(08/22/2014) This year the parish family of the Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Cathedral in Accra, Ghana, marked the 25th Anniversary of its founding. A Mission Team from the Orthodox Christian Mission Center was invited to join in these celebrations. This was also the 25th Anniversary of the first OCMC Mission Team to Ghana! The 1989 Mission Team helped with the construction of the Cathedral in Accra.Events surrounding the celebrations included an all-night Vigil, Memorial services, Vespers, and Divine Liturgy; presentations on the history of the Church in Ghana, the Cathedral, and health education; visitations to shut-ins; youth programs, women fellowship, and the inauguration of a men’s fellowship; and a choral concert including other faith groups.
This year’s Team traveled to a remote community with little Orthodox presence in the Volta region of Ghana, the St. Paul Church in Peki. They participated in a small teaching outreach as part of the renewal of the parish. This small parish is the only Orthodox church east of the Volta River. The church lacks some resources; the language of Eweo is spoken there, and the services have not been translated into this local language (from the common language of Akan). Currently, there is no priest serving, but a committed catechist continues to lead and teach the Faith to the St. Paul community. The Mission Team taught basic lessons on the Faith, offered activities to the young, witnessed to the local village by making visitations, prayed and worshipped together daily, and celebrated the Liturgy for the Feast of the Dormition. The team was joined by members of the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Accra. This outreach was sponsored by the Cathedral parish.
The OCMC Team was led by OCMC Mission Teams Director, Andrew Lekos. Andrew was a member of the 1989 Mission Team that assisted with the construction 25 years ago. He remembers, “What a blessing it was to continue in the work we were involved with 25 years ago! It was where my love from missions began. It was where I committed my life to pray and to serve, but more importantly, to mission work.” He attributes his role at OCMC to his mission experience in Ghana.
The host, V. Rev. Fr. Kwame Joseph Labi, Rector of the Cathedral and Vicar General, noted, “We have treasured your being a part of this story and your contribution to the life of Holy Transfiguration.”
The Holy Archdiocese of Ghana was established by Patriarchal and Synodal Decree in 1997. Its jurisdiction includes the countries of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Mali. It is served by His Eminence Metropolitan Savvas, who was elected in November 2012 as Metropolitan of Accra. The Church in Ghana continues its growth, but also faces challenges, with 28 communities and only 18 clergy.
As part of the celebrations, the Holy Transfiguration parish community is publishing a Silver Jubilee Commemorative Book to tell the story of Holy Transfiguration in the wider context of the life and story of the Orthodox Church and Orthodoxy in Ghana. Please contact Andrew Lekos at OCMC ([email protected]) for additional information.