On Saturday I left Ho to go to the Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. This was being held at a place called Abetifi-Kwalu, about five hours drive from Ho. Abetifi is not the place the missionaries first evangelized in Ghana but it is the place where they developed a lay training centre and now there is an extensive site which includes a library, meeting halls and residential accommodation.
I knew I had come to a different church as we arrived at 3.00pm in the afternoon when they were just breaking for lunch a the end of the Opening Session. The road outside the church was full of men in dark suits wearing dog collars, bands, gowns and preaching scarves – all very formal.
When the assembly reconvened I brought greetings from the United Reformed Church and I was able to speak about the importance of our partnership and how we can strengthen our faith and understanding as we listen to God and each other and learn from each other’s experiences.
A large part of the session was taken up with introducing people, recognizing their achievements and particularly honouring retiring ministers. This is certainly a way of ensuring that everyone who present knows everyone else and maybe gives more of a family feel to the denomination but it does take a lot of time, though as one of the ministers said to me ‘we Africans have a lot of time and no watches, you Europeans have no time but lots of watches’. Certainly something for us to think about as we rush from place to place and activity to activity.