Sacred Site Visitation And The Renewal Programme Of The Methodist Church Ghana

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ABSTRACT This research examines the rationale behind the institutionalized pilgrimage process of the Methodist Church Ghana (a phenomenon, dubbed Sacred Site Visitation in this research), and its relationship with the renewal program of the Church. The study was approached from an interdisciplinary perspective, namely, theological, church historical and anthropological perspectives to demonstrate how sacred site visitation affects renewal. Victor Turner’s theory of Communitas constituted the theoretical foundation of the study. The theory perceives sacred site visitation as a liminal phenomenon, characterized by Communitas, a situation which offers opportunities for ‘pilgrims’ to enjoy a fresh kind of social existence of harmony, filial bond and freedom in their spiritual quest. Adopting a qualitative approach to data management, interview schedules, focus group discussions were employed to elicit views, beliefs, and insights from the Church’s clergy and the laity about the Church’s practice of sacred site visitation. Three prayer centres of the Methodist Church, Ghana, were used for case study with purposive samples of the laity, youth and senior hierarchy constituting the respondents. Two viewpoints emerged from the study. On one hand, sacred site visitation is a means of spiritual renewal in the Methodist Church Ghana for the following reasons: providing church members with the opportunity to enhance their prayer lives; satisfying physical, spiritual and emotional needs. It also helps the Church to construct a firm and non-negotiable image of the Wesleyan tradition. On the other hand, it emerged that renewal in the Church goes beyond sacred site visitation, fasting or praying to a holistic development of Church members. Whereas the Church hierarchy was associated with the latter viewpoint, the laity held on to the former viewpoint. A remarkable finding was that the laity’s perspectives on certain sacred site visitation practices ran contrary to the Church hierarchy’s perspectives. The recommendations from the research were two-fold: for academia and the Methodist Church Ghana. For academia, it is recommended that there should evolve a discipline, Hierotopy or Hierotopical Studies under the Humanities which transcends the methodological and terminological limitations imposed by traditional humanistic disciplines. For the Church, various steps should be made to streamline sacred site visitation to meet the qualitative growth of the members of the church

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APA

Coalition, C. & YALLEY, D (2021). Sacred Site Visitation And The Renewal Programme Of The Methodist Church Ghana. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/sacred-site-visitation-and-the-renewal-programme-of-the-methodist-church-ghana

MLA 8th

Coalition, CDR, and DORIS YALLEY "Sacred Site Visitation And The Renewal Programme Of The Methodist Church Ghana" Afribary. Afribary, 12 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/sacred-site-visitation-and-the-renewal-programme-of-the-methodist-church-ghana. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

MLA7

Coalition, CDR, and DORIS YALLEY . "Sacred Site Visitation And The Renewal Programme Of The Methodist Church Ghana". Afribary, Afribary, 12 Apr. 2021. Web. 30 Jun. 2022. < https://afribary.com/works/sacred-site-visitation-and-the-renewal-programme-of-the-methodist-church-ghana >.

Chicago

Coalition, CDR and YALLEY, DORIS . "Sacred Site Visitation And The Renewal Programme Of The Methodist Church Ghana" Afribary (2021). Accessed June 30, 2022. https://afribary.com/works/sacred-site-visitation-and-the-renewal-programme-of-the-methodist-church-ghana