The newly elected Resident Bishop of the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church Rev. Samuel J. Quire, Jr. is calling on United Methodists across the country to support a Methodist candidate in the October elections.
He says it is about time all United Methodist Churches come together and rally around one aspirant from the Church who has interest in contesting for the presidency in October. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a United Methodist, while her Vice President, Joseph NyumahBoakai, who is vying for the nation’s highest seat, is a Baptist.
Another presidential aspirant and ex-governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Dr. Joseph Mills Jones, also attended Sunday’s service. Delivering his first sermon to Methodists here on Sunday, 1 January during worship at the First United Methodist Church in Monrovia under the theme; “A New Heart for a New Church” Bishop Quire called on his flocks to come with a new heart in order to build a new church for the betterment of the Liberia Annual Conference.
With text from Psalm 61;10-11; Jeremiah. 17;9-10, he said, “This morning I have come to challenge all United Methodist that we need to possess a new heart; to possess a new heart means to love God, to have a new heart means you allow God to take away the bitterness, selfishness, angers that we carry every day.”
He said the church also needs a new heart for a new nation. “We all know that we are anticipating elections this year as people. I want to call on all United Methodists to rally around a United Methodist, who is the leader of this nation’ who has done everything in her power, because if the President fails, then the country fails. Let’s pray that her end will be more than what she acted, but we can only do this with a new and united heart”.
He said Liberians should do away with unnecessary criticisms, stressing that constructive criticisms are good, “but when you criticize for criticizing sake then you are doing nothing.”
Bishop Quire urged Liberians to blend their hearts as they move to elections for a new Liberia, saying “when God’s people are willing to forgive the past and reconcile with one another, when God’s people are willing to combine their gifts, talents, abilities in order to do the work of God, no force, weapon fighting against them will prosper.” He recalled that in the old days, the church was characterized by deception, confusion and backstabbing.
“We pick and choose, but such attitude is not only unique to the church. We must also symbolize the way of doing things in this country. A people who have old heart, possess the spirit of ingratitude; they don’t see what others do, everything that people do is nothing in their eyes.
In the old society people criticized, but there is a need for us as a church to acknowledge the efforts that others have done in our country, even today in the government, people say the administration of the ruling party has done nothing, and there are others who say even though criticizing is the way forward, but at least something has been done, and I think I subscribe to the group that says at least something has been done.”
Bishop Samuel J. Quire, Jr. replaces retired Resident Bishop Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, who was sent off by the Church last Thursday in an elaborate ceremony held at the First United Methodist Church in Monrovia.
Dr. Innis, who took over from Resident Bishop emeritus Dr. Alfred F. Kula, served the Liberian Annual Conference/United Methodist Church for 16 years.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne