Rev. Dr. Samuel J. Quire, Jr., Resident Bishop of the Liberia Episcopal Area on June 16, 2017, signed a four-year partnership agreement with Discipleship Ministries (formerly General Board of Discipleship) in Monrovia. The agreement now extends the relationship between the Liberian Church and the agency of the United Methodist Church for another quadrennium.
During the signing ceremony, Bishop Quire said the Liberian church was in the debt of the agency for availing itself to respond to the writing and reading needs of the Liberian people. “Your involvement with the church through the publishing team will strengthen our efforts in making resources available to our people,” he affirmed. Bishop Quire also pointed out that for too long, the UMC Book of Discipline has been one of the resources that has been eluding most of our church members, adding, “it will be very good if the publishing team through this partnership can make important excerpts of the book available for my members.”
The Resident Bishop commended Discipleship Ministries through Discipleship Resources International (DRI) for their role in the Liberian church, especially during the time of the Ebola crisis. He indicated that as he embarks on his twelve-year mission of making the United Methodist Church in Liberia sustainable, written information will be key in his undertakings. “Several things have changed and reviving those will be crucial and the publishing team will have to be a part of it,” he asserted. He said the Methodist way of worshiping is disappearing from the churches, adding, “the publishing team needs to reduce the regular UMC hymnals to booklets that can be given to all the churches, especially those without hymnals.”
Signing on behalf of Discipleship Ministries, Robin Pippin said the partnership was the global United Methodist Church’s way of empowering its members outside of the United States of America. “You have the human resources and the talents, so we want to help in building the capacity of our members,” Pippin said. She indicated that the Liberia publishing team has been instrumental in expanding the work of Discipleship Ministries in this country through the printing and publishing of resources for the church, including the Ebola booklets. The Discipleship Ministries representative also indicated that the role of the publishing team in creating contextual resources for local churches is key in how the agency wants to help to resource the membership of the United Methodist Church outside of the US. “The team needs to make resources available that will enlighten members of the church here in Liberia,” she concluded.
The agreement is the third quadrennial document signed between the United Methodist Church in Liberia and Discipleship Ministries through DRI. The agreement paved the way for the agency to provide an annual grant to the publishing team of Liberia and support other funding needs when deemed appropriate. In the last quadrennium, the publishing team was able to reprint Bible text books for United Methodist Schools, booklets for churches, and the Ebola booklets through the grants.
Reporting and photos by E. Julu Swen
Group photo by Michael Boglay