Diasporian News of Thursday, 19 May 2011
Source: Joseph & Karen Essiful-Ansah
Story by Joseph & Karen Essiful-Ansah
The Methodist Church Ghana, North America Mission holds its Third Annual General Meeting from Friday May 20 to Sunday May 22, 2011 and is being hosted by the Toronto Ghana Methodist Church, Canada Mission Circuit. The theme for the Meeting is “Behold the Lamb”
In an interview with Very Rev Kofi Bart-Martin, the Chairman of the Mission, gave the rationale for the theme noting that all the work we do as Christians must focus on the Lamb of God Who was slain for the His Church. “Like John the Baptist we must make it a point at all times to point to Christ Jesus and give Him the glory in all we do in the Church;” the Rev Chairman advised. He explained that this meeting is the equivalent to a Synod of a Diocese in Ghana and all the important decisions needed to promote the growth of the Mission would be made here and where necessary seek the approval of Conference.
He considered it unfortunate that the Supervising Coordinator is yet to arrive but the is meeting to render accounts of their stewardship, take stock and discuss ways of to move the membership spiritually and materially and “to spread through all the earth abroad the honors of the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
The Very Reverend Bart-Martin also stated that the North America Mission of The Methodist Church Ghana has made progress in its short history. The Mission was officially recognized by the 2010 Cape Coast Conference of The Methodist Church Ghana and a Supervising Missions Coordinator was appointed and stationed in the United States to administer the affairs of the Mission and prepare it to its ultimate goal of becoming the first Diocese of the church outside Ghana.
Brother Baffour Amoateng the Lay Chairman gave the historical background to the work of the North America Mission in the United States of America and Canada. In his briefing he noted with pride that the first time the North America Mission in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2009, its Societies were ten in number. Then in Columbus, Ohio last year, Ghana Ebenezer, Charlotte, North Carolina was admitted. At this Meeting the Leadership of the Mission will be formally informed that five more Societies, Calvary Methodist Society, Dallas, Texas, Ghana Wesley Methodist Society, Worcester, Massachusetts; Ghana Ebenezer Methodist Society, Denver, Colorado; Ghana Wesley Methodist Society, Newark, Delaware and Ghana Methodist Society, Ottawa have joined the fold.
The Lay Chairman also hinted that new Societies in Chicago and Florida will soon be part of the North America Mission. The Meeting which has several Observers including some not of the Mission, will thus have a lot to deliberate on especially with regards to providing pastoral care for all these young flock across the Mission.
The leadership of the Mission which was for the most part of the year 2010, was headed by Very Rev. Dr. John A.K Bonful as Chairman and Opanin Kwadwo Fosu, Lay Chairman along with supporting staff namely Sis. Karen Essiful-Ansah, Administrator and Bro. Victor Yamson, Honorary Treasurer had a new Leadership ushered in to steer the affairs of the following elections held at the Second Annual General Meeting held in Columbus, Ohio in May 2010.The Leadership of the Mission is constituted by Very Rev. Kofi Bart-Martin who is also the Minister-in-charge of Covenant Society, Silver Spring, Maryland as Chairman and Bro. Baffour Amoateng as Lay Chairman.
The Meeting would be formally opened with a Keynote Address by the Mission Chair and would be climaxed with a Special Divine Service under the AGM theme which will see the Ghana Methodist of Toronto Choir rendering melodious Classical Anthems, hymns and sacred songs; the Christ Little Band will lead the Congregation in singing Ghanaian lyrics “Ebibindwom” and the vivacious Evangelist Edwin Oppong Boateng popular known and called “What Are You Talking About?” launch an Appeal for Funds for evangelism and church planting.
Very Rev Dr Asare Kusi, the affable Superintendent Minister of the Canada Mission Circuit has a message for all members of the AGM and observers, “We are waiting eagerly for you because we have prepared fully and put in place everything to make your stay memorable.” He is of the hope and prayer that this will be a spirit filled business Meeting with a difference and the expectations are high.
The Mission and its Leadership may be meeting to render account of their work in the past year but when the dust settles it still has lot to do to ensure that the North America Mission operates as it should under the Constitution and Standing Orders of The Methodist Church Ghana. Hear Lay Chairman Amoateng put it aptly, “If our ultimate aim of becoming a full-fledged Diocese of The Methodist Church Ghana is to be achieved all members of the Mission must do their part and this is still our prayer”.