Liberia United Methodist Women Gathering Soon

70th Annual Session and Anniversary

Conference United Methodist Women

Liberia Annual Conference

United Methodist Church

 

ST Nagbe UMC: Venue of the upcoming Liberia United Methodist Women's Conference.

ST Nagbe UMC: Venue of the upcoming Liberia United Methodist Women’s Conference.

Theme        :    Women Arise

Text        :    Isaiah 60:1-2

Dates        :    January 24-29, 2017

Venue        :    Stephen Trowen Nagbe United Methodist Church

            14th Street, Sinkor Monrovia, Liberia

 

Tuesday – January 24, 2017    –    Arrival and Registration

Dinner

 

Wednesday – January 25, 2017    –    Official Opening Service

Workshop 1 – Responding to God’s Call

Workshop 2 – Our Responsibilities as We Partner with United Methodist Women

 

Thursday – January 26, 2017    –    Workshop 3 – Ebola and Women

Workshop 4 – Women of Liberia: Impact on Church and Society

 

Friday – January 27, 2017    –    CUMC Formal Gathering (Business Session)

 

Saturday – January 28, 2017    –    Joanna E. Bropleh Day (Celebration)

Workshop 5 – Gender Based Violence and its Impact on Church and Society

 

Sunday – January 29, 2017    –    Closing Service

 

NOTE:

This year’s gathering will include an assembly with the Regional Missionary, Elmira Sellu. She will lead and facilitate the training portion of the Conference United Methodist Women Annual Session on January 25 & 26, & 28, 2017.

 

UMC Liberia Pastors to get Salary Increase under Bishop Samuel Quire

bishop-samuel-j-quire-jr-and-wife-richlain-k-quire-at-the-induction-ceremony The Resident Bishop of the United Methodist Church in Liberia, Bishop Samuel J. Quire said he wants to ensure that the Church’s resources benefit the entire membership of the church. Bishop Quire made the statement when he was inducted into office as bishop of the Liberia Episcopal Area on December 31, 2016.  “We will explore means of augmenting pastor salaries, especially, our rural pastors that have little or no support from their congregation,” Bishop Quire said. The UMC Liberia leader said his leadership will ensure that local churches are strengthened by providing spiritual as well as psychological and moral support for pastors and their families.

Retired Bishop John Innis and Mrs. Irene Innis.

Retired Bishop John Innis and Mrs. Irene Innis.

He indicated that God has entrusted the church with natural, human, spiritual, and financial resources for the Conference to use, adding, we must continue to develop and improve the resources so that when we have to give an account to God, we will show how we have multiplied what we have.” Bishop Quire reiterated the need for the church to locate its properties especially those pledged by individuals when the Liberia United Methodist Empowerment Foundation (LUMEF) was launched in 2001 by Retired Bishop John Innis. “We will identify and assess all church properties and real estate with legal documents and those that require processing in every district of the United Methodist Church in Liberia,” he affirmed. LUMEF is a foundation intended to raise money for the support of the ministries of the church including the paying of pastors’ salaries.

Also in his first address to the nation on January 1, 2017, Bishop Quire called on all Liberians especially United Methodists to support President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, herself a United Methodist, in her quest to turn over power smoothly in the country. “Let our peaceful election at the West Africa Central Conference in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivore serve as a model for the national election in 2017,” he cautioned. Bishop Quire urged United Methodists to champion the cause of a peaceful church and nation. Speaking on the theme “A New Heart For A New Church” the new episcopal leader said United Methodists must learn to love each other and work for the common good of the church.

Bishop Quire challenged United Methodists to make the church a place fit for all to dwell, warning, “there will not be room for any divisive maneuvering in my leadership.”

Retired Bishop Arthur F. Kulah and wife, Gloria Doe-Kulah at the induction ceremony

Retired Bishop Arthur F. Kulah and wife, Gloria Doe-Kulah at the induction ceremony

Ending his four months of interim leadership retired Bishop Arthur Kulah challenged United Methodists to join ranks with Bishop Quire in serving the church with credibility, integrity, honesty, and faithfulness, adding, “we want him to be able to leave behind some positive legacies for others to build upon.” The veteran bishop who has been called out of retirement twice to preside over the leadership transitions in Nigeria and now Liberia said United Methodists must serve along with their new bishops so that more souls are won for Jesus Christ, so that the UMC is characterized by genuine love, unity, togetherness, holiness, righteousness, commitment and dedication.

