designation of the African mission story as a western-driven agenda with Africans portrayed as the inactive recipients. The colonial mission story has often not done justice to the voice of Africans, especially that of African women. Not much is known, for example, that Kimpa Vita (1684 – 2 July 1706) who was the first Christian convert in the Kongo became a prophetess of her own Christian movement that resisted the slave trade and colonising tendencies of the missionary Christianity; that Alice Lenshina the founder of the Lumpa Church in Zambia not only resisted the missionary Christianity but also the government authority rooted in western ideals. This pre-conference will help tell the stories of women in mission in a way that brings to the fore the intergenerational and inter-cultural realities that shape the mission story.

Aim of the Pre-Conference of Women

Its dual aim is to make visible her-stories of mission that weave the then and now through mentorship as transformative discipleship that build spiritual and leadership empowerment; as well as to prepare women participants for meaningful and effective participation in the mission conference by building their capacity about the CWME processes and documentation.

The objectives therefore are:

  • to have intergenerational and cross-cultural storytelling of women in mission in the marketplace and around the fire (there might be no real fire, though);
  • to share documents and processes about mission conference;
  • to connect the telling of women in mission stories to the women’s Sokoni.

Expected Outcome
One page message to the conference focusing on women’s intergenerational and inter-cultural (cross-cultural) mission experiences and mentorship as transformative discipleship from an intersection of gender, race, age, class, origin and experience.

Storytelling; panel presentations; group discussions; Bible study; spiritual exercises, ritual and pastoral prayers.


Draft Schedule of CWME Women’s Mission Pre-Conference