Special Worship Celebrations

Special Worship Celebrations

Special worship celebrations are a highlight in the church year for KELC. Celebrations for good harvest, special prayers for students before their exams, induction of church elders, and many other events are frequent and important times in the life of the church. Recently we have celebrated two significant events in KELC.

First, in October we celebrated the ordination of a new pastor, as well as the installation of a deacon and an evangelist. Pastor Agnes Chomba was ordained, becoming the 4th woman ordaining in KELC. The worship was filled with singing and dancing, in addition to that traditional order of service for the ordination of a new pastor. Following her ordination, we celebrated the installation of Deacon Simon Chomba and Evangelist Paul Karanja. The service was held in the courtyard of a primary school near Kirinyaga, Kenya. More than 400 people attended the celebration, including hundreds of family members of the celebrants. The celebrating and receiving lines were long, with much joy and congratulating.

After the worship, the newly installed church workers were showered with gifts, garlands, and greetings from all those in attendance. Everyone shared a delicious meal of traditional Kikuyu food. We wish all the newly installed church workers successful and fulfilling service in God’s church.

Second, we celebrated the retirement of one of our pastors. After more than 20 years of service, Reverend Samson Soka will be retiring at the end of 2015. Similarly to the ordination worship, this celebration was filled with singing and dancing. During the worship, 8 choirs offered songs in celebration of Rev. Soka’s retirement celebration. The congregation followed a farewell liturgy and received a sermon from a visiting pastor, Rev. Joyce, from our partner church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.

The worship concluded with gift giving and thanksgiving to Rev. Soka from his colleagues, his church members, and all visitors attending the service. Everyone joined in sharing a meal, before returning to their homes. Congratulations to Rev. Soka and thank you for your service to our church.

Special worships are important and valued events in the life of KELC. We rejoice in the opportunity to celebrate together, to lift up the work of new and retiring church workers, and to share in the bounty of friendship, worship, and shared meals that we have received through the love and grace of God.

Training Teachers for Literacy Education

KELC’s Adult Literacy program is continuing to grow and develop. Last week, 17 new teachers attended a week-long training seminar to learn teaching skills and classroom management tools that they can use when teaching literacy classes in their communities. According to UN statistics, about 28% of Kenyan adults are illiterate. Adults who are unable to read or write often face discrimination, have difficulty finding and maintaining employment, and are not able to participate fully in church and community activities. In keeping with KELC’s mission to ensure abundant life for all people, our church has been offering literacy classes in many of our parishes and communities for many years.

The seminar was led by trainers from Partners in Literacy Ministries (PLM). PLM, in partnership with Literacy & Evangelism International, has developed a comprehensive teaching and learning plan for effective, culturally sensitive adult literacy education. During the seminar, participants learned methods for teaching adults to read and write, ways to motivate students, how to maintain class attendance, and tools to incorporate faith into literacy education. Teachers were given detailed lesson plans to use in their literacy classes, and they were instructed on how to make learning materials, such as diagrams and flashcards.

The new teachers are from 5 different parishes within in the coastal region of Kenya. The newly trained teachers will be able to start several literacy education classes, which will teach hundreds of people to read and write. Many of our congregations have felt the positive impact of literacy education in the past years, and we are grateful for the opportunity to grow the program to reach more people. We thank God for the gifts these new teachers will bring to their communities and we wish continued blessings for all teachers and students in KELC’s literacy program.