The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has admonished the church and other faith-based organisations (FBOs) to be purveyors of hope as the government works to put the economy back on the path of recovery.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic and the raging war between Russia and Ukraine had placed a strain on the global economy, and the country had not been spared.
He also urged the people not to be "blinded and distracted by selfish partisanship as the government carries everyone along to bring transformation to their lives and communities".
“If you look around the world, you will see that inflation and the cost of living have increased astronomically. As they say in the local parlance, ‘nowhere cool’,” he added.
Dr Bawumia was addressing the biennial joint session of the East, West and Mid-Ghana Conferences of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church at the Pentecost Convention Centre at Gomoa Fetteh in the Central Region yesterday.
The three-day conference, which is being attended by delegates of the church from across the country, is on the theme: “The freedom church: Serving our flock”.
Delegates will take stock of their past activities and also chart a new course towards the future.
It also marked the second quadrennial of the Presiding Bishop of the church, Rt Rev. Dr Hilliard K. Dela Dogbe.
According to Dr Bawumia, governments were elected to solve problems and, therefore, it was important that politicians who had been given the mandate to govern tell the people specific problems that had been solved since assuming office.
He said in spite of being in the midst of challenges, it was also proper that the church did not forget where "God has brought us from", adding: “We should still be thankful to God, notwithstanding the challenges. We have solved many problems but there are still more to be done.”
“We have to deal with our immediate cost of living challenges and exchange rate and debt sustainability issues, but I believe that with focus, a sense of urgency and by the Grace of God, we will surmount all these challenges and transform the economy and move forward,” the Vice-President said.
While acknowledging the effort and contribution of the AME Zion Church to national development, Dr Bawumia reminded the congregation that there was still much work to be done, for which reason the church must not relent in playing its role in nation-building.
As a founder member of the Christian Council of Ghana, he said, the AME Zion church had actively supported the council to provide spiritual and temporal interventions towards addressing issues and challenges confronting the nation.
“Development has always been made a joint venture. This administration would like to continue with this collaboration with the church, so that our nation will become the oasis of peace and prosperity we desire it to be. We are blessed by God and we want to maintain that and continue,” he added.
On the role of the church in the educational sector, the Vice-President expressed appreciation to the AME Zion Church for the establishment of many schools in the country.
He commended the Presiding Bishop and his wife for their excellent stewardship, which he said had helped propel the church to a new level.
He also paid tribute to some members of the church, including the late Dr Kwegyir Aggrey, the late Courage Quashigah and a former High Commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador Dr Jimmy Heymann.
Rt Rev. Dr Hilliard Dogbe expressed appreciation to God for paving the way for the church to gather again since 2019, a situation he attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant economic meltdown.
Rt Rev. Dr Dogbe, who was delivering his episcopal report, advised the clergy to close their ranks and recommit to the ministry of God.
"We are not in the business of make believe, no; we are representatives of God Almighty and so we need to steadily show ourselves approved unto God," he said.
"The greed, selfishness, cronyism and all the auxiliaries are a canker to this nation and must be curtailed, if not crucified," he added.