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2004 Annual Conference offering slated for East Angola (March 30, 2004)

2004 Annual Conference offering slated for East Angola (March 30, 2004)

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

2004 Annual Conference offering slated for East Angola

March 30, 2004    News media contact:  Michael Wacht*    
407-897-1140     Orlando  {0049}


An e-Review Commentary
By Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker**


The special offering being received at the 2004 Florida Annual Conference Event June 3-6 at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach will be designated for the East Angola Conference of The United Methodist Church. The resident bishop of the East Angola Area, Bishop Jose Quipungo, will be the conference preacher.

As part of the "Hope For the Children of Africa" initiative of the Council of Bishops, the Florida Conference is in a partnership with the East Angola Conference. The Rev. Geraldine McClellan, Mr. Michael Wacht and my spouse, Mrs. Melba Whitaker, visited Angola early in 2003. They were able to identify the needs of the East Angola Conference and recommend priorities for the spending of money contributed by the Florida Conference. Periodically, we receive receipts for the expenditures.

The needs of the East Angola Conference are many. This is a small, rural and impoverished area. Many United Methodists fled the area during the devastating civil war in Angola. Both The United Methodist Church and the nation are rebuilding now that the civil war is over.

The people of Angola are responding to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Christian community is growing. The United Methodist Church is an important part of the Christian community in Angola. Because many government officials were United Methodists they were targets of persecution during the civil war. The West Angola Conference, which includes the capitol of Luanda, is strong. The East Angola Conference, which was the location of much of the fighting, is trying to recover. The partnership between the United Methodist Christians in East Angola and Florida is a great source of encouragement and hope to the church in East Angola.

Thank you for your generosity in the past and for your prayerful consideration of your offering this year.

The world is becoming a smaller place. Through our partnership with the East Angola Conference we are able to experience the closeness that exists in the church of Jesus Christ despite the many miles of ocean and terrain that exist between Angola and Florida.


This commentary relates to Global Missions.

*Wacht is director of Florida United Methodist Communications and managing editor
of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Whitaker is bishop of the Florida Annual Conference.

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