Dr. Curtis, spoke at a program marking the 140th anniversary of the Reeves Memorial United Methodist Church in the township of Crozierville, Montserrado County.
Dr. Aurelia L. Curtis, a Lay Speaker at the Christ United Methodist Church, based in New York City, the United States of America, said the future of a church is built on a firm foundation of Jesus Christ. As such, gratitude in service to God is cardinal to the growth and development of a true denomination.
Dr. Curtis spoke when she served as the lay speaker in observance of Laity Day at the Reeves Memorial United Methodist Church (RMUMC) in Crozierville. The event, which was celebrated in parallel with the RMUMC's 140th anniversary, was held under the theme: Foundation for the Future "with text taken from 1 Corinthains 3.
Laity Day is a special Sunday set aside in the United Methodist Church, where the entire service is conducted by the lay members (lay readers) of the church why clergymen observe. A laity is not ordained as ministers of the gospel. Laity Day is celebrated in the United Methodist Church all over the world.
Dr. Curtis told the congregation that to celebrate 140 years of doing God's work as a church in Crozierville, within the St. Paul River District conference, means a lot. "Therefore everyone must find ourselves in the position to show gratitude to God because it is of God's church and so we all have to learn gratitude," she said.
She recalled that, when King Solomon completed the temple in Jerusalem for the children of Israel, he wrote a song, which is taken from Psalm 127. "Unless the Lord builds the house; its builders labour in vain," she quoted the psalm, adding, "that is why I will like for us to think about the 140 years of existence as a church and people."
She said to have a firm foundation, everyone must work together for the spiritual growth of the Church, even the Reeves Memorial United Methodist Church. She urged the congregation to stop focusing on individual differences if the Lord will build the house.
For this year's Laity celebration, the RMUMC family crowned Mother Olga N. P. Todd as Laity of the Year. In her remarks, she expressed gratitude and said the recognition by the church was from God and it also challenges her to do more in the house of God. She said that at a young age "I promised God that I wanted to be His servant at all times. It was my vow," she told the congregation.
Rev. H. Nyenorsee Hinneh, Senior pastor RMUMC, also stressed the need for Christians to learn to respect each other, serve God with sincerity and nurture the children so that they can become good people in the society and live the life God wishes for all, as well as worship Him in the beauty of holiness.
"As we celebrate 140 years, we want to build a children's ministry where they will be after school to learn and have fun with one another so that, by the time they are out of high school, they will be able to do something for themselves.
The event was a colourful one that brought together the invited churches including the St. Luke United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church in Crozierville, the Lay speaker from New York, clergymen and women as well as youth and young adults of the United Methodist.
Children of RMUMC compete in a bag race during a family fun day as part of the church's 140th anniversary festivities
In commemoration of this year's event, the church thought it was important to engage in a series of activities. On Thursday, October 17, RMUMC held a one-night of revival. On Friday, October 18, there were children's matinee movies, while on Saturday, October 19, they held both kickball and football games at the Antoinette Tubman Community School campus in Crozierville. The RMUMC football team won 2-1 against the St Luke United Methodist church team.
Angelique Weeks, Church Lay leader said 140 years of existence it is because they have been built on a firm foundation of God in all that they do as a church. "We are blessed as a people in Crozierville, as a congregation, and as individual families," she noted.
Madam Weeks noted that the RMUMC was built on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ and therefore it has a foundation for the future of every Liberian.
According to her, one of the most important things that any church can do; is to do good things for others, having particular goals and objectives as a church, based on service to others. "When we are in a community and feel strongly about our services to others, we attract a large congregation and that is why we at RMUMC, has come thus far," she said.
About Reeves Memorial United Methodist Church
The 140 year-old Reeves Memorial United Methodist Church in Crozierville, Montserrado County
Established in 1879, the RMUMC is currently one of the fastest-growing churches at the level of the St. Paul River District Conference (SPRDC) of the Liberia Annual Conference, the United Methodist Church (LAC/UMC). Since its foundation, the church has made a significant impact on the Township of Crozierville, Montserrado County.
The RMUMC has over the years built a resilient relationship amongst the locals in rural Montserrado County, bringing together young people from a diverse backgrounds to ensure that the lives of young people are transformed spiritually and morally. Currently, 50% of its members comprise of youth and young adults. The Church has grown from the membership of 25 to 100 plus, most of whom are youths and children and it draws a lot of people every year. The RMUMC's slogan is: "Reeves Memorial -- Church in Missions!"