The Episcopal Church of Liberia over the weekend celebrated the Diocesan “Girls Friendly Society (GFS)” day in Monrovia.
The ceremony brought together girls and women from several parishes, including the St. Stephens Episcopal Church (10th Street, Sinkor), St. Augustine Episcopal Church in Kakata, Margibi County, and St. Thomas C. J. R. Episcopal Church.
Others in attendance were St. Augustine (Barnersville Road), the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church (Red Light) and the Episcopal Headquarters, the Trinity Cathedral (Broad Street, Monrovia).
Honoring his guest preaching role on the occasion, Rev. Canon A-Too Williams, Rector of the St. Stephens (10th) Episcopal Church said knowing that GFS day is all about reflecting through prayers the goodness of God, the Liberian GFSers should be good exemplars to their peers, each.
“Let me draw your attention to 2nd Chronicles 7 verse 14 which says, ‘If my people who are called by my named shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land’,” Rev. Canon A-Too Williams said, quoting the Bible.
Rev. Williams said while the Book of Genesis dwells sufficiently on Jacob’s blessing from God through a dream, it is clear that God can also favor anyone else.
“Do not forget about the deception of Satan and the Omniscient nature of our Lord. Jesus is All-Knowing,” he said, admonishing the girls and women of GFS to see themselves as people with a special purpose.
“To all of you, when you are called ambassadors of Christ, live exemplary lives. Do not be obstacles to people who are looking for the way to the light. Be good examples and place God at the center of your activities,” the Episcopal prelate admonished the ladies.
To the over 200 Girls Free Society (GFS) members gathered at the Trinity Cathedral of the Episcopal Church of Liberia, Rev. A-Too Williams further said that it is good for people to confess their sins to God and seek His Face in order to be connected to the same God Whose love is “never ending.”
“Cultivate integrity in yourselves so that you can be great mentors and role models,” he concluded as he received a standing ovation from the audience.
Leana M. Karngar, reading the response from the GFS’s president, Madam Thelma E. Duncan Sawyer, said the international day of GFS is officially celebrated on the 29th of September every year since its founding but, due to the many changes COVID-19 has brought to the world and today (Tuesday, September 29, 2020) being a working day, Liberia’s GFS decided to celebrated on Sunday, September 27, 2020.
“On behalf of our president, Sister Thelma E. Duncan Sawyer, let me say that we are grateful that even during this pandemic, God has shown mercy and favor on us by keeping us safe,” Ms. Karngar said.
She said the Liberian GFSers are not better than the many people who have died across the world, but by God’s grace, they are still strong and holding together as a family.
“In this course of the COVID-19, we have not been meeting physically but thank God for technology which has allowed us to remain together and kept on holding our meetings. These technologies have enabled us to participate in conferences and workshops as a body within the world-wide GFS international group and for this we are thankful to the Almighty God,” Ms. Karngar said.
Counting on the theme of the event “Admit, Confess, Repent from our sins, and Seek the Face of our God,” Karngar pointed out that all GFSers should develop the courage to stand up against rape and gender-based violence.
“We have to admit that there is a wide-spread rape across our country and consider it as a scourge that is tearing our society apart. We should no longer sweep rape and gender based violence under the rugs and treat them as family or community matters,” she said.
Madam Deroe Weeks, first Diocesan Vice President in Liberia encouraged the GFSers, young and old, to not only be hearers of good advice as it was delivered from 2nd Chronicles 7 v 14 by Rev. Canon A-Too-Williams but doers of the same word they listened to.
Madam Weeks said GFS is not only about prayer but also fellowshipping with many other girls and women outside the Episcopal Church.
She added her voice in calling on all GFSers to stand up and fight against rape and gender based violence.