Behind the pulpit with Kojo Amoah-Arko

The GMF-UK Chaplaincy is fortunate to have many local preachers actively preaching in many circuits. This series of interviews is intended to find the experiences, views and suggestions of the local preachers. It is hoped that views expressed would benefit preachers on note/trial as well as others who are considering the preaching ministry.

1. Share with us what prompted your call to preach?

I have always been a member of the Methodist Church as my parents were actively involved in the church. In my local church in UK, I have been involved with the children by being a Sunday school teacher-a period I enjoyed very much. Due to my background in accounting and finance, I have been involved with the finances of the church from the local to the Circuit and to the GMF. My prompting to preach however came from meetings with ministers, deacons and deaconess during discussions either at private meetings or in Bible studies. The usual question was why don’t you consider the ministry and my answer would be no, not me. One day Jenny Impey and I had a meeting and the discussion point was John 6- when Jesus talked about His body being the bread of life. After the meeting with Jenny Impey, the usual question was posed and I felt the time had come for me to venture into the pulpit.

2. What is your favourite hymn and why?

My favourite hymn is 524 of the Hymns & Psalms – I need thee every hour. I need God every hour and every second of my life. My journey of life has been punctuated with several downs but with God on my side His grace always keeps me going. I need God every hour because whenever I do feel that I am reasonably secured then something happens to give me a rude awakening that the devil is just around the corner. I really do need God every hour.

3. Who is your favourite character in the Bible and why?

My favourite character in the Bible is David. David lived as a human being who was completely dependent on God even though he was naughty. He depended on God so much that he was able to call God his Shepherd, his Light and his Salvation. When he did wrong he prayed to God with a broken and repentant heart. To him the only thing that mattered was God before any human being.

4. Are you a traditional/contemporary or mixture?

I am a mixture

5. When did you last preach in the GMF service or event?

On the 22 June 2014

6. Any suggestion for the GMF in the area of preaching?

A preaching style on God, Jesus and righteousness with less insinuation would be helpful.

7. What advice/suggestion do you have for preachers on note/trial or those considering the call to preach?

Please pray, pray and pray all the time. Pray for the Holy Spirit to explain the Word to you. Read the books but always pray for God to give you the understanding in relation to the current environment. Only God can give you the wisdom to understand because sometimes the Bible commentaries are very confusing and are probably suitable for academic theologians. However with prayers I find that the words of the Bible are broken down for me. For those considering a call to preach, my advice is that it is a wonderful experience especially the exegesis- the context in which the passages were written and how they are applicable to our lives today. It is refreshing to know the history and context behind the Bible stories.

8. Where and what was the thrust of your last preaching?

The passage was taken from 1 Samuel 24:9-14. Essentially if you listen to what others say, you will either end up chasing a dead dog or at best the fleas on the dog. I ended up saying that in the Kingdom of God no one is indispensable no matter who you are. In the context of calling only God knows why and when we are called to work to his glory. Only God knows the time and the day. My example was Queen Esther. For that reason we always have to act with humility in God’s vineyard.

9. What should be done about the falling church attendance in the UK?

That has been a problem for centuries. The Christian church in the UK has been going through structural changes for a long time. For example the history of our local church is that it started with a membership of 650 a couple of centuries ago. After a while the church was rebuilt with membership of 350. After the war it was rebuilt with membership of 150. There is a structural shift in people’s faith even though the world’s population has been going up. I believe we have to continue preaching Christ even if people are not listening to us or they feel that we are out of place. Remember what God told Elijah when he complained that all his prophets were no more. God said he had reserved 7,000 people who had not bowed down to worship Baal. Ours is to preach and leave the rest to God. People are still looking for a good church to go to hear the Word of God.

