Joseph Jenkins Roberts: Symbol of Faith, Courage, Virtue and Vision

first_img“I believe that the Almighty intends, through the instrumentality of those colonies, to restore Africa her long-lost glory.  Here it is probable, science and virtue will attain their highest perfection, society shine in the most beautiful and lovely form, and produce the highest felicity (happiness).  As virtue alone, however, can ensure real happiness and solid glory, this must be a prevailing principle before society can attain them.”Mr. Roberts insisted that there is an inseparable connection between virtue and happiness.  This alone can ensure the prosperity of the state.These were the visionary words of Joseph Jenkins Roberts, Governor of the Commonwealth of Liberia, written on January 4, 1847.  He was endeavoring to encourage his compatriots, as they prepared to convene a constitutional convention, during which  they were to make the momentous decision to establish an independent State, the Republic of Liberia.Governor Roberts’ compatriots at the time comprised the citizens of Montserrado, Grand Bassa and Sinoe Counties.  Without the faith, vision, courage and tenacity of J.J. Roberts, Liberia may never have become an independent state.  Charles Henry Huberich, whose seminal work (Political and Legislative History of Liberia – 1947), remains the basic text on Liberian history, states in his biographical sketch of Roberts that had he (Roberts) not taken the initiative in January 1847 to convene the Constitutional Convention, Liberia may never have become an independent republic.  Among the keenest watchers of the Colony and later Commonwealth of Liberia was Great Britain. Don’t forget that the British had already colonized Sierra Leone in 1787.  Huberich wrote that had Roberts not taken the initiative toward Liberia’s independence, the entire Liberian territory may have been annexed to Sierra Leone in the name of “the stability of West Africa.”To attest to the distinct possibility, we are reminded of how the British, by the force of a gunboat, annexed a huge part of southwestern Liberia, known as the Gallinas Country,   part of Grand Cape Mount County.  It became part of Sierra Leone.The particular series of events that impelled Mr. Roberts to make the move toward independence was the consistent refusal of British and French merchants to pay duty at our seaports.  They said they did not recognize Liberia.  In his message to the Commonwealth Legislature on January 4, 1847, President Roberts’ said:  “We are told that England regards the Liberians only ‘in the light of a Society, or private company of traders, or settlers’ without any national rights or privileges.”Mr. Roberts mentioned the possibility of the British   buying up land from the kings and chiefs of Liberia.  All of this made him more convinced that the time had come to declare Liberia a sovereign and independent state.This is the most important part of President Roberts’ legacy—the founding of Africa’s first independent Republic.  He rightly predicted that many others would follow—and so they did—54 in all.Another significant part of his legacy is the fact that Roberts was so good and effective a leader that he was elected six times as President. A third aspect of President Roberts’ legacy was his founding of Liberia College (now University of Liberia), becoming its first president.Another J.J. Roberts legacy is his will, in which he left everything he owned for the education of Liberian youth.  He is so far the only Liberian President to do so. We close this Editorial with a repeat of one of the principles that governed President Roberts’ life.  It is one that we in this country seem to have lost, and that is why we are having so much difficulty finding peace and prosperity in our country.“. . . virtue alone . . . can ensure real happiness and solid glory . . . this must be a prevailing principle before society can attain them.”How virtuous are we Liberians?  We saw on Wednesday how we treat our dead—we vandalize them by desecrating their graves. But all is not lost.  Let us commit ourselves to change for the better, by nurturing those ideals of goodness, kindness, love for one another and love for our country.  Let us never forget the virtue of our first President that led him to do all he did for Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘Standing on the Promises of God’

first_imgRev. Dr. Jerry Paye Manfloe Kulah, IAddress to the Reform and Renewal Coalition Within the United Methodist Church, the Prayer Breakfast of the United Methodist Church Special General Conference Session, America Convention Center, St. Louis, Missouri Saturday, 23rd February 2019By Rev. Dr. Jerry P. Kulah, Dean, Gbarnga School of Theology, United Methodist UniversityGreetingsMy dear brothers and sisters of The United Methodist Church from all around the world, I humbly greet you in the strong name of Jesus Christ!We thank God for all who have participated in observing a sacred season of fasting and prayer as we have prepared for this special General Conference session. And we praise God that there are thousands upon thousands still on bended knees interceding on our behalf as we make a defining decision regarding the future of The United Methodist Church.I thank