Bishop speaks at UMC Liberia Annual Conference

Bishop John Innis delivering his Episcopal Address at the 182nd Session of the LAC-UMC

The Resident Bishop of the Liberia Area, United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. John G. Innis hailed the Government Liberia and other partners for the commendable role they played during the heat of unforgettable Ebola crisis. The UMC Liberia leader thanked President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for her caring and committed stewardship in the country. “President Sirleaf, in her capacity as our leader, galvanized local resources and international support for the containment and eradication of the Ebola scourge, which unfortunately claimed the lives of over 4000 of our people, including doctors, nurses and other health workers,” Bishop Innis said.

Delivering his annual Episcopal Address to hundreds of the United Methodists who gathered at the James E. Marshall United Methodist Church in Gardnersville, Liberia on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 for the official opening of the 182nd Session of the Liberia Annual Conference, Bishop Innis lamented the loss of lives including United Methodists and call on all to being to care and work together for God’s specific purpose concerning humanity.  He indicated that United Methodists in Liberia and the diaspora are under obligation to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. “This is evidenced by the level of care we have given and the quality of work we have done together through churches, schools, health facilities, and other vital social services,” the Bishop emphasized.

Recounting the contributions of other partners of the United Methodist Church of Liberia Bishop Innis said Board of Discipleship (now Discipleship Ministries), United Methodist Communications (UMCom) based in Tennessee, the Liberia Partnership Summit, as well as the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas, USA, made immense financial contribution toward our fight against the Ebola disease. “We praise God for these timely acts of caring and working together, the intervention of UMCom has enhanced our communications ministry tremendously,” Bishop Innis concluded.

In a related development, Rev. Joseph Sunday challenged United Methodists in Liberia to be supportive and responsive to the needs of one another and the community in which their churches are located. Serving as the Preacher for the official opening service for the 182nd Session of the Liberia Annual Conference, the 83 years old elder on the Monrovia District and educator said it is about time that members of UMC Liberia made visible their intentions of caring and working together for the church of Jesus Christ. “Let the church and its leadership provide help in communities and in the lives of individuals where help is needed,” the retired clergyman added.

The 182nd Session is one of the regular gatherings that bring United Methodists together to review their annual activities and make plans for the succeeding year. It is usually held in February of each but could not be held due to the current Ebola crisis. With the Ebola crisis ebbing, UMC Liberia is now meeting to review their past activities for 2014, especially the impact of the Ebola crisis on the church and the role government and international partners in mitigating the crisis. The 182nd Session is expected to decide on the rules and conduct of the nomination process that will set the stage for the nomination of the next bishop to succeed Rev. Dr. John G. Innis.

E. Julu Swen reporting for the LAC.