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On Sunday, 16 August 2015, we attended worship at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG)  in Accra, Ghana. Approximately 300 people attended the morning service. The service was fuller than usual due to a youth conference which was held at the church and a symposium on same-sex marriage after the service.

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The Choir at St. Paul’s Lutheran sang “God is our Protector” before the sermon.

The choir sings.

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Rev. Steven Schumacher preached on John 6.

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After the sermon, people come to from to give their offering. During their offering, the entire congregation sings and sometimes dances.

The congregation sings and dances during the presentation of the offering.

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Immediately following the service, a symposium on same-sex marriage was held in the congregation. The recent decision of the US Supreme Court to legalize same sex marriage in all fifty States has had worldwide effect. The panelists discussed the topic of same sex marriage from a variety of perspectives including updates on the situation in the United States, perspectives from the Ghanian legal system, Biblical perspectives, and from a Ghanian cultural perspective. LCMS people participated in the panel including Dr. Albert Collver, Dr. David Erber, and Rev. Steve Schumacher.

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Approximately 300 people attended the symposium on same sex marriage. The event was broadcast on Ghanian television and covered in the local newspapers.

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Rt. Rev. Bishop Paul Kofi Fynn listened attentively to the presentations.

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Presentations also covered how Ghanian culture viewed marriage and how the Ghanian legal system viewed civil rights and homosexual activity. A challenge for nations such as Ghana is that Western development aid and loans are often tied to adopting a human rights perspective that allows for same sex marriage.

FullSizeRender 9After the panel gifts were presented.