Women’s Empowerment Workshop

“Be Agents Of Positive Change”

… Women Cautioned
By: Esau J. Farr

Facilitators at the start of a three day women empowerment workshop
have called on participants to be agents of positive change for the
improvement of their respective communities.

Mrs. Elmira Sellu, Sis. Alfreda E. Anderson and Ms. Beatrice Fofanah
speaking briefly at the start of the ongoing three days Regional
Missionary Initiative Workshop at the S. T. Nagbe United Methodist
Church in Monrovia, challenged participants at the workshop to make
positive differences in their neighborhoods, communities, country and
the world at large.

In separate remarks, the three leaders representing the General Board
of Global Ministries, Liberia Annual Conference, and the Sierra Leone
Annual Conference told participants at the gathering to be selfless and
always think about bringing hope to the hopeless and courage to the
down hearted.

Mrs. Sellu urged participants to always be in readiness to show positive
attitudes towards others aimed at showing love and clear heart for
others.

She further told participants to be good leaders who care about
people’s feeling, what they feel how they feel and why they feel about
what they feel in a given situation.

Madam Sellu said, agents of positive change are leaders who live lives
with legacies for others to benefit.

She maintained that any leader who fails to reproduce him/her self is
a failure and therefore has short positive memory but with long lasting
negative effect on those left behind.

The workshop which is now in its second day is dealing with various
topics such as “women as leaders in church and society”, “women
and gender”, “women and HIV/AIDS”, and “how to work with young
women” among others. The workshop is filled with interactions and
dramas depicting various behaviors of good leaders and servants.

UMC Breaks Ground for Kokoyah Mission Station in Botota, Liberia

The Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church has broken ground for the construction of a mission station headquarters of the Kokoyah District Conference of the United Methodist Church in Botota, Upper Bong County.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place Sunday August 26, 2012 in Botota, the Headquarters of Kokoyah Statutory District in Bong County by Methodist Bishop, Rev. Dr. John G. Innis. Speaking at the official ground breaking ceremony the Resident Bishop of the United Methodist Church praised the leadership and members of the district for the level of commitment exhibited over the years in upholding the unity of the church in the area.

Bishop Innis thanked Rev. Benedict W. Green for his farsightedness in advocating for developmental ventures in the interest of the district. Bishop Innis, who described Rev. Green as a gift to the Kokoyah District Conference of the Church, lauded Superintendent Green for the passionate plead for the construction of the Headquarters of the Church in Botota.

The head of the Liberia Annual Conference of the Church pledged the fullest support of the Church in constructing the district’s headquarters for multipurpose activities in Botota. Bishop Innis named some of the multipurpose activities as the construction of the first high school in Kokoyah Statutory District and Teacher’s Quarters for quality education in that part of the country.

The head of the United Methodist Church in Liberia hailed the district superintendent of the church for his vision and dream for his people saying; “The Church needs many Benedicts who are vision driven and not vision killers”. Bishop Innis was accompanied by his wife, Mother Irene Innis to Kokoyah District.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Department of Community Services of the United Methodist Church, Mr. Jonathan L. Kaipay has assured members of the church of his department’s commitment for the construction of the first high school in the district in the not too far future. Making remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Mission Headquarters of the district, Mr. Kaipay said, by directive of the Bishop of the Church, he has included Bong County on the list of counties to benefit from the Community Integrated and Empowerment Program, CIEP of the church.

With the recent signing of a 2.5M Development Grant for community infrastructural development between the United Methodist Church and the Norwegian Government through the Department of Community Services of the church, it is likely that the construction of the first high school in the district would start approximately next year, 2013. The Department of Community Services of the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is a humanitarian arm of the church that caters to the basic needs of less fortunate selected communities within Liberia with the construction of hand pumps, schools, teacher’s quarters, libraries, health centers and pit-latrines amongst others.

New School Brings New Hope to Liberia

New School Brings New Hope
to Mount Barclay Community, Liberia

Liberia’s newest school began classes this week. The New Hope United Methodist Women Elementary School in Mount Barclay officially opened for the academic year yesterday, September 10, 2012.

Pictured are two young children raising the flag to begin the first day of classes. As the Lone Star of Liberia waves in the breeze more than one hundred children from the community proceed to their new classrooms and eagerly engage their new day of learning.

“This is a hopeful sign for the parents of the Mount Barclay community. We want to link parents with the Monrovia District Women in removing the children, especially girls from the streets,” Madam Margretta Sieh, Principal, stated. The eight classroom school was constructed to provide educational opportunities for the children of the Mount Barclay community. Classes begin with one hundred and five students enrolled. The institution, though new, is helping parents get kids off the streets.

