The Publishing Team of the Liberia Annual Conference, United Methodist Church in collaboration with Discipleship Resources International and the General Board of Discipleship has just concluded a Writer’s Training in Liberia. The three-day training, which ran from August 27-29, 2012, was held at the S. T. Nagbe Retreat Center in White Plains, Montserrado County. The training, which was also facilitated by Robin R. Pippin, brought together twenty-five participants from all sectors of the church, including the Gbarnga School of Theology. The training was hosted by the Department of Christian Education.
Speaking at the opening of the training, the Director of the Department of Christian Education, Rev. Joseph Garkpee urged participants to take the training seriously because his department through the Publishing Team of the LAC/UMC was determined to build a culture of writers and readers. He said the department was looking forward to the day when the trainees and the Publishing Team would write and publish a devotional guide using local stories.
Also speaking during the opening day of the training, Rev. Steve Bryant, head of the three-person Board of Discipleship delegation from the United States, cited Habakkuk 2:2-3, which states “Write the vision and make it plain” as the basic theme under which the Writer’s Training was being held. He told participants that the time has come for them to write using their African voice. “It is time that we read stories that come out of Africa and are written by African authors,” Rev. Bryant said. “We at the General Board of Discipleship and Discipleship Resources International will work with you through the Publishing Team here in Liberia to develop this authorship,” he concluded.
In his remarks to the participants of the Writer’s Training, the Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, Bishop of the Liberia Area United Methodist Church, called on them to use the training to further develop a culture of writers and readers throughout the United Methodist Church in Liberia. “We need a community of writers and readers,” the Liberian UMC Bishop said. He also called on the Department of Christian Education to make the training an annual event with more sectors of the church involved. Mother Irene Innis, wife of the Bishop, also commended the facilitator and the team from the United States for the enlightenment they were providing for the people of the United Methodist Church in Liberia.