2017 Rwanda Provisional Annual Conference
The Rwanda Provisional Annual Conference was held in Kigali / Rwanda at Gisozi United Methodist Church, Sept. 14-16. The conference was created by the 2016 United Methodist General Conference.
The theme of Rwanda Provisional Annual Conference Session was, “One in Christ” from Romans 12: 5.
United Methodist Bishop Daniel Wandabula, episcopal leader of East Africa, commended the leadership, work and growth of the church in Rwanda.
There were 66 delegates from five districts, Kigali, Kibungo, Muhanga, Musanze and Gisenyi.
There are 38 congregations in the conference with total membership of 9,167. There are 44 active pastors including 5 district superintendents. In addition to active pastors, the conference has two retired clergy.
Retired Bishop Linda Lee and the Rev. Lamarr Gibson were guest speakers of the first session of the Rwanda Provisional Annual Conference.
Besides preaching during Conference Session, Bishop Lee and the Rev. Gibson attended Sunday Services at Gisozi United Methodist Church in Kigali City. They preached to the congregation of Gisozi UMC and gave Holy Communion to the worshippers.
The Rev. Gibson said, “Just what does it mean to be one? What are the essential elements of being one?
“For one thing, being one gives a sense of being connected.
“We, United Methodists we are connected through our faith and we do ministry in connection, which means we share each others’ burdens, we share other’s joys and we care for each other. Paul believed that it is God’s righteousness and only God’s righteousness that makes us One. We are one because we trust in God. We are one above all, because we know that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
In her sermon, Bishop Lee insisted, “it is already done.”
“Our call to serve God, as laity and as clergy, is already done in the Spirit before we are even born. Before we are born some were called to be prophets, some servants, some teachers, some to the ministry of encouragement. In Christ we are not becoming one. We are already one. In Christ we already belong to one another. Our task as the Church, our task as pastors as preachers, is to demonstrate the unity that is already done among us through Jesus Christ. We have to be inseparable, indivisible and impenetrable. We are the salt of the earth, the light of the world. Our responsibility is to be all that God has created us to be, to let the light within us shine and not hide it.”
During the conference, the following actions were taken:
Annual conference delegates voted on five Constitutional Amendments that had been approved by General Conference 2016.
There was Commemoration Service and Holy Communion.
Annual Conference delegates approved Rwanda Provisional Conference Pension Plan Policy.
Presentation and approval of the Evangelism Initiative Programme Report and recognition of 11 new planted churches under the programme during 2015 – 2017.
Ordination of six elders and four pastors commissioned as provisional elders.
Confirmation of new Commissioners of Commission for Audit of the United Methodist Church in Rwanda.
Episcopal appointments in the local churches.
-- This report was filed by Alexis Nzabonimpa, communicator for the Rwanda Conference of The United Methodist Church