God for His precious Word to us, and I thank him for you, my dear sisters and brothers in Christ.As the General Coordinator of UMC Africa Initiative I greet you on behalf of all its members and leaders. We want to thank the Renewal and Reform Coalition within the United Methodist Church for the invitation to address you at this important breakfast meeting. Kindly join me in reading God’s Word as recorded in the Gospel of John 8:31-32.As I understand it, the purpose for which we have gathered this week, and the plans before us as delegates seek to find a lasting solution to the long debate over our church’s sexual ethics, its teachings on marriage, and its ordination standards.This debate and the numerous acts of defiance have brought the United Methodist Church to a crossroads, as it were in the days of the nation of Judah when they forsook the Lord. God challenged his people through the prophet Jeremiah to choose the ancient path and walk in it so that they might find rest for their souls (Jeremiah 6:16). Similarly, God is speaking to the people called United Methodists to do likewise.While there may be several plans before us, I would like to speak to just two of them. One plan invites the people called United Methodists to take a road in opposition to the Bible and two thousand years of Christian teachings. I submit to you that, going down that road would divide the church. Those advocating for the One Church Plan would have us take that road.But I would like to call your attention to consider this other plan, the Modified Traditional Plan. This plan invites us to reaffirm Christian teachings rooted in Scripture and the church’s rich traditions.It says, “All persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God,” that “All persons need the ministry of the Church”, and that “We affirm that God’s grace is available to all.”It grounds our sexual ethics in Scripture when it says, the UM Church does “not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers [it] incompatible with Christian teaching.”While “we commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons,” we do not celebrate same-sex marriages or ordain for ministry people who self-avow as practicing homosexuals. These practices do not conform to the authentic teaching of the Holy Scriptures, our primary authority for faith and Christian living.However, we extend grace to all people because we all know we are sinners in need of God’s redeeming. We know how critical and life changing God’s grace has been in our own lives.We warmly welcome all people to our churches; we long to be in fellowship with them, to pray with them, to weep with them, and to experience the joy of transformation with them.Friends, please hear me, we Africans are not afraid of our sisters and brothers who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, questioning, or queer. We love them and we hope the best for them. But we know of no compelling arguments for forsaking our church’s understanding of Scripture and the teachings of the church universal.And then please hear me when I say as graciously as I can: we Africans are not children in need of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics. We do not need to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our need to “grow up.” No!Let me assure you, we Africans, whether we have liked it or not, have had to engage in this debate for many years now. We stand with the global church, not a culturally liberal, church elite, in the U.S.We stand with our Filipino friends! We stand with our sisters and brothers in Europe and Russia! And yes, we stand with our allies in America.We stand with farmers in Zambia, tech workers in Nairobi, Sunday School teachers in Nigeria, biblical scholars in Liberia, pastors in the Congo, United Methodist Women in Cote d’Ivoire, and thousands of other United Methodists all across Africa who have heard no compelling reasons for changing our sexual ethics, our teachings on marriage, and our ordination standards! We stand together!We are grounded in God’s word and the gracious and clear teachings of our church. On that we will not yield! We will not take a road that leads us away from the truth! We will take the road that leads to the making of disciples of Jesus Christ for transformation of the world!I hope and pray, for your sake, that you will walk down this road with us. We would warmly welcome you as our traveling companions, but if you choose another road, we Africans cannot go with you. I am sorry, we cannot!The vast majority of us Africans support the Modified Traditional Plan for two very important reasons.First, we believe it is clearly rooted in Scripture and the teachings of Christians in all times and in all places. It reaffirms our church’s belief that “marriage is defined as a sacred relationship between one man and one woman,” not between any two consenting adults.Second, passage of the Modified Traditional Plan will keep far more United Methodists united as one church than any of the other plans.I want to be united with my sisters and brothers in our global connection. I hope you want that as well. Let us all walk together in a church steeped in Scripture and the life transforming teachings of our church; because all scripture is God’s breath, and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness….” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).We Support an Exit PlanFinally, I trust you will support a gracious exit petition, because, as someone has said, “It is better to be separated on truth than to be united on error”. Some Africans have been told that if a gracious exit petition is passed, our evangelical friends in the U.S. will go their own way and no longer support efforts in Africa. That is not true; because Hudson Taylor once opined, “God’s work done God’s way never lacks God’s supply”.Many of us in Africa have developed deep and long-lasting friendships with our brothers and sisters in the U.S. Those relationships will not be severed if a gracious exit petition passes.Unfortunately, some United Methodists in the U.S. have the very faulty assumption that all Africans are concerned about is U.S. financial support. Well, I am sure, being sinners like all of you, some Africans are fixated on money.But with all due respect, a fixation on money seems more of an American problem than an African one. We get by on far less than most Americans do; we know how to do it. I’m not so sure you do. So, if anyone is so naïve or condescending as to think we would sell our birth right in Jesus Christ for American dollars, then they simply do not know us. Because, we know how to live on much, how to live on little, and how to live on nothing. Amen!We are seriously joyful in following Jesus Christ and God’s holy word to us in the Bible. And in truth, we think many people in the U.S. and in parts of Europe could learn a great deal from us. The UM churches, pastors and lay people who partner with us acknowledge as much.Please understand me when I say that the vast majority of African United Methodists will never, ever trade Jesus and the truth of the Bible for money. We will walk alone if necessary, and yet we are confident the ties of Christian fellowship we have with friends here in U.S. will not be severed even if they too must walk apart from a church that would adopt the One Church Plan.We believe all local churches should be treated fairly and so we strongly support a gracious exit plan. Friends, not too long ago my country, Liberia was ravaged by a terrible civil war that claimed over 250,000 lives. And then we faced the outbreak of the Ebola virus that claimed thousands of lives. We are keenly familiar with hardship and sorrow, but Jesus has led us through every trial. So nothing that happens over the next few days will deter us from following Him, and Him alone.We shall persevere in the race before us, “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter” of our faith (Hebrews 2:2-3). We shall remain steadfast and faithful. And some day we shall wear the victor’s crown of glory with our King Jesus! Come walk with us!In the name of the Father, the Son, and the blessed Holy Spirit, Amen!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

DD FASHION AND BEAUTY: PATRICK SAYS 40 AND SEXY!

first_imgDay in day out we hear 40 is the new 20, but the team at Patrick Gildea Hairdressing respectfully disagree.Women in their 40’s are sexy, self-assured and at the top of their game. So why would you want to go back?More than half of women over 40 say that they are more confident in their appearance than when they were in their thirties and we couldn’t agree more. Jennifer AnistonCheck out our favourite flattering cuts on some of the most fabulous 40somethings around!Jennifer AnistonSince rocking the famous Rachel cut in the 90’s Jennifer Anniston has been a hair icon for women all over the world. The great news is that her long layered cut works on almost everyone!Jennifer GarnerJennifer Garner This classic shoulder-length cut is always in style and it’s easy to maintain with endless styling options! Like Jennifer Garner this look is timeless.Michelle ObamaMichelle ObamaMichelle Obama provided a media frenzy this year when she debuted her new fringe!! Her hair is the perfect example of professional and fashionable at the same time!Cate BlanchettCate BlanchettThis classic style is the perfect choice for women who want to look chic without a lot of maintenance and almost any hair texture or face shape can carry a bob! And of course no list of fabulous and 40 would be complete with the beautiful Jennifer LopezJennifer LopezJennifer LopezThat old rule about not having long hair past a certain age? It’s outdated! The long length works because of the shape of her textured layers in the front, which open up her face and give the waves a loose, flowing quality.Whether you’re looking for a total transformation or just want to keep your hair long and lush there is a gorgeous style for everyone. Want to try one of our favourite fabulous at 40 looks? No problem, just call Patrick Gildea Hairdressing on 074-91 25476 to make your appointment for a free consultation.Why not enter our fabulous makeover competition for your chance to Win A Fabulous Makeover For Free! To enter follow the simple instructions here: http://www.patrickgildea.ie/win-free-makeover/DD FASHION AND BEAUTY: PATRICK SAYS 40 AND SEXY! was last modified: September 27th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalPatrick Gildea Hairdressingstyleslast_img read more