More than two thousand Ghanaian Methodists from the USA and Canada connected virtually last Sunday to celebrate Pentecost – the birthday of the CHURCH and also participate in the culminating service of a week-long celebration of the North America Mission diocese Lay Movement week.
The preacher from Ghana was the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana, the Most Reverend Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo, who is also the Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana.
Starting by congratulating the Mission Diocese for these twin celebrations- he also expressed sympathy for all who have been affected or infected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that just as the pandemic has made us discover that we are all united by our vulnerability, we should see the Holy Spirit as the one who unites us all as God’s people.
Taking his text from John 20:19-23, Bishop Boafo stated that there are three things that we can learn from the passage namely that a prophecy was fulfilled (as from Joel); and that a promise was fulfilled (as from Luke 24, Acts 1) and finally that when the disciples met in the prayer room, they were not idle but gave themselves to prayer. Therefore we should always remember that the prayer-answering God whom we serve is always with us and ready to respond positively to our requests, especially concerning the prophecies and promises that he has given to us.
The message of Jesus is for all nations. He stated and that is why after receiving the Holy Spirit they left Jerusalem to tell the then known world. Pentecost gives us a new sense of mission to the world – an energy and a courage to face persecution no matter what befalls us. He ended by praying that we will all be filed the Holy Spirit – just as on the day of Pentecost, there was no discrimination between the disciples and the rest of the 120 gathered, that both lay and clergy will be filled for united mission to the nations.
Earlier prayers had been said for Ghana, USA, Canada, the world and the church by the Very Reverends Prof Joseph Osei, Kofi Bart-Martin and Isaac K. Boamah. Other lay leaders who prayed were Brothers Dr Collins Asamoah-Afriyie, Baffour Amoateng, and Sekum Duncan. They implored divine intervention to stem the spread of COVID, and also asked for God’s spirit to heal the sin of racism in the Americas.
Very Rev. Prof Lartey offered the closing prayer and the Lay Chairman brother Nana Yaw Sekyere Mensah moved the vote of thanks.
Music was provided by Toronto and Washington groups and the entire program was efficiently facilitated by the Very Reverend Joseph Owusu Atuahene, synod Secretary and Superintendent Minister of Toronto, assisted by the Very Reverend Moses Antwi, the Superintendent Minister of the Washington DC circuit.
Many of the participants expressed hope that this will be a repeated occurrence instead of a one time event.
The words of the Presiding Bishop resonated in our ears and hearts as we left the virtual divine service: don’t make Pentecost an event, let it be a lifestyle
Credit: Reverend Dr. casely B. Essamuah