10. Apart from the pulpit, where or how do you share the word of God?

I believe that sharing the word is a vocation for life. It doesn’t have to be in the church alone. I believe that when you’re hungry you do not always have to sit by the dining table before you can eat or when you feel sleepy it doesn’t have to be on your bed alone that you can sleep. I believe that by praying and with the help of the Holy Spirit, our lives should model that of children of God and when the opportunity arrives at the prompting of the Spirit we should preach about our Lord Jesus Christ.

kkKojo Amoah-Arko received his accreditation as a Methodist local preacher in 2003. He preaches in Wandle Valley Circuit and Brixton & Streatham Circuit

 

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WF told to be channel of revival

The GMF-UK Chaplaincy Women’s Fellowship has been charged to lead the crusade for revival in the Methodist church in Britain. Speaking at the Women’s Fellowship 10th Anniversary Thanksgiving service at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, Deacon Myrtle Poxon, told the gathering, “let the excitement in the GMF spur you on to cause revival in your local Methodist church”.

wf-groupMembers of the Women’s Fellowship during the service

Recounting her recent two weeks experience in Ghana, Deacon Myrtle said she was encouraged by so many things in Ghana. He said the large church attendance with some churches having two services are testimonies that the Holy Spirit is still firing people on.

Speaking on the theme “Show me the way I should go”, she told the congregation the surest way of knowing God’s purpose for you is to stay connected to God- spending time with God; reading your Bible and continuous prayers.

The Women’s Fellowship whose aim is to strengthen Christian women and enrich them to serve Jesus Christ and the church has existed in Ghana over 80 years. The GMF-UK Chaplaincy branch was launched in 2004 with fourteen members. It currently has 40 active members all worshipping in local Methodist churches across London.

The Fellowship gives annually to number of organisations including- Rafiki Orphanage, Methodist Women Training Centre, Lawra Nutrition Centre, Accra Psychiatric Hospital all in Ghana. In UK, the fellowship supports organisations such as Action for Children, and Methodist Home for the Aged (MHA).

The Fellowship holds its monthly meeting (fourth Saturday of the month) at Methodist Central Hall, Emmanuel Room.

PreacherMyrtle Poxon is a Methodist Deacon serving in the New River Circuit, London

 

A journey with many achievements

The President of GMF-UK Women’s Fellowship has said the fellowship’s ten years journey has had many achievements. The President, Sis Edna Kofi-Opata said this in an interview with the GMF-UK Chaplaincy Publicity Committee. Below is the full interview

Question 1: Congratulation on your 10th anniversary. What has been the key moments of the decade journey?

Answer: God has been faithful to us. Through prayers and some hard working members, we have overcome many challenges and have moved the fellowship forward.

Question 2: What steps are you taking to bridge the gap between the younger and the older generation?

Answer: I experienced something unique at recent Women’s Fellowship election in Ghana. Most of the elected executives were young. I think that’s the way forward. We’ve recently welcomed some young members and I hope allowing them to take lead roles would encourage them to stay and attract younger ones. The older generation can step back and give support.

Question 3: Do you find the activities of Women’s Fellowship much difficult in London as compared to Ghana?

Answer: Yes. Many events are put on hold due to time constraints. Convenient time and meeting venue as well as different working times makes it difficult for many members to participate effectively in events. In Ghana, meetings are held weekly as compared to monthly in London.

Question 4: Only about 15 per cent women in GMF are members of Women’s Fellowship. What steps are you taking to attract more women to join the fellowship?

Answer: Every member has the responsibility to encourage people to join especially younger ones. Our focus is not limited to the GMF Chaplaincy, but also the local churches. Therefore there are plans to visit many local Methodist churches to inform them about the Women’s Fellowship. We’ve recently intensified our publicity and we’re glad that ten new younger ladies have joined us.

Question 5: The GMF-UK Chaplaincy has another women only fellowship i.e. Susanna Wesley Mission Auxiliary (SUWMA). Do you two complement or compete?

Answer: As a Christian organisation we can only complement each other. We do support SUWMA in their activities e.g retreat and Mother Susanna’s Day. We also have very supportive SUWMA members as patrons.

Question 6: Do you give support to UK organisations or all your support goes to Ghana?

