By Julu Swen
March 6, 2017 | FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (UMNS)
The United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone and Discipleship Resources International, a division of United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, have signed a partnership agreement creating a new publishing team for the church in Sierra Leone.
Following the signing ceremony in February in Freetown, Bishop John K. Yambasu of the Sierra Leone Episcopal Area said the task of making information and other resources available to the members of the church is enormous.
“You have a great task ahead of you for which you were trained and now commissioned,” he said. “Go and do what you need to do to keep our people informed.”
Yambasu said the establishment of the publishing team in Sierra Leone has been a long-held dream that is now being fulfilled with the help of Discipleship Ministries.
The first task of the 12-member team, led by Phileas Jusu and publishing coordinator Beatrice Fofanah, will be a quarterly newsletter. The team also plans to produce catechism booklets, daily devotionals and school curriculum books, as well as republish hymnals and liturgies in the Temne, Mende, Limba and Krio languages.
The desire of members to know what the church is doing is overwhelming, Jusu said, adding that, “the newsletter, which is our priority project, will make the people know and follow the activities of the church, no matter their distance from the church headquarters.”
“Our people need to know more about The United Methodist Church and how it operates,” he said.
Jusu, who also is director of communications for the Sierra Leone United Methodist Church and a contributor to United Methodist News Service, said the production of catechism booklets by the team will help pastors in teaching their members the values of Methodism.
“Our church leaders will now look within our local area for the resources that are needed to carry on their work,” he said.
Leading a two-day training for the Sierra Leone publishing team, Discipleship Ministries staff member Robin Pippin said that the agency is committed to helping churches in the central conferences produce learning resources for their members.
“We want to empower you through training and investment so that you can share needed contextualized resources about The United Methodist Church with your people,” Pippin said.
The Sierra Leone team brings the total of United Methodist Church publishing teams established and supported by Discipleship Ministries through Discipleship Resources International to 15. Thirteen of the teams are in Africa, with the other two in Bulgaria and the Philippines.
Swen is a communicator in Liberia. News media contact: Vicki Brown, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more United Methodist news, subscribe to the free Daily or Weekly Digests.