By Dawne Forbes
During the week of February 10 – 17, 2018, the Adventist church in the Atlantic Caribbean region will place special emphasis on the Christian Home and Marriage. Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) explains that the week is designed to fortify families and will emphasize two aspects of the home: Christian marriage and Christian parenting.
“It is important for us to focus on the Christian Home and Marriage because the Adventist church wants to strengthen, inspire hope, and bring healing to marriages and to families everywhere,” says Pastor Kerr. “We are seeking to prepare families for the Kingdom of God and help hasten the second coming of Christ.”
He went on to further explain that the week-long Christian Home and Marriage emphasis also seeks to incorporate the objectives and principles of Total Member Involvement (TMI), a program of the Adventist world church designed to empower each member of the Adventist church to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. In keeping with TMI, Pastor Kerr mentioned that the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists has introduced a program called Lord Transform Me Homes that “calls upon every Adventist home to be a place where spiritual transformation takes place.”
For more information about the week of activities, please contact the family ministries director at one of the following telephone numbers: Cayman Islands Conference - (345) 949-2647; North Bahamas Conference – (242) 374-2051; South Bahamas Conference – (242) 341-4021; and Turks and Caicos Islands Mission - (649) 941-8735.
Camp Meeting 2018 Inspires Church to Give Unstintingly
Hundreds of Adventist church members gathered at the Lions Centre January 12-14 for the three-day convention featuring South African Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Zukisani Mxoli. The evangelist’s inspiring charge to members was that they should give unreservedly, even in the face of sometimes formidable resource challenges.
In line with his inspiring message, Grand Cayman’s Keynote Speaker Evangelist Zuki, as he is affectionately known in his hometown of Johannesburg, has acquired a creditable record of philanthropy. He has achieved this largely through joint professional and ministry initiatives in the area of church, educational and medical facilities that extend into more than seven countries, with financial contributions ranging from 50% to 100% of project costs.
The annual convention had as its theme, “If I can Help Somebody…,” and set the tone for Cayman’s Adventist Church’s continued community welfare emphasis set in 2016 for the current four-year term.
Continuing to Little Cayman (Wednesday and Thursday, January 17 & 18) and Cayman Brac (Friday to Sunday, January 19-21), the 2018 conventions retained the philanthropic challenge though it did not feature Evangelist Mxoli as planned. Unfortunately, Evangelist Mxoli had to return home due to the sudden and tragic death of a close relative.
Taking Evangelist Mxoli’s place on the Sister Islands was Pastor Kevin Danvers, who joined the Cayman Conference mid-2017 from the Central Jamaica Conference where he had served as Secretary. Conference colleague Pastor Maurice Chambers spoke on the final Sunday on Cayman Brac.
Joining the Cayman Conference for Camp Meeting 2018 was Union President Dr. Leonard Johnson and Union Secretary and Treasurer, Pastor Peter Kerr and Mr. Roderick Sands, respectively.
Setting the stage for Camp Meeting 2018, architect, lay preacher and evangelist Mxoli succeeded in energising Grand Cayman’s congregations with a rallying call to all the laity to “unite their efforts with ministers and church officers.” He called upon all to strengthen their faith and to leave everything in God’s hands, as “[T]hose who leave everything in God’s hand will eventually see God’s hand in everything.”
Among the other inspirational speakers during the weekend on Grand Cayman were Pastor Ivor Harry, who delivered the message on Sabbath afternoon at a 3 pm workshop, and President Shion O’Connor, who followed with the charge to a new slate of officers for 2018 during the 4 pm youth installation and consecration service.
Pastor Harry challenged members to follow Jesus’ examples by going fearlessly forward into areas that are often shunned as disreputable and to become involved in practical ways in the lives of those we are seeking to reach. “Some people will never come to the church,” he said, but helping people in practical ways, such as visiting the sick in hospitals and opening up cupboards, will open doors.
“Even when it appears impossible to reach certain strata of society,” Pastor Harry said, “when we are turned on and trusting God to use us… we can turn this place upside down.” Indeed, Pastor Harry said, “The world is waiting to see a church that is open to everyone.”
During the Sabbath afternoon youth service, youth leaders presented highlights of their role and work in 2017, and the 2018 executive committee of the Youth Federation was inaugurated.
Pastor O’Connor officiated during the youth consecration service during which he highlighted the dual role of ministry. Preaching from Acts 6:1-2, Pastor O’Connor pointed out that ministry in the early church involved not just the preaching of the word but also the “serving of tables”—the Bible’s expression for the caring for the needs of members.
Pastor O’Connor pointed out that it was the need to take care of the members that necessitated the organization of offices in the church, and that the first officers were elected as table servers or caregivers. Hence “table serving” must remain a priority in God’s church, he said.
A major highlight on Sabbath during the Grand Cayman convention was a celebration marking the church’s 6,000th membership milestone, achieved in the last quarter of 2017. The Union officers led out in the recognition of this historic moment in the more than a century since the Church’s beginning in 1905.
Other highlights of the Grand Cayman convention included a review of the community services work in the Conference as well as a focus on the role of ASi Cayman in the local Adventist business community.