Answer: In UK we support the Methodist Homes for the Aged (MHA). We recently visited the Meadows- a residential dementia care in Muswell Hill, London. We have also visited the Cedar Lawn Nursing Care -current home of Rev Thackray Eddy, the last British Chairman of Methodist Church Ghana. We donate annually to the above homes. We also support Action for Children UK.

Question 7: What relationship does the Women’s Fellowship have with Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB)?

Answer: We attend their conferences, fund raising activities and make special contributions towards their projects.

Question 8: Teaching women sowing, housekeeping and child care was prominent in the formative years of Methodist Women’s Fellowship. Do you still teach those things?

Answer: We do not practically teach these things but we do give talks at our meetings and give financial support to the Methodist Women Institute in Kwadaso,  Kumasi, Ghana which specializes in training young ladies sowing and other trades.

Ebenezer – how far the Lord has brought us. Praise God.

wfpSis Edna Kofi-Opata- GMF-UK Chaplaincy Women’s Fellowship President.

The Women’s Fellowship shall celebrate their 10th Anniversary Thanksgiving service on Sunday 8 June, 2014 at Methodist Central Hall, Storey’s Gate, London SW1H 9NH at 2.30pm.

Milton Keynes Ghanaian congregation joins the GMF Chaplaincy

The Ghanaian Methodist congregation in Milton Keynes has formally joined the growing Ghanaian Methodist Fellowship-UK Chaplaincy. The inaugural service was held on Sunday 1 June 2014, at Queensway Methodist church, Bletchley, Milton Keynes.

IMG_0347Some members of the congregation

The Milton Keynes group fashions differently from the rest of the fellowships under the GMF-UK Chaplaincy. Unlike many GMF which members attend a local Methodist church, and occasionally come together to fellowship, the Milton Keynes group meet as a congregation each week in the afternoon at Queensway Methodist church, Bletchley, Milton Keynes.  The idea of a second congregation came about after one member, Mrs Bernice Evelyn Tawiah, found out that many Ghanaian Methodists were unable to attend morning worship due to their work shift patterns. She discussed the idea of having a second service with the Minister, Rev Beatrice Quaye, who also informed the Superintendent. The first afternoon congregation service was held on 15 May 2011.

IMG_0397Mrs Bernice Evelyn Tawiah 

Over 60 GMF members from London attended the splendid celebratory service with other GMF members from Nottingham and other branches. With over 350 people in attendance, including Rev Dr. Brenda Mosedale and Rev Dr. Stephen Mosedale, who are joint superintendents of Milton Keynes circuit, the Ghanaians did not disappoint. The performance of the Choir was superb, drawing applause any time they sung. Other ecumenical partners also attended the inaugural service

IMG_0358Some GMF members from London and Nottingham 

A very elated Rev Dr. Brenda Mosedale said, “How could we have said no to anyone wanting to worship God”. She said though Rev Beatrice Quaye is retiring in August, she hopes her replacement will give the same support the Ghanaian congregation have had over the past three years.

IMG_0329Rev Dr. Brenda Mosedale, Rev Dr. Stephen Mosedale, and Rev Beatrice Quaye

In his sermon, the chaplain of GMF-UK Chaplaincy, Rev William Davis told the congregation not to treat God as a last resort-only go to him when you have tried everything and failed. He thanked Rev Beatrice Quaye, Rev Dr. Brenda Mosedale, and Rev Dr Stephen Mosedale for the support they have given the Ghanaian congregation.

IMG_0395Rev William Davis, Chaplain, GMF-UK Chaplaincy

The Ghanaian congregation currently have 56 active members. It has a Choir, Men’s Fellowship, Women’s Fellowship and Sunday school.  Certificates were presented to the 13 founding members and other deserving members of the local church. Funds were raised towards the purchase of mini bus to transport people to and from church.

IMG_0316

Some members from London with Queensway Methodist members.

IMG_0417

A member of Milton Keynes congregation receiving certificate