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20.03.2007 General News

Prez Ends Visit With Thanksgiving Service

Prez Ends Visit With Thanksgiving Service

President J. A. Kufour concluded his visit to England with an interdenominational prayer and thanksgiving service organised by Ghanaian churches at the Westminster Central Methodist Hall in London on Sunday.

The occasion brought together Ghanaians from all over the UK to join in praising God for how far He had brought the country.

Others used the occasion to interact with the President, who was the guest of Queen Elizabeth II and used the visit to also create a “sense of community” and pride among Ghanaians in England.

Anthems by groups and individuals such as Awura Ama Lydia and Leticia Ansomaa, who had just released a song on the jubilee anniversary, the London-Ghana Seventh-Day Adventist Church choir, the Ghana Chaplaincy Choir and the Methodist Church choir set the tone for the worship.

Delivering a thought-provoking message, the Moderator of the British United Reformed Churches General Assembly, Rt Reverend Elizabeth Caswell, apologised for the way Europe used Christianity to gain a foothold in Africa but unfortunately abused this trust by instituting the terrible act of slavery, an act which she said was not of God.

She praised Ghanaian Christians in the UK for their dedication and generosity, which exemplifies all that Christianity is about.

“We brought Christianity to you in Ghana but you have brought back here the Holy Spirit to show us how to worship God in sincerity and honesty,” she said in her anniversary greetings.

The President and First Lady, Theresa Kufour, were ushered onto the podium by the Superintendent Minister of the Westminster Methodist Church, Reverend Cromwell.

As the congregants sang the praises, President Kufour, even though tired from the heavy itinerary, could not resist but joined the choruses. Standing at ease, he tapped the feet and jiggled the head to the tunes and rhythms of the inspirational choruses.

With a miniature Ghanaian flag in hand and support from Madam Theresa, the Foreign Minister, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; and Ghana's High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Annan Cato, among others, President Kufour waved to his countrymen, who cheerfully responded.

It was an event with not many speeches but more of singing and dancing interspersed with intercessory prayers for the nation.

Prayers by the Very Right Reverend Dr Sam Prempeh of the Presbyterian Church was for the African Union and world peace, while Reverend Tony Brazier of the New River Circuit of the Methodist Church in London prayed for the government and people of Ghana.

In a short but inspiring sermon, the Anglican Archbishop of the Province of West Africa, the Right Reverend Dr Justice Akrofi, observed that Ghana now had gained its lost hope after a long period of despair.

He attributed it to the grace of God, adding that, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength”.

He said the Golden Jubilee anniversary of the nation's independence and the visit of the President to the UK at the invitation of the Queen were so important and significant in the country's history, adding that “it means we are liberated and never to return to our past, our past of poverty, hatred, and disunity”.

Rt Rev Akrofi charged the gathering to see themselves as representatives of Ghana wherever they found themselves in the UK and be good ambassadors of the nation.

He also encouraged them to live good lives and “help build Ghana here and back home”.

He said the period of anniversary should be used to resolve all differences and pave the way for God to do what He wished for Ghana.

He asked Christians not to sit down and only pray but get involved in other social and economic activities to help improve their nation.

President Kufour, in his two-sentence greetings, commended Ghanaians in the UK for their support for him and his entourage during the visit.