Lord, Transform Me also took centre stage, with a focus on its 2019 Reaping Campaign to be held in Cayman.
In the ceremonial finale of the 2017 In-Gathering Campaign, a number of churches and individuals were recognised. These included the Kings Church, for achieving top dollar value, and Berea, which achieved the highest percentage of the Conference-designated church goal. Also recognised were Ms Grace Langley, from the Maranatha Church, and Ms Carmelita Jackson, of the East End Church, who tied for highest individual collection.
Inspiring music was a prominent aspect of Camp Meeting 2019, and this year was no exception. The centrepiece for the weekend’s musical repertoire was the mass choir that sang at every service, alternately directed by Mrs. Theodecia Sonlin-Sanderson and Ms Lisa Pearce. Other moving musical performance were given by the Men’s Chorale, under the direction of Mr. Mark Hamilton, the joint Praise Team, Women of Purpose, among others.
Communication to members and the Cayman public in general was a key aspect of Camp Meeting 2018. Services on Grand Cayman were broadcast live via the Conference’s radio station Praise 87.9, the CATV television channel, and live-streamed on the Conference’s website. On Cayman Brac, services were live-streamed as well as broadcast on Praise 87.9.
The Church expressed its gratitude to regional telecommunications company, Flow, which provided gratis the bandwidth necessary for live broadcasts on radio and TV from the Lions Centre on Grand Cayman.
By John Garcia
The Ministerial Department of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU) headed by Pastor Leonard Johnson and the Ministerial Department of the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) directed by Pastor Paul Scavella organized and hosted a series of evangelism and leadership training sessions for the pastors and members of SBC in Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas during December 10 to 16, 2017.
The seven-day intensive program involved presentations from local and international church leaders such as Pastor John Bradshaw, director of It Is Written; Pastors Melchor Ferreyra and Samuel Telemaque from the Inter-American Division (IAD); Pastor Maxwell Berkel from the Curacao Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; Pastors Leonard Johnson, Peter Kerr, Kent Price, and Leonardo Rahming, and Elder Roderick Sands from ATCU; and Pastors Paul Scavella, Melvin Lewis, Lynden Williams, and Basil Sturrup from SBC.
Morning sessions were designed for pastors and conference directors, while evening sessions were planned for the entire church membership. Some of the presentation topics included “Maintaining a Relationship with God,” “The Ministry of Prayer,” “Maintaining a Passion for Evangelism,” and “Leadership Skills.”
The program was organized to prepare the membership for the 2019 Lord Transform Me reaping campaigns to be held in the territories of ATCU, namely, The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Pastor Johnson, also president of ATCU, emphasized that similar training events will be conducted in all the other territories during 2018.
“The Ministerial Department of ATCU is being intentional in equipping the leaders and lay members of the church to be effective evangelists,” said Johnson. “This is just the first of many more training sessions that will be held in all the fields of ATCU.”
Pastor Johnson not only serves as president and ministerial director of ATCU but also as associate ministerial director for the IAD, a position to which he was recently elected.
Immediately after engaging in some of the training sessions, pastors and elders met to plan for upcoming evangelistic campaigns and revivals that would be happening around SBC, and local church members expressed a renewed excitement in being involved in church ministry.
“Bradshaw’s presentations and sermons brought new light to my being involved in church mission, and I will take this new information and try to be more involved in evangelism,” said a local church elder.
During his stay in The Bahamas, Pastor John Bradshaw also took the opportunity to record an episode of It Is Written at sites of interests in New Providence. His programs can be viewed on Hope Channel and a few other stations in the region and around the world.
By Dawne Forbes
With the dawn of the New Year, the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will join its 23 sister unions in the Inter-American Division (IAD) in observing 2018 as the Year of the Child and Adolescent. Under the theme The Talking Backpack, Adventist children and their friends in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands will learn about and practice 12 values that will help to strengthen their spiritual and moral development.
“For twelve months, our leaders will use strategies to instill in our children values for eternity (VE), such as truthfulness, courtesy, respect, thankfulness, and punctuality among others,” said Dr. Cheryl Rolle, children’s and adolescent ministries director of ATCU. “Children will then be encouraged to practice the values and share what they have learned with their friends. Once a child satisfactorily completes the given assignments each month, he or she would earn the corresponding pin. The child would then attach the earned pin to a backpack, indicating to everyone his or her accomplishment.”
The exciting monthly activities are also designed to nurture the child’s and adolescent’s desire and ability for effective witnessing.
“The Talking Backpack is a program of missionary impact that will provide the opportunity for each child and young person involved to use the most effective means of evangelization based on personal, spiritual, and moral growth as a safe means of testifying,” explained Mrs. M. Dinorah Rivera, IAD children’s and adolescent ministries director and program organizer.
To ensure that your child or adolescent is a part of this amazing opportunity for spiritual growth and witnessing, you may contact the local conference/mission children’s and adolescent ministries director in the Cayman Islands at 345-949-2647; in Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas at 242-374-2051; in Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas at 242-341-4021; or in the Turks and Caicos Islands at 649-941-8735.