Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Ghanaian Methodist Fellowship Celebrate its 10th Anniversary

The Ghanaian Methodist Fellowship-UK Chaplaincy is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in September. The theme for the celebration is: 10 years of Integration, Prospects and Challenges. We're excited about the decade of existence, and we look back in thankfulness and adoration to God who has led us over the years. Events marking the celebration started in July with a Variety Day of Exhibition, a Musical Concert and rounded the day off with a splendid dramatization on the life and work of Revd. Thomas Birch Freeman in Gold Coast now Ghana. This event took place at Walworth Methodist Church.

Although we say it's our 10th Anniversary, the Fellowship has existed in some shape or form since 1995. However, it was in 2002 when the Methodist Church Ghana and Methodist Church Britain decided to bring the various Ghanaian Methodist Fellowships in London under one umbrella with the appointment of a first Chaplain. The Chaplaincy was thus born in 2002.

Since then the Fellowship has grown in size with with various organisations such as the Men's Fellowship, Women's Fellowship, Susannah Wesley Mission Auxiliary, Choir, Christ Little Band and Junior Fellowship all performing very important activities within and outside the Fellowship. Membership is drawn from all local Methodist Church in and around London. The Fellowship shares all core values of the Methodist Church Britain.

The aim of the Fellowship is to help Ghanaians to integrate into local Methodist Churches. Many Fellowship members are serving their local Methodist church in various roles such as Local Preachers, Sunday school teachers, Organist, Worship Leaders and Circuit officers. The Fellowship now holds monthly services at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, on the second Sunday and St. Marks Methodist church in Tottenham on the fourth Sunday. There are also two sister Fellowships in Nottingham and Glasgow.

The Ghanaian Methodist Fellowship has participated in various programmes to forge closer relationship between Methodist Church Ghana and Methodist Church Britain. Recent activities include participation in "More Than Gold" programme, Annual Fun Games, Choir Concerts at various Methodist churches in Britain, Youth Exchange trips to Ghana and Britain, Ministerial Exchange trips to Ghana and Britain

We thank both Methodist Church Ghana and Methodist Church Britain for agreeing to such agreement that while trying to adapt to the British way of doing things, we're also allowed to celebrate our cultural diversity and traditional way of doing things. We are very much grateful to the London District for its continued support to the Chaplaincy.

Other events marking the celebration are: Brass Band Procession in London on Saturday 8th September, Anniversary Thanksgiving on Sunday 9th September at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, and Banqueting and Fund raising event on Saturday 20th October at Ivory Mansion in Leytonstone. We extend invitation to all and sundry to join us in the celebration. For more information about the Fellowship and celebration activities, please check www.gmf-uk.org.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Have Some Bread. No Thanks!!

Haven't we had enough of bread? Many of us would have had bread today. In the past weeks the Lectionary has been talking about bread and its bread again this week. This time the bread we've been hearing about is manifesting itself. Then Jesus declared "I am the bread of life" Those who come to me will never be hungry;   those who believe in me will never be thirsty (John 6:35).

That declaration led to grumbling amongst his listeners. The other day, over the other side of the lake of Galilee, the crowd had become hungry and were pleased to have been fed by Christ. Today, they're hungry again and have tracked Jesus down in Capernaum, hoping to have another free lunch. But there's no such thing as free lunch. When Jesus told them that He's the true bread and those who come to him wouldn't be hungry again or thirst again they grumbled. Like Nicodemus in his born again encounter with Christ, the listeners of Christ had no spiritual incline of what he was talking about. They wanted bread with no conditionality attached.

Their grumbling exposed their lack of spiritual thinking. All that they crave for is physical. All they want is bread to quench their physical hunger today. They don't care about what happens tomorrow. Christ's listeners didn't understand why Jesus would link common bread which can be bought in many shops to God and more importantly to himself that he's the bread of life which came from heaven. They were literally saying we know you so stop pretending to be someone else. If you've got some bread give it to us and stop pretending you're something special.

We all love a bit of tradition. Many of us would like to continue to shop in where our grandparents and parents shopped. We wouldn't like to change our shopping habits. The same with Christ listeners; their ancestors ate manna in the wilderness and wanted to continue the status quo.

But Christ reminded them of what happened to their ancestors. After years of eating manna in the wilderness, your ancestors died. Now I am the new source of bread and if you reject me you too will die just like your ancestors. Christ is saying you could eat as many physical bread as you can but these wouldn't grant you eternal life. Only by having Christ would guarantee you eternal life.

And how do we eat Christ's flesh and drink his bread? Through prayer, regular reading and studying of scripture, and putting into practice what scripture tells us. Sadly, many people are still grumbling about this bread offer. People will "eat and drink" anything but offer them the "bread of life" and would reject it. What is it to grumble about?