“You might be the next president of Liberia or a doctor saving lives, or a teacher shaping minds of the children of Liberia,” said the Rev. Dr. Jerry P. Kulah as he encouraged the students begining classes. Rev. Kulah, District Superintendent of the Monrovia District Conference, called on the students to look up to God as they go through their lessons. Speaking on the theme, “Your Future is in God’s Mighty Hands,” Rev. Kulah said the school is a fulfillment of the mission and vision of the  United Methodist Church in Liberia. The United Methodist Church has a long history of education beginning with the College of West Africa in Monrovia. He urged the students to take their lessons seriously and added, “You are the future of Liberia and the world.”

“The children of Liberia thank the United Methodist Women of Decatur, Georgia for your help in providing an educational opportunity for our community,” the Monrovia District United Methodist Women’s president said. Thanking the Oak Grove United Methodist Church of Decatur, Georgia in the United States of America for their partnership with Liberia, the women’s president praised Zoe M. Hicks and Madge Watson for their role in coordinating the partnership between the two women’s groups.

The New Hope United Methodist Women Elementary School was dedicated on February 18, 2012 by the Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, Bishop of the Liberia area of the United Methodist Church. The school has eight classrooms, offices for the principal and vice principal, the secretary and registrar. The building is also equipped with teachers’ lounge and modern bathroom facilities. The school cost about US$100,000. This new school brings to eighty-one the number of United Methodist Schools in Liberia.

Children on the first day of school at New Hope.

Link to location of Mount Barclay on Google Earth

Link to location of Oak Grove United Methodist Church, Decatur, Georgia

 

Writers Gather at White Plains

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.

Holston Conference Donates to Liberia United Methodists

Recipients gather to receive gift from Holston UMC Conference.

The Department of Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church in Liberia has been distributing donated items in commemoration of the holidays: Independence Day and the upcoming National Flag Day. The items include rice, vegetable oil, canned beef, beans, and oats. Other items included in the holiday package were tooth paste, body lotion, body spray, and other personal hygiene care products.

According to the Director of the Department of Education and Ministry, Helen Roberts-Evans, the items were donated by the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church based in the United States of America. In a letter addressed to Mrs. Roberts-Evans, “the items are intended to address humanitarian needs of United Methodists and the general public in Liberia.” The letter further stated that “the items could be distributed directly to the needy or managed by the Education Department and Ministry of the Liberia Annual Conference of the UMC to provide aid to members of the church and the general public.”
The items are valued at over US$23,000. This donation brings to two the number of donations the United Methodist Church in Liberia has received in the last two months from the United Methodist Churches in the United States of America.

It can be remembered that Operation Classroom-Liberia (OC) received US$14,000 worth educational supplies from the US based Operati on Classroom in July 2012. Notebooks, chalk, pencils/pens, text books, laboratory equipment, and teacher’s plan books were donated by several United Methodist Conferences based in the United States of America including those in the Indiana, Minnesota, and the Maryland areas.
The United Methodists of Liberia give God thanks for the gracious support and friendship shown to the nation and church of Liberia by friends in the Holston Conference.

Operation Classroom Donates School Supplies

Operation Classroom-Liberia has received US$14,000 worth of educational supplies from the US based Operation Classroom. The items were received on July 20, 2012 at the United Methodist Compound on 12th Street, Sinkor. The items will be distributed once the schools are opened.

According to the Coordinator of Operation Classroom-Liberia, Bro. Alfred Zigbuo, the items were donated by several United Methodist Conferences based in the United States including those in the Indiana, Minnesota, and Maryland areas. He said the items are specifically designated for the five Operation Classroom sponsored schools in Liberia. “Beside these schools, we will also share these items with other United Methodist Schools in Liberia,” Bro. Zigbuo said. He named Brumskin, Ganta, Tubman Gray, College of West Africa, and St. Matthews United Methodist Schools as the institution that will be prioritized in the distribution of the items.

Bro. Zigbuo said the educational supplies include notebooks, chalk, pencils/pens, text books, laboratory equipment, and teacher’s plan books as well as other supplies. The Liberia OC director also said the supplies include hospital materials designated for Ganta Hospital and the Camphor Mission Clinic. “Hymnals, Bibles, and Devotional Guides are all part of the gifts that our friends and partners send to us,” Bro. Zigbuo added.
He specifically mentioned the New Hope United Methodist Women School located in Mount Barclay as one of the schools that will benefit from the shipment. The New Hope School is owned and operated by the Monrovia District Conference Women Organization.

