Glorious worship in Côte d’Ivoire

Translate Page

View slideshow mobile version

It’s always warm, even before adding the heavy, dark choir and clergy robes, the long-sleeve shirts under wool suit jackets, the long, beautiful dresses with elaborate headgear.

But it doesn’t really get hot until worship starts.

Wait until the music and singing and clapping and dancing and PREACHING starts. Then everybody really works up a sweat.

Every little thing about worship is glorious.

The offering can become an hour-long celebration as each person dances forward to drop whatever they have in the basket or plate or cracked pot. Not just once. Lines start, every person drops their tithes in and then they get back in line and give their offerings. Then they give more for special collections for the church or community.

On this Sunday at Temple Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Man, Côte d’Ivoire, the pastor encourages generous giving, “Through this offering we are bringing our hearts and lives. Please take them so it can be used for your Kingdom.”

What you have here is church. Church in Africa.

And it doesn’t just happen on Sunday morning. Sometimes it happens long into the night on a Wednesday or early in the morning on a Thursday.

Sometimes it happens in a small hut at a mid-day meal seasoned with the sweet sounds of a mother and daughter singing about Jesus.

Worship could start with a brass band circling the community. Inside might be two or three choirs in robes and mortarboards held on by sparkling hair pins. Or it could be three or four young people with a drum fashioned out of a piece of wood and shakers made of rusty biscuit tins.

God is present. God is worshipped.

When they sing, “Come, Come See How I Praise My God,” they really mean it.

Visitors are always greeted with exuberance and kindness.

I was greeted and loved by many Christians in Côte d’Ivoire during a trip to the country from United Methodist Communications in late January.

Thank you for your gracious hospitality:

  • Temple Bethel United Methodist Church in Abobo-Baoule, outside Abidjan
  • United Methodist Church in Sassandra
  • Rufine Yéi Sess Bottis and her daughter, Fidelia, 15, in Spilou. 
  • Temple Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Man

Gilbert is a multimedia news reporter for United Methodist News Service. Contact her at (615) 742-5470 or [email protected]. 


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Mission and Ministry
Dr. David W. Scott. Photo © Hector Amador.

Political context and the meaning of church

A pending separation and changing international composition find The United Methodist Church in a time of rethinking what it means to be a church, and a global church at that.
Mission and Ministry
A new outpatient department, funded by a United Methodist Board of Global Ministries grant, houses many departments and consultation rooms at Old Mutare Mission Hospital in Mutare, Zimbabwe. The facelift of the over 100-year-old institution includes a kitchen, a 120-panel solar system and a comfortable indoor waiting area for patients. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UM News.

Zimbabwe’s Old Mutare Mission Hospital gets a facelift

A state-of-the-art outpatient department, kitchen and 120-panel solar system are among recent additions funded by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries’ Global Health unit.
Bishops
Greater Nhiwatiwa (in purple dress), wife of Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa (left), explains the history and significance of the Chin'ando prayer mountain to bishops attending the Africa College of Bishops retreat held Sept 5-8 at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe. The bishops released a statement at the close of the retreat calling for unity in The United Methodist Church while condemning traditionalist advocacy groups looking to break up the denomination. Photo by Eveline Chikwanah, UM News.

African bishops call for unity, condemn advocacy groups

The bishops released a statement Sept. 8 denouncing the Africa Initiative and Wesleyan Covenant Association, which they say “are wrongly influencing God’s people in our areas.”