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Ghana - Slideshow

A slideshow of worship in Ghana.

The coastal city of Accra, Ghana, West Africa, was the site of the 24th General Council of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC;www.warc.ch). From July 30-August 13, 2004, about 800 delegates, observers, and registered visitors from around the world gathered to worship, study, and learn from and with each other. The CRC is part of this fellowship of 215 member denominations representing some 75 million Christians in 107 countries, most in the southern hemisphere. David Engelhard, General Secretary of the CRC, was a delegate; CRC members Emily Brink, James Lont, and Richard Van Houten attended as ecumenical observers from a sister organization, the Reformed Ecumenical Council that is planning a similar conference in July 2005 in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

"That All Might Have Life In Fullness" (John 10:10) was the theme of the conference, which began each day with worship, Bible study, and then meetings that concentrated in three areas selected as particularly important in our time and requiring fresh study with a global focus: missions, spirituality and worship, and covenanting for justice in the economy and the earth. As can be expected with such diverse participation (with simultaneous translation into English, French, German, and Spanish), discussions were often passionate and challenging, especially from those who struggle with poverty in places like the Sudan, Cuba, Romania, and Indonesia.

As an amazing act of hospitality, the host denominations, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana, provided meals for the two weeks for everyone without charge; they also arranged for small group weekend visits in many towns and villages that provided more meals and cultural presentations; on Sunday it was a privilege to worship together and bring greetings from the CRC to several different congregations.

On a completely different note, another excursion took us to slave dungeons on the coast from which up to 15 million Africans were forcibly taken to the Americas between 1540 and 1850. As we left the campus of the University of Ghana, site of the meetings, a group of students from Calvin College was about to arrive for a semester interim there. We can all be grateful for these opportunities to learn from and with each other.

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