“OC-USA sends donations to our conference twice a year and this is the first supply shipment for this academic year” Bro. Zigbuo concluded.

 

Volunteers opening donation container

Bicycles given to Operation Classroom Liberia

In Commemoration of the 165th Independence Anniversary of Liberia

With God above our rights to prove

Remarks by Bishop John G. Innis

Resident Bishop of the Liberia Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church

Delivered on his behalf and the Church of Liberia by the Rev. Dr. George K.Weagba during the Thanksgiving and Intercessory service held at the Bethel Cathedral of Hope on July 22, 2012

In Commemoration 165th Independence Anniversary of Liberia.


Her Excellency Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia,
His Excellency Joseph N.Boakai, Sr., Vice President of the Republic of Liberia,
Mr. Speaker and honorable members of the Legislature,
His Honorable Chief Justice and Members of the Judiciary,
Heads of Foreign Governments and International Bodies,
The Heads and representatives of the Faith Community,
Fellow Liberians, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I bring greetings of peace, love and unity on behalf of the Church of Liberia in the blessed name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at this thanksgiving and intercessory service in celebration of the 165th Independence anniversary of our beloved country, Liberia.

Today, as we commence the one hundred sixty-fifth year of existence as a nation and people, and as we remember how far we have come, it is only expedient to begin this Independence celebration with an expression of gratitude to God Almighty for his grace and mercy that have brought us thus far. For the psalmist says, in Psalm 107:1 “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” Like the psalmist in Psalm 116:17, we could say, if it had not been for the Lord who was on our side Liberia would have been and extinct nation.

Therefore, let us continue to thank God for the peace that we now enjoy, for the leadership that God has given us, for the resilient spirit that we have as Liberians, and for the improvement in our social, economic, political, environmental, security and other needs.

Today, as we thank God for our independence, I challenge us fellow Liberians to be nationalistic if we must make our nation what it ought to be and move it forward. Hence, let us take the initiative and make sacrifices in the reconstruction process of our nation. Let us develop a good heart and love for our country. Our love for our country should result from a love for God. Similarly, let us pray for the leadership that the Lord has given us. The Bible says in First Timothy 2:1, we should pray for all people, for Kings and all who are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life. Thus; it is incumbent upon us as Liberians to sincerely pray for the president, her Excellency, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. If there is anything the president needs most from every Liberia as she steers the affairs of the nation, she needs our collective and individuals prayers. So, let us rally around the government and the president with sincere hearts as she leads our country.

Today, the Church of the Republic of Liberia is appealing to all peace-loving Liberians to give and serve our country in the spirit of unity. The Psalmist says, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in unity”. Let us walk in unity and let unity be the hallmark in our ongoing reconstruction process. Unity is practical and not theoretical. We do not only talk unity, we practice unity. Let us do all we can, therefore, in our strength and power, to find a way to overcome the divisiveness that separates, disparages, disrespect, diminishes, and leaves us wounded and incomplete. Remember the adage, “United we stand, divided we fall.” Together as Liberians, we can make Liberia great.

Once again, as we celebrate 165 years of existence in this New Liberia, let us keep reminding ourselves of the lines in our National Anthem that say “In union strong success is sure. We cannot fail, with God above, our rights to prove, we will o’er all prevail, with heart and hand, our country’s because defending, we’ll meet the foe, with valor unpretending”.

I say to us, long live Liberia.

May God bless our nation and help us resolve to make Liberia “a home of glorious liberty by God’s command.”

HAPPY, HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

 

The Late Mother Violet Ma Musu Kulah Hailed

The Late Mother Violet Ma Musu Kulah Hailed

The remains of the Late Mother Violet Ma Musu Kulah arrived at the S. T. Nagbe United Methodist Church in Sinkor, Monrovia amidst a weeping, crying, and whimpering crowd of families, relatives, friends, and church officials on July 19, 2012.  During the wake keeping over the remains of the late Mother Kulah, her husband, the Rev. Dr. Arthur F. Kulah, hailed her as a loving and caring who supported his Episcopal leadership throughout her life here on earth. Bishop Kulah said “his interpersonal relationship with my congregation was enhanced by the daily advice that Violet gave to me.” “She was with me at every level of my Christian journey,” the bishop added trying to hold back his tears.

As part of his reflection during their life together, Bishop Kulah, who now serves as bishop of the Nigeria Area and also served as bishop of the Liberia Area of the United Methodist Church, told mourners that the late Mother Kulah was not just a wife to him, but a supporting partner in his ministry to the church and the people of Liberia.

