Monday, March 5, 2007
Thanksgiving service marks Jubilee
Story: ALBERT K. SALIA & TIMOTHY GOBAH
A NATIONAL interdenominational thanksgiving service was yesterday held at the Holy Spirit Cathedral as part of activities marking Ghana’ Golden Jubilee celebrations.
The service, which was on the theme “The role of the church on Ghana’s evolution and development”, attracted the top echelons of the Church in Accra, with their congregations also in attendance.
Led by a mass choir, the congregation sang praises and adoration to God for His goodness to the country and Ghanaians for the last 50 years.
Prayers were said to thank God for 50 years of nationhood, the government, people of Ghana and national unity, deepening of democratic governance and development, development of the nation’s critical sectors and the future prosperity of the country.
Preaching the sermon, the Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev. Dr. Paul Fynn, said God had blessed Ghana with peace, stability, both human and material resources that Ghanaians should be proud of.
He said the fact the Ghana had survived as a nation for the past 50 years without any civil war showed that God had blessed the country.
He urged Ghanaians to work hard to turn obstacles into opportunities for the country to move ahead.
Rev. Dr. Fynn urged the government to encourage the local entrepreneurs to lead the development of the country instead of relying so much on foreign investors.
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, who deputized for President J.A. Kufuor, said the church had played pivotal role in the nation’s independence.
He lauded the church for its continued quest for peace, adding that “it had always been a joy that the church has not ceased to preach peace hence our togetherness”. “This is the time to pull together as one and the good Lord will direct us” he said.
Mr. Owusu-Agyeman said Ghana had come of age and said this experience must galvanise the country to take its proper position.
He stressed the importance of the celebration of the Jubilee year and asked God to touch the hearts of those who might be trying to disrupt the occasion.
Mr. Owusu-Agyeman further called for the Lord’s guidance and protection of the nation, stressing that “we must be each other’s keeper”.
Meanwhile, the Senior Pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church, Dr. Nii Amoo Darku, has stated that the challenges confronting the country could be overcome if much attention was focused on churches rather then politicians, reports Berlyl Addo.
“The iniquities that had plagued the country over the years had spiritual connotations which could be averted through God’s intervention” he said.
Rev. Darku made the call during a church service organized as part of activities to mark the country’s 50th anniversary celebrations and to thank God for the good things He had done for the country.
In his address, Rev. Darku said the year of jubilee celebration was a year of sanity where the past was put behind for new beginnings.
“That he said called for the need for unity and tenacity of purpose among Ghanaians to ensure that Ghana attained it’s development targets.
“The reality of this country is not what we read in the newspapers and hear on the radio today” he said.
He said there was the need for us to repent of the things we had done which had been the misuse of what God had given to us.
According to him, many had gone wrong in their fight for freedom and development of the country.
“The country’s 50th anniversary celebration offers a golden opportunity for us to be more productive as a nation”, he said.
Reverend Darku, who is also the Vice President of the Ghana Baptist Convention, said people’s political inclinations had contributed to the country’s slow development and called for repentance from those negative attitudes.
From Cape Cost, Shirley Asiedu Addo reports that hundreds of Cape Coasters on Friday night thronged the Chapel Square to thank God for the developments in the country over the last 50 years.
The people danced and sang praises to god for granting the nation 50 years of independence.
They also prayed and thanked God for the developments in the municipality and asked for prosperity, grace and mercies for the leadership of the nation in the years ahead.
The climax of the programme was the enactment of the “Return of the Covenant Ark of God to Israel’ to symbolise the return of the glory of god to the region.
A symbolic Ark was carried by a procession of flag-bearers and tambourine players and groups representing the various regions of the country to the Chapel Square amidst praises to God.
The Jubilee Praise and Worship night programme was attended by the Central Regional Minister, Nana Ato Arthur, the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Mr. Abraham Dwuma Odoom, and the Omanhene of the Cape Coast Traditional Area, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta.
The various praise and worship teams, including the Oguaa Youth Choir, the Charisma Choir from the Calvary Charismatic Centre, the Heritage Choir from International Central Gospel Church, livened the place with inspirational songs thanking god for how far he had brought the nation.
Students of the University of Cape Coast also participated.
The programmes, which was organized by the Central Regional Prayer and Evangelistic Committee, a network of churches, the Central Regional Co-ordinating Council and the Regional Ghana @ 50 Planning Committee, was described as one of the most successful programmes in the municipality in recent times.
In a brief speech, Nana Arthur said it was important for all Ghanaians to change their behaviours to make the occasion meaningful.
Earlier at the Holy Spirit Cathedral, Adabraka, in Accra most of the parishioners were who in traditional wear prayed to god on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee, reports Rebecca Kwei.
Giving the homily the Cathedral Administrator, Rev. Fr. John Louis, called on Ghanaians to eschew all forms of social vices in order for the country to progress.
He noted that although the country had not progressed as it should, it was important to give thanks to God.
Rev. Fr. Louis was hopeful that if the youth of today were given encouragement, empowered in science, technology, ICT and modern agriculture, the nation would be transformed in the next few years.
The congregation later sang the national anthem.
After the mass, the youth of the parish made a donation to the Accra Rehabilitation Centre.
From Koforidua, Nana Konadu Agyeman reports as part of activities making the Golden Jubilee, a special inter-denominational church service was held at the Jackson Park during which important dignitaries including the Regional Minister, Mr. Yaw Barimah, the Municipal Chief Executive, Nana Adjei Boateng, the Queen of New Juaben, Nana Yaa Daani II, Chiefs and people and the clergy converged to worship and give praise to God.
The event was jointly organized by the New Juaben Municipal Assembly and the Local Council of Churches.
Preaching the sermon, the Chairman of the Local Council of Churches, Rev. Kwabena Asare Ayeh, called on Ghanaians to be grateful to God for the peace the country had enjoyed over the past 50 years, especially when other neighbouring countries were torn apart by civil strife and conflicts.
He urged the people to put behind them past wrongs and develop the habit of forgiveness, since the country’s developmental aspirations could be achieved when there was a genuine unity of purpose among all Ghanaians, irrespective of their political and ethnic background.
“At 50, we are now mature enough and should, therefore, learn to do thins as a mature people, who will not allow themselves to be divided by political and ethnic consideration”, Rev. Ayeh explained, adding that “in our forward march we should see God’s direction to be able to overcome challenges ahead and let our maturity reflect in all our dealings with our fellow man”.
For his part, Mr. Barimah reiterated the call on Ghanaians not to allow political and ethnic sentiments to put them apart at the detriment of the country’s development, saying that “if we are serious in developing our only nation then we should put every wrong against one another behind and look into the future with greater hope and commitment”.
He encouraged the people to allow the kind of national pride that dawned on the country during the Black Star’s maiden appearance at the World Cup to reflect in their daily activities as the country prepared to celebrate 50 years of nationhood.
Daily Graphic - Monday, March 5, 2007 Pages: 20 & 45