Today was the first day of Conference. This is the annual gathering of all of the ministers of the churches in the Sierra Leone Connexion, delegates from their churches, and other guests such as representatives from the Bible Colleges and the Bible Soceity. They meet for worship and to do the business of the Connexion such as electing the leader of the denomination. This is currently the Rev. Reuben Dove, who for many years was our Head Agent, one of the Sierra Leonians we ’employ’ to coordinate our business in SL on our behalf.
Today was mainly opening speeches and Reuben’s report which was fascinating. It is always good to hear what they have been trying to acheive, what has worked and what has not. They also got to listen to a talk by me. Although they love telling stories, they rarely use them in their sermons. This, however, is something I love to do, and so I told them a version of the Prodigal Son with a Freetown twist! Thankfully it seemed to go down well – I always worry about causing offence through not realising what things are considered inppropriate in their culture.
I also got to perform a ceremony I had hoped to do last year when Reuben passed on the role of Head Agent on to Rev. Sylvanus Alba Nicol, an insightful man with a wickedly dry sense of humour. We had hoped then to be able to publically mark the great work Reuben had done for us over the years, and it was good to be able to finally do this.
Much of Conference we don’t fully understand because of the Krio they speak, but it wonderful to see everybody all at once. Tim is coping well – and just about managing all the names!