Earlier, Rev. John K. Yambasu described the late Mother Kulah as a loving hero who has gone from labor to rest.  “I see our mother resting in the arms of Jesus Christ after her service here with us,” the Sierra Leonean bishop said. Bishop Yambasu, who intermittently referred to the late Mother Kulah as his own mother, urged mourners to celebrate her home going by cherishing and emulating her good deeds.

The wake keeping was attended by several church leaders including the Conference Lay Leader and Chancellor. Also attending the wake of the late Mother Kulah, was the Public Works Minster Samuel Kofi Woods and former Interim President, Dr. Amos Sawyer.

Meanwhile, the remains of the Late Mother Violet Kulah have been taken to Gbarnga City, Bong County for another night of wake keeping and burial on Saturday, July 21, 2012.

Watch out for more update from the Department of Communications through the LAC/UMC Website: www.liberiaunitedmethodistchurch.org

UMC Dedicates Skills Training Center for Hope for the Deaf School

UMC Dedicates Skills Training Center for Hope for the Deaf School

The Hope for the Deaf Ministry of the United Methodist Church in Liberia has dedicated a modern skills training center for deaf students in Liberia. The dedication of the three classroom building was done by the Resident Bishop of the Liberia Area, United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. John G. Innis along with the Director of the Department David T. Wolobah on Wednesday, July 11, 2012.

Performing the official dedicatory ceremony of the US$14,000 skill training center, Bishop Innis thanked the director of the department for the level of work done in impacting the lives of the children over the years. “You have added value to the human resource capacity of the students and the church”, the Bishop added.

“These are our children and we must care and love for them; that’s what makes us the voice of the voiceless,” the United Methodist Bishop told the gathering at the dedicatory ceremony of the training center.

Also speaking during the dedication ceremony, the Director of the Hard Hearing Department Bro. David K. Wolobah said, the skill center is intended to train students of the institute in the areas of shoe manufacturing, sewing, and pastry baking. Bro. Wolobah noted that it was very important for the construction of the center which he said will add value to the academic knowledge being acquired by students of the institution.

He disclosed that the construction of the Modern Skills Training Center was made possible through donations from the Middletown United Methodist Church in Middletown, Maryland USA.

The skills training center, which is located on the same compound that hosts the United Methodist Church central office, is expected to teach the hearing impaired children various skills areas in addition to their academic knowledge. The Hard Hearing School now has fifty eight registered students.

The Hard Hearing School of the United Methodist Church in Liberia was established eleven years ago by the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Meanwhile, plans are underway to establish an additional deaf school in Kakata, Margibi County.

 

Attendees join in prayer for God’s blessing on the ministries of Hope for the Deaf in Monrovia, Liberia.

Bishop Innis standing before the sign on the new school:
Deborah L. Hall
Deaf Skills Training Center
Funded by the
Middletown United Methodist Church
Middletown, Maryland, USA.

Bishop Innis addresses the Virginia Annual Conference

Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, Liberia Area Bishop, addressed the Virginia Annual Conference gathered in Roanoke, Virginia USA on Saturday, June 23.

Bishop Innis Hails Bishop Charlene Kammerer at the Virginia Annual Conference

Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, Bishop of the Liberia Area, United Methodist Church praised Bishop Charlene Kammerer of the Richmond Area as an “insightful, vision-driven and a Christ-centered leader in the Virginia Conference. These words of commendation were part of Bishop Innis’ address delivered to the congregation attending the Ordination Service of the Virginia Conference on Saturday, June 23, 2012. Bishop Innis also praised and thanked Bishop Kammerer who he said God elected to serve The United Methodist Church for sixteen years starting from the Western North Carolina Annual Conference and ending her active episcopacy in the Virginia Annual Conference in August of this year. “Your brothers and sisters of the church of Africa as well as the Council of Bishops are proud of your episcopal leadership, the Liberian bishop added.

Commenting further, Bishop Innis said, “You have made a significant spiritual difference in the two conferences you served as well as the Council of Bishops. Your spirit-filled leadership has impacted the lives of children,healed the broken-hearted, and set at liberty the oppressed and met the needs of struggling people around the globe. God has truly called, equipped, ordained and sent you everywhere as a faithful servant and your commitment have marked you as an effective disciple of Jesus Christ in transforming the world,” Bishop Innis concluded.

During the service, Chenda Innis Lee, the oldest daughter of Bishop Innis and Mrs. Irene Innis was commissioned as Rev. Chenda Innis Lee. The commissioning ceremony was performed by the Rev. Dr. John G. Innis. Among the congregation that attended the ordination service were Rev. Asa Lee, husband of Chenda, their children, other family members, and parents of the couple.

Bishop Innis at the Virginia Annual Conference