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26.12.2005 Regional News

Chritmas in the Regions

By GNA
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Ho Reverend Noble James Tulasi, resident Pastor of Jubilee Christian Centre, Ho, on Sunday called on Christians worldwide to celebrate this year's Christmas with caution and not to lose the meaning of the event. He said it was important that Christmas was not only seen as the time to show of clothing, food and drinks but a time to take stock of Christ's presence in one's life.

Reverend Tulasi said this when he was delivering a Christmas message in Ho on the theme: " The Importance Of Christmas". Reverend Tulasi said the wide-reaching celebration needed to be seen more as a rebirth of peace, joy, healing and deliverance to the world, as well as a time for reconciliation among men and with God. He said, "it should be treated as such with or without cloths nor drinks because cautious celebration helps to cut cost and nourishes the soul for spiritual development".

Reverend Tulasi said it was therefore important that Christians understood the significance of why Christ came to into the world to save it. Kumasi The Right Reverend Daniel Yinkah Sarfo, the Anglican Bishop of Kumasi, has called on Christians to let the values and principles that Christ stood for reflect genuinely in their lives.

He said there was the urgent need for Christians and for that matter all Ghanaians to exhibit a high sense of spiritual discipline in all spheres of their endeavours Preaching at a Christmas service at the St. Cyprian's Cathedral in Kumasi on Sunday, the Anglican Bishop said the belief in the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ make Christian principles real. He urged Christians to therefore accept God's reconciliation and receive Jesus Christ into their lives as they celebrate the yuletide. The Anglican Bishop called on the congregation to show love and peace even to their enemies and serve God in holiness and in righteousness and share what they enjoy during the period with the poor and the needy.

At the St. Paul's Catholic Church at Amakom, Kumasi, Reverend Anthony Frimpong-Manso, a Deacon, called on Christians to let the Christmas be a period of reconciliation and restoration of lost hope. He said the re-birth of Christ should re-kindle Christians to continue their evangelism and service to mankind, which Christ Jesus started before he was crucified.

Deacon Frimpong-Manso urged Christians, to see the power in them and strengthen themselves through prayer, instead of chasing the clergy for salvation, since the clergy's prayers alone would not get them into heaven, but both, coupled with righteousness, prayer and fasting, assisting the needy and leading exemplary lives.

At the St. Anthony Catholic Church at Dwumanafo in the Kwabre District, Reverend Father Mark Owusu, Associate Priest of the St. Joseph's Parish, Mamponteng, urged Christians to fight for the kingdom of God instead of earthly things.

He said that Christ came to save humanity through humility, peace and unity so Ghanaians should learn to be humble in their deeds to enjoy the eternity.

Rev. Owusu said Christians should observe the yuletide as a time of refreshing and meditation on the word of God instead of using it mainly for parties, dances and entertainments.

Political leaders have been advised to be truthful and seek the wisdom of God in order to lead the nation to attain peace and development.

Reverend David Yaaley Superintendent Minister of the Atonsu-Agogo Methodist Church, who gave the advice, said if all political leaders would seek Christ and his peace, there would be peace and development in the nation.

He was preaching the sermon to mark the Christmas celebrations at the Emmanuel Methodist Church at Atonsu-Agogo, on Sunday. Rev Yaaley said there could not be peace without truth and urged all Ghanaians to be faithful to receive the peace and mercy of God. He called on Christians to commit themselves to peace to ensure the speedy development of the nation.

Rev. Yaaley said Ghanaians should make an effort to create peace in society adding that, without peace, there could not be progress. He said peace was vital in every human endeavour and noted that, money and wealth alone did not guarantee peace in society. Rev. Yaaley called on well to do Ghanaians to be charitable to the needy and vulnerable in society.

Koforidua The Anglican Bishop of the Koforidua Diocese, the Right Reverend Benjamin Francis Quashie, appealed to political leaders to eschew bitterness, hatred and retaliation and to cultivate the virtue of love to move the nation on the path of righteousness and peace in the spirit of the Christmas season.

Preaching at the St Peters Cathedral, he reminded Christians that Christmas was made possible through the demonstration of love and charged them to show love to each other.

"Anything short of this makes our profession to Christian faith meaningless and indeed false", Bishop Quashie stated.

He said it was an act of love that God decided to send his only son into the world to die to bring salvation to mankind. It was also out of love that Mary and Joseph decided to co-operate with God for the birth of Jesus Christ, he said.