At the induction of Bishop Quire, Bishop Kulah said God is looking for spiritual men and women who are biblically committed to work for the mission and vision of the church and nation. He reiterated Bishop Quire’s called for inclusive leadership when he said, no one leader is a leader. Bishop Kulah is now back into retirement where he is serving the Gbarnga School of Theology as Bishop in Residence.

Reporting and photography by E. Julu Swen for the LAC.

Girl’s Dormitory Dedicated by UMW

The New Dormitory for Girls in Monrovia, Liberia.

The New Dormitory for Girls in Monrovia, Liberia.

Ahead of their annual gathering in 2017, the United Methodist Women in Liberia dedicated a girls’ dormitory aimed at providing housing for girls in need. “This building is intended to help the girls acquire education without the complication of paying for lodging,” Rev. Rose Farhat said. The Directress of Women Works said the dormitory will house forty girls when it becomes operational in September 2017. She stressed that helping girls in the Liberian society is the women way of promoting some of the Quadrennial goals of global United Methodist Women. The girls’ dormitory will be the first of its kind since the last two also operated by the United Methodist Women in Liberia were shut down in the 1980s.

Asked how the girls will pay for their lodging, Rev. Farhat said they will pay for their lodging by caring for the building themselves. “At least that will be one way the church can teach  the girls how to care for their environment,” she added.

Operating under the general theme, “Women Arise”, the leader of women works in Liberia said young women throughout Liberia especially those who are United Methodists will be the target for empowerment, education, and spiritual growth activities, adding, “the single act of helping them with housing will make lot of them focus on their education which they would otherwise be distracted from if they must look for rent money.” Rev. Farhat said the Conference United Methodist Women will also seek ways of improving the living conditions of young women by training them in various marketable skills. “We will further use our global theme in addition to this rooming project to encourage women participation in the ministerial life of the Church,” she asserted.

Rev. Rose Farhat, Directress of Women Works in the United Methodist Church in Liberia

Rev. Rose Farhat, Directress of Women Works in the United Methodist Church in Liberia

Now serving in her second year as directress of women works in Liberia, Rev. Farhat indicated that it is about time that women increase their presence in the spiritual life of the church as clergy. She named the Women Day Care Center (WDCC) and the Women Training Center (WTC) as the two major projects through which the UMC Women in Liberia will transform the church by making disciples for Jesus Christ. “When Women Arise, there will be a new church with a new heart in Liberia,” she concluded.

The dormitory now in its final stages of completion and the acquisition of furniture was funded by several United Methodist Churches in the United States of America either directly or through the UMC Advance Asking program as part of the existing partnership between those churches and the church in Liberia. The Church of the Master UMC, Gobin UMC, and the Detroit Annual Conference contributed to the construction of the thousands of dollars’ worth of dormitory.

Reporting and photography by E. Julu Swen for the LAC

UMC Liberia bids Retired Bishop John Innis Farewell

Retired Bishop John Innis and Mother Irene Innis thanking members of UMC Liberia for appreciating them

Retired Bishop John Innis and Mother Irene Innis thanking members of UMC Liberia for appreciating them

Five months after he officially retired from the United Methodist Church as bishop, the Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, on Thursday, December 29, 2016 was sent off by the United Methodist Church in Liberia in a grand style at a ceremony held at the First United Methodist Church in Monrovia. Though Retired Bishop Innis’ 16 years of service ended on August 31, 2016, the UMC at different levels including the level of the West Africa Central Conference honored him for what many referred to as “years of dedicated service to the church.”

“New life in Jesus Christ is an imperative,” Retired Bishop Innis told the hundreds of United Methodists who had gathered to bid him farewell. He said he served the church with open heart and open mind during his 16 years at the helm of leadership. The Retired Bishop who is also an educator said part of his leadership plan was to improve the education level of his pastors, adding, “there are more doctorates and master degree holders in the UMC Liberia now than when I took over the church.” He commended United Methodists in Liberia and elsewhere for supporting his 16 years’ leadership with all its challenges.

Retired Pastor, Rev. Erlene P. Thompson of UMC Liberia

Retired Pastor, Rev. Erlene P. Thompson of UMC Liberia at the farewell ceremony.

Delivering a special sending off message at the ceremony, Retired Pastor, Rev. Erlene P. Thompson of UMC Liberia said the church in Liberia had enough reason to be grateful to God and pay tribute to Retired Bishop John Innis. The retired clergywoman also said the 16 years of service were not free of challenges, but God spoke peace when he had his storm. “When you cried during your 16 years of service, God was always available to wipe away your tears,” Rev Thompson said. She urged fellow United Methodists to thank and praise God for Retired Bishop Innis’ service to the UMC in Liberia. “The duty to serve belongs to us, but the results of our labor belong to God,” Rev. Thompson concluded.

