2010 Annual Conference under Way in QussuaThe Angola Blog
On February 3, 2010, Bishop José Quipunpo opened the sessions for the 2010 East Angola Annual Conference. About 100 clergy and lay delegates have gathered from the vast region of east Angola. Some others are still on their long journey here. TV and radio came to broadcast a summary of the opening worship ceremony. It was a Eucharistic service with Bishop Quipungo preaching. The music, dancing, fellowship and the good food are on. It is the time for the feast of United Methodists in East Angola!
More importantly, sound discussions already saturate the business sessions. Some of the topics would be very appropriate for us to discuss in our Annual Conferences in the USA: How can we increase tithing at the local church? How to regulate the relationships between United Methodist Schools and their sponsoring churches at the local or conference level? What percentage of the school earnings should be given to the church? How could they train Staff/Pastor Relations Committees to fully embrace our appointment system? Would there be an equitable salary system for pastors that the conference could implement? These are just a few examples of the matters that east Angolans are debating at present.
Icel, Amanda, and I are much honored to represent the Florida Conference. Bishop José Quipungo introduced us on the first day. We conveyed the love and admiration that Floridians feel for their Angolan partners. “Even though the Atlantic Ocean separates us, Christ’s love and the Holy Spirit make us one,” I said. In return, the delegates asked us to tell you of their prayers, love and gratitude. As more and more teams continue to visit in East Angola, they realize that our mutual love is strong and unyielding.
Please, keep the 2010 sessions of the East Angola Conference in your prayers. Meetings will continue until February 7. Also, be assured that Icel, Amanda, and I are doing all we can to represent you well.
Until the next blog, God bless!
P.S.: Click here for more pictures.