The ceremony was presided over by Andrew Keili, author, civil and political analyst, and engineer, who is also an Anglican lay reader and bishop's warden.
The book brings together ten authors and provides theological insights. Keili noted further that it also provides a historical perspective on how the church in Sierra Leone has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, dwells a bit on the practical medical aspects of how to confront COVID-19, and provides information on the abject socio-economic circumstances in Sierra Leone.
“COVID-19 has affected the church in many ways,” said Keili. “It has had a massive impact on all things ministry-related.”
The book reflects on how COVID-19 has affected pastors and congregations. “We have, however, learnt lessons and consequences, and signs of God’s goodness amid all the hardship,” said Keili. “There have been challenges related to rising rates of domestic violence and profound isolation.”
Meanwhile as COVID-19 took their parishioners’ lives, pastors also have had to offer comfort and perform many rites, including funerals and marriages.
Keili observed that there have been misleading theologies in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Despite this, there have always been people who would not be swayed by these misleading ideas,” he said.
Keili noted that the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone and its membership, and other religious groups in Sierra Leone have quite rightly taken upon themselves to sensitize their congregations and adapt cherished practices to innovative practical ones.
“It is heartening to note that they are positive about the outlook for the church despite the many challenges they envisage,” he said. “They acknowledge that the church as we know it may be moving out of a building but that there are opportunities.”
Keili predicted that more people will turn to God, the church will get more involved in social issues, and opportunities will be created for developing the spirituality of individual Christians.
“Faith leaders will have an immense responsibility to manage the change required, and they need a paradigm shift in the way they approach issues,” he said. “They mention that there is a need for a global mission in the post COVID-19 era.”