Members of the United Methodist denomination have converged in Ganta, Nimba County to celebrate the 187th session of the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, beginning February 10 – 16, 2020.
This year’s conference is held under the theme, “A future with hope”, with scriptural text taken from Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 5:2-6.
In his greetings, Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr., said: “This is a great theme as evidenced by the number of times we’ve used it to guide us.”
“One of our greatest advantages we possess as Christians is the hope we have in Jesus Christ, not ours only but also the hope of, and for, the whole world,” he said.
He expressed gratitude for the huge turnout in spite of the severe gasoline shortage across the country, with the resulting rising costs of public transportation. The Bishop said he was simply overwhelmed with joy to see all of the good people of God in attendance.
The speaker for the opening session of the conference, Rev. Rose Elizabeth Cummings stressed the need for congregants to be truthful in the service of God and stop the attitude of pretending like everything is fine in the church. She urged them to emulate God by being serviceable to the poor or needy.
Rev. Cummings is is a member of the Buchanan District of the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Born in 1935, she said he lost her eyesight two years ago.
“You are lying too much in the church, God does not like lying and it is good to emulate God,” she said.
The texts for the opening session, which were taken from Isaiah 58:1-12 and Matthew 5:13-20, urged Christians to stop pretending and behaving as though they are fair person of good person, when they are full of injustice and oppression.
The book of Isaiah urged the believers to remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice and let the oppressed go free.
In one of the verses, it reads, “Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor, give clothes to the those who have nothing to wear and do not refuse to help your own relatives.”
Rev. Cummings told the conference to allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in them in order to be good Christians and stop giving in to other spirits that will move them out of the will of God.
“We have to behave as Christians, sharing the little we have with the poor, not just riding big cars with ‘UMC’ on it.” she said.
This year’s conference brought together guests from the USA, Norway, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, among others. It will be climaxing on Sunday, February 16, 2020, where some high profile government officials, including President George M. Weah, are expected in attendance.