Liberia Partners' Summit Nov. 15-17
ALTON – A gathering of partners with Liberia aimed a coordinating and maximizing efforts of evangelization, education, health care and economic opportunity among various annual conferences will be held Nov. 15-17 at Alton Main Street UMC.
Bishop Jonathan Keaton will preach the 7 p.m. opening worship service on Nov. 15 and Bishop John Innis, episcopal leader for the Liberia Annual Conference, will preach the Nov. 16 worship service. Both services are open to everyone, including those not registered for the summit.
IGRC Communications will be audio recording sessions from the Summit and these will be posted on the IGRC website in the days following the Summit. These files will be in MP3 format, allowing them to be saved to computers and mobile devices for playback.
The purpose of the event is to celebrate and enhance the working relationships which United Methodist conferences and individuals in the United States and globally have with the Liberia Annual Conference. During three-day summit, the group will explore specific areas that may include but are not limited to: Ganta Hospital construction project, other joint construction projects, agricultural projects, self-sustainable projects, training opportunities, student scholarships, pastor salary support, missionary salary support, as well as Advance Special projects.
In a letter that was sent jointly by Innis’ office and the Illinois Area Episcopal office, both leaders noted its importance. “Your participation in this gathering of partners with Liberia is crucial as we seek to better coordinate and maximize our mutual efforts in evangelization, education, health care and economic opportunity in Liberia,” the letter read. “Please save these dates in your schedule and plan to join us for this important conversation as we work together to enhance our mutual disciple making ministry and mission with our Liberian brothers and sisters.
In addition to the two bishops, the summit will also include an 8:30 a.m. morning devotion led by Dr. Caroline Njuki, assistant general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries. Victor Taryor, administrator of Ganta Hospital will lead a general session beginning at 9 a.m. on the Ganta Hospital construction project.
From 10:30 to noon on Friday, six breakout sessions will be available:
- Ganta Hospital – fundraising and promotion
- Scholarships and Education
- Agriculture projects
- Pastor salary support
- Traveling to Liberia
- Training opportunities – teacher, pastor, laity training; women’s workshops; microcredit program and marketing of Liberian artisan crafts
Following lunch, a general session on Advance Specials in Liberia and missionary salary support will be led by a member of the staff for the Advance. A general discussion on joint building projects will be held from 2:15 to 3 p.m. Round table discussions resume from 3 to 5:30 p.m. prior to the dinner break and evening worship.
Njuki will lead Saturday morning’s session at 9 a.m. with reports from the round table discussions. Dismissal is set for 11:30 a.m.
IGRC has been involved in a partnership with the Liberia Annual Conference since 2004 when Rev. Dr. Timothy Bias, then pastor of Peoria First UMC, stood and asked the conference to begin in a partnership. While early efforts included collecting rice for the Liberia Annual Conference session and books for the Gbanga School of Theology, much of the IGRC effort has centered around: scholarships for students; rebuilding of churches damaged or destroyed by the civil war; and providing salary support for Liberia pastors, who earn an average of $20 per month.