Delegates came streaming in. Some walked, some road motorcycles, many came as part of entire congregations all bused together. Some came escorted by police convoys. Others had flown from other continents, representing more than 100 countries.
The thousands found their way in to Independence Square in Accra, Ghana’s capital, inscribed with the words “Freedom and Justice, AD 1957.” Seated under canopies to provide shade from 2004’s version of the sub Saharan heat, what might possibly bring such a diverse gathering together?
Then the singing began. Choirs from congregations all over Africa started the procession. With overflowing and contagious joy they sang their borrowed song. First sung in England, it was then shipped to Africa and North America and other countries colonized by the British Empire. But now a moving, singing, elegant choir of Africans sang it as their own. And so it was. One delegate remembers being so overcome by the sight and sound, she could barely sing. Categories of “us” and “them” melted away she remembers, in the lyrics of the world’s oldest song. Moses ancient prayer known as Psalm 90 was once again brought to life in the words of Isaac Watts;
O God our help in ages past
Our hope for years to come
Our shelter from the story blast
And our eternal home.
It was the start to the 2004 meeting of the World Council of Reformed Churches. A start no delegate would ever forget.

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