Liberia hosts global religious leaders as the 32nd General Assembly of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) commences today, November 28 through December 1, 2018 at the St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on 10th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia. The religious leaders who arrived here last evening are to grace the LCC’s General Assembly which has as the theme: NATIONAL UNITY AND RECONCILIATION “to remind the people of the territories that haven’t yet been captured [Joshua 18:1] and to also shine the spot light on what we need to do to bring this country closer together to fulfill the God-given mission of the LCC during its general assembly”. Expected to be the keynote speaker is the President of the National Council of Churches of the United States of America (NCC/USA), The ANALYST reports.
The President of the LCC, Bishop Kortu Brown who noted that several activities including presentation of the 66-page report of the Ecumenical Economic Policy committee and other discussions are expected to take place during the Assembly.
Rev. Brown, who is also the Bishop of the New Water in the Desert Assembly, indicated that the focus of this year’s general assembly will be on national unity and reconciliation which is also the theme, looking to see how the prelates can strengthen national unity and reconciliation amongst our people.
The LCC boss hinted that the assembly will start with a former opening program on Wednesday, November 28 at 10:00am where the president of the US council of churches will serve as keynote speaker.
. Topics for discussions at the auspicious Christian gathering, LCC President Dr. Kortu Brown further indicated, will border on peace and justice, the economy, Bicentennial Celebration of the church in Liberia, reporting, promoting “Waking the Giant” initiative, amongst other things.
Some of the key guest speakers include, Reverend James E. Winkler, Keynote Speaker: Consolidating National Reconciliation and Unity: An Imperative for Sustainable Growth and Development; Bishop Dr. Thomas Schirmacher: Speaker on Human Rights and Advocacy as tools for National Reconciliation and Unity; and Bishop Arnold C. Temple: Speaker on the Role of the Church in promoting Reconciliation and Unity.
Bishop Dr. Kortu Brown indicated that churches from across the country, the government of Liberia, ecumenical partners, church leaders and civil society leaders amongst others will form part of the ceremony.
Speaking in an interview, the LCC president has expressed delight over the coming of the US National Council of Churches to come to Liberia for the first time, saying that the United States Council of Churches has been involved with activities in Liberia through its relief department, Church World Service (CWS).
At the time and since, Dr. Brown indicated further that the US Council of churches has been very active in supporting programs of the Liberia Council of Churches and many other religious partners in the country in areas of relief and training.
The LCC boss underscored the historical ties between Liberia and America and noted that over the years, one of the things the National Council of Churches in America hasn’t done is to collaborate with its Liberian counterpart as an institution so that both the LCC and the US National Council of Churches will be able to strengthen those ties.
Normally, Dr. Brown asserted, “We are told that the Council of Churches in the US will go to countries where America has stronger ties; pointed out that America political ties has been stronger over the years but added that there has not been any much strong religious tie between the two countries.”
According to him, the religious community in America hasn’t accommodated the Liberian churches to expectation. “That is why we are trying to see how we can work together to enhance the Liberia-US relations at the religious level and to see how we can solve some of these problems,” Rev. Dr. Brown said.
“So it is our pleasure to welcome the president of the National Council of Churches of the US to the 32nd Assembly of the LCC to which he will serve not only as a guest but as a keynote speaker,” Rev. Brown in an excited tune added.
32nd General Assembly of the LCC, Dr. Brown accentuated is to set programs of the following year, 2019.
“We are therefore pleased to welcome our distinguished delegates and special guests from the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Sierra Leone, AACC, WCC, etc., to the LCC’s 32nd Assembly and may God bless our deliberations and strengthen the works of our hands!”
Meanwhile, the World Council of Churches’ General Secretary has extended greetings to the 32nd General Assembly of the Liberia Council of Churches, 28 Nov – 2 Dec 2018, Monrovia.
The World Council of Churches said in its fraternal greetings to all the brethren at the 32nd General Assembly of the Liberia Council of Churches said the WCC General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit is unable to come in person due to other engagements and therefore sends the below greetings.
The WCC added that it is pleased to count on the companionship of sisters and brothers in Liberia as both institutions journey together on the pilgrimage of justice and peace.
“Liberia has emerged from a painful civil war and the engagement of the churches in the rebuilding the country cannot be overemphasized. Liberia also recently suffered a deadly outbreak of Ebola virus disease. In the midst of all this, and indeed because of all these, the Church is being called to continue being an agent of peace and justice and transformation for Liberia,” the WCC message further indicated.
The WCC greeting disclosed that at an ecumenical level, “we learn with great interest the efforts being taken to restructure LCC and to ensure that there is total ownership from the churches. You have made strides in activating standing committee and commissions to strengthen the role of member churches in the daily life and function of the council.”
Concluding, the WCC greeting signed by its General Secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said, “Sisters and brothers, we in the WCC are pleased to accompany you in these processes. It is a pilgrimage and we are fellow pilgrims: walking, praying and working together. The LCC is a trusted partner with us, and we appreciate how you celebrated with us the 70th anniversary of the WCC.”