For his part, Bishop Samuel J. Quire, Jr., formerly Administrative Assistant to Retired Bishop Innis and Interim Bishop Kulah said Bishop Innis was keen in preparing leaders to manage the United Methodist Church following his retirement. Bishop Quire pointed out that his legacy of educating ministers of the church will go a long way, adding, when you prepare leaders, your leadership is successful.” Interim Bishop Arthur F. Kulah also praised Retired Bishop Innis for his leadership and holding his head up high with challenges that term to undermine his 16 years of service. “Enjoy your retirement,” the veteran bishop said.

Retired Bishop John Innis 2nd from right at the Farewell Ceremony

Retired Bishop John Innis 2nd from right at the Farewell Ceremony

Today’s program ends series of retirement programs under taken by the United Methodist Church for Retired Bishop John Innis. On August 31, 2016, Bishop Innis formerly retired as Episcopal leader of the Liberia Episcopal Area and on December 17, 2016, the West Africa Central Conference showered he and his wife, Mother Irene Innis as she is called by members of UMC Liberia with more sending off tributes and statements of appreciation. Retired Bishop John G. Innis now starts his retired life a cherished clergy by the church he served as bishop.

Reporting by Julu Swen.

West Africa Central Conference Elects Samuel Quire

 Rev. Samuel J. Quire, Jr., Bishop Elect making his acceptance speech at the WACC 2016

West Africa Central Conference delegates meeting in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire have elected Rev. Samuel J. Quire, Jr as  bishop, with the consecration on Sunday, December 18, 2016 at the Canaan Temple in Angre, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire for onward assignment to the Liberia Episcopal Area. Rev. Quire was elected on the fourth ballot with 50 votes. His fellow contestant the Rev. Dr. Julius J. S. Nelson, Jr. had 30 votes. The balloting which started with four candidates; Rev. Rev. Samuel J. Quire, Jr., Rev. Dr. David M. Tokpah as official candidates of the Liberia Episcopal Area, and Rev. Dr. Julius J. S. Nelson, Jr. and James Z. Labala who were nominated on the conference floor witnessed Rev. Quire emerge as the winner.

“It is one thing to win an election and another thing to be a leader. I cannot be a leader alone. It is not a Samuel J. Quire victory; it is a victory of the people called United Methodist”, Quire said after the victory celebrations following the voting. He pledged to work with everyone in the interest of the church.

Two candidates were presented for election by the Nomination Committee –  Quire and Tokpah who scored the highest and second highest votes at the Liberia Annual Conference nomination. Nelson was nominated on the floor of conference after delegates overturned a Liberia Conference rule on Friday that barred divorced clergy from vying, which prevented him at his annual conference in April from contesting for the office of bishop. Labala nominated himself and scored 6 votes in the first ballot.

Prayers of peace and God’s direction were offered before the election. Council of Bishop’s representative, presiding Bishop, Jonathan Holston of the South Carolina Area warned delegates before the votes were cast that electing a leader for the church was a holy process. “I ask that you ask the Holy Spirit to work in you. Regard the ballot that you carry as a holy ballot”, he said. He also cautioned that the bishop to be elected was not just going to be a bishop of the Liberia area or the West Africa Area but a bishop of the United Methodist Church.

UMC agencies reps assisting in counting the ballots at the WACC 2016

UMC agencies reps assisting in counting the ballots at the WACC 2016

Rev Samuel Quire was born on September 5, 1959 to Mr. Samuel J. Quire, Sr, and Madam Lucy N. Keah in Garraway municipality, Grand Kru County, Liberia. Rev. Quire, Jr. served as Administrative Assistant to retiring Bishop John G. Innis and is Administrative Assistant to the Interim Bishop Arthur F. Kulah.

Quire holds a Master of Divinity Degree from West Africa Theological Seminary in Lagos, Nigeria and a Bachelor of Theology degree from the Gbarnga School of Theology.

Quire has served as pastor of Jasper Grant UMC, Ebenezer UMC in Monrovia and was director of the Bishop Judith Craig Children’s Village.

Bishop Jonathan Holston receiving prayer for his colleagues bishops and the delegates before the voting process at WACC 2016

Bishop Jonathan Holston receiving prayer for his colleagues bishops and the delegates before the voting process at WACC 2016

Reporting by Julu Swen and Phileas Jusu in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Photos by Julu Swen.