The whole of Christmas celebration was born out of love, Bishop Quashie concluded. Sunyani Hundreds of worshippers in Sunyani thronged churches to mark the birth of Jesus Christ.

The message for Christians was to abide by the ideals of Christianity and to use the yuletide as a stocktaking period of their lives and to amend their ways to become acceptable to God, run through the sermons.

"There are many of us who are active church members but not good Christians because we have been swayed away from our faith by worldly attractions", the Very Reverend Samuel Adu Boateng, Superintendent Minister in charge of the Sunyani Methodist Church said. Preaching at the Wesley Cathedral, Rev Adu Boateng noted with regret that though Christmas Day was important to Christians, "We have allowed the world to dictate to us how to celebrate it". He stressed that the yuletide period should not be over shadowed by only merry-making and the exchange of gifts but had to be seen as an opportunity for Christians to free themselves from Satan's bondage of slavery.

"The freedom given to us by the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ has thus eluded us and our society is now beset with all sorts of social vices", Rev Adu Boateng said.

At the close of a four-day convention of the Sunyani Circuit of the Jehovah's Witnesses on Christmas Day, Christians were called upon to follow the tenets of Christianity to be able to achieve their aims and aspirations.

Brother Paul Crudass, member of the Bethel Headquarters in Accra, made the call in a sermon at the convention on the theme "Godly Obedience".

Speaking on the topic, "All Suffering Soon To End", Brother Crudass noted that in spite of the fact that Jesus Christ died to save, mankind had continued to suffer in one way or the other and blamed this on "mankind's intransigence".

"Until Christians realise the true practice of what really entails in Christendom, by way of following the teachings of Jesus Christ, no system of governance can bail us out of our woes as citizens," he said. Brother Crudass urged Christians not to be discouraged when confronted with "unfortunate happenings in their way" but to continue to pray and abide by what the Holy Bible tells us".

Brother Ronald Kupler of Circuit 32, in a keynote address said the convention was expected to strengthen the faith of the delegates to lead upright lives and to be strong in evangelism.

A total of 134 covenants were baptised.

Pastor John Sampson Manu of Sunyani Central of the Church of Pentecost, advised members of the Church not to be discouraged if their prayers were not answered as expected.

In a sermon at the close of a four-day convention, he stressed that any delay by God to answer one's prayer could not be termed as "rejection" of their prayer. More than 1,000 members attended the convention on the theme, "Arise and Shine".

Pastor Manu asked Christians to steer away from "misdeeds" and to pray unceasingly to receive God's forgiveness. The Reverend Joseph Awuni, Head Pastor of Glad Tidings Assemblies of God Church, advised Christians to share the spirit of Christianity with others.

Preaching on the "Significance of the name Christ", he stressed that Christians should celebrate Christmas in an atmosphere of peace by sharing gifts and assisting the needy rather than indulging in unnecessary merrymaking.

"Jesus Christ is a provider and a protector", he said, and urged mankind to follow His commandments to be able to face the challenges of life.

Rev. Awuni advised Christians to show love and compassion and to share the word of God with others. Rev. Mrs. Gladys Boakye-Yiadom, Assistant Minister of Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, called on Christians to adopt a holistic approach towards the celebration of Christmas and not to restrict it to only merry making.

She said the birth of Jesus Christ represented God's everlasting love for mankind, adding that, "It is the divine right of every Christian to use the occasion to soberly reflect on Christ's mission on earth".

Rev. Boakye-Yiadom appealed to believers to let the true values of Christianity reflect in their lives during the season by giving and showing compassion to the vulnerable. She urged Christians to lead morally upright lives by letting their character and attitudes reflect their faith. Aflao The need for peace and unity as well as a change of attitude among people dominated sermons in Aflao, as Christians filled Churches to mark the birth of Christ.

A seminarian, Julius Adzraku, preaching the sermon at the Saint Peter Border Catholic Church, described the occasion as a symbol of a new beginning, love, unity and peace between God and man and among men. He said thoughts and attitudes of Christians must reflect their acceptance of Jesus and the message of his birth.

Bishop Thomas Lekeh of the Holy Ghost Temple Church said the birth of Christ represented God's design to see man reformed to promote peace and unity on earth.

He cautioned that it was man who suffered if he remained wayward

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