ATCU’s Prayer Initiative 2017 Launch

ATCU’s Prayer Initiative 2017 Launch

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            Personally, I have found the commitment to pray for a given district, institution, person or situation each day very engaging, strategic and intentional for it keeps me focused and sensitive to the needs and concerns of our church. Therefore, in the context of Lord Transform Me and Total Member involvement I officially launch the prayer initiative of The Atlantic Caribbean Union known as PUSH or Pray Until Something Happens for 2017.
 
Field administrators, directors, pastors, educators, office workers, other workers, church officers and members in general, it is my wish and prayer that you will embrace this initiative and together let us pray daily for the various emphases. It does wonders for one who knows that he or she is being prayed for. In fact, the words of Christ come to mind when in Luke 22:32 He told Peter, a follower of His, “I have prayed for you that your faith fail not.” I believe that Christ prays for us, and we must not become weary in praying for one another.
Therefore, I appeal to you to get involved notwithstanding your own prayer focus and pray and pray until something happens.
Dr. Leonard A. Johnson
President

Leaders Attend First ATCU Administrators’ Summit

Leaders Attend First ATCU Administrators’ Summit
By ATCU Communication Department

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Recognizing that every field within its territory must be relevant in these rapidly changing times, the administration of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) brought together the officers of its four fields to take part in the first ATCU Administrators’ Summit on November 13 and 14, 2016, at Comfort Suites on Paradise Island, The Bahamas.

Field presidents, secretaries, and treasurers from the Cayman Islands Conference (CIC), the North and South Bahamas Conferences (NBC and SBC), and the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission (TCIM) received presentations on leadership, financial transparency, and safety and risk management.
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In the area of leadership, guest presenter Dr. Lowell Cooper, retired general vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC), reminded the administrators that they had a ministry and not a job. “When I have a job, I think of what my work does for my career. When I have a ministry, I think of what my work does for others,” said Cooper. He also emphasized the positive impact effective training had on organizations and churches, pointing out that in addition to being trained for a specific job, individuals also need to be able to function in groups.
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Paul Douglas, director of the General Conference Auditing Services (GCAS), provided information on the auditing process that all institutions within the Seventh-day Adventist Church must go through and underscored that the auditors of GCAS aim to help institutions develop, grow, and most importantly, be trusted.
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Daisy Montes de Oca, customer representative, account executive of Adventist Risk Management, gave presentations on how to reduce risk in all areas of the church so that properties are safe for everyone who enters and uses them. “Prevention is most important,” admonished Daisy as she listed a number of preventive measures that churches and institutions can implement in order to have a more effective ministry with reduced risk.

The officers of ATCU also presented on topics related to their office. Dr. Leonard Johnson, president of ATCU, gave an overview of the current status of the union and outlined the union’s projections up to 2021 when it is expected that TCIM would transition to conference status and SBC would become two fields. “These projections are not made in order to split fields and create positions but to facilitate more effective management and better care of the members,” explained Johnson.
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Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of ATCU, spoke to the importance of care of members. “We must be intentional in caring for each member,” said Kerr. “We must not look at the member as a number but as a soul.” In addition, he reported on the ongoing process of the digitalization of the church registry with the Adventist Church Management System (ACMS), saying that ATCU is expected to be fully on ACMS by mid 2017.

Elder Roderick Sands, treasurer of ATCU, highlighted the importance of financial transparency, stressing that resource allocation must be aligned with the mission of the church. Sands indicated that evangelism must be priority, and this must be reflected in the field’s spending.

Dr. Johnson in his closing remarks challenged the officers to share the information received and to implement what was learnt.
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Adrian Reader Wins ATCU 2016 Bible Boom Championships

Adrian Reader Wins ATCU 2016 Bible Boom Championships
ATCU Communication Department

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Still happy and proud that the overall winner of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists’ (IAD) 2015 Super Bible Boom championships came from within its territory, the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) held its 2016 union-wide Bible Boom finals at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church on Saturday evening, October 30 in Nassau, Bahamas. Organized by the youth ministries department of ATCU under the directorship of Pastor Eric D. Clarke, the Bible Boom’s aim is to encourage and motivate young people to study the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.

Competing were the finalists from three of the union’s four fields. Stephon Forbes (
North Bahamas Conference), Adrian Reader (Turks and Caicos Islands Mission), and Alexandria Scott (South Bahamas Conference) tackled fifty-five challenging questions from the Old Testament books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth as well as the first twelve chapters of the book Patriarchs and Prophets by Ellen G. White. Using individual computers to submit their answers, the contestants answered questions that were assigned different points and time limits in which to respond.

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At the end of the fifty-fifth question, Adrian Reader was victorious, winning the Waylon Johnson Bible Boom trophy with a total of 465 points and a time of twelve minutes and twenty-five seconds. He was followed by Stephon Forbes with 425 points. In third place was Alexandria Scott with 205 points.

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Adrian Reader will now advance to the division-wide competition where he will represent ATCU in competing with over twenty other contestants for the title of 2016 IAD champion in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on December 10. There are five IAD Bible Booms held within a quinquennium, but the final is the Super Bible Boom where the winners of the four previous IAD tournaments convene to challenge each other for the Super Bible Boom award.

Waylon Johnson of the North Bahamas Conference won the IAD Bible Boom in 2011 and went on to emerge victorious at the IAD Super Bible Boom in 2015, winning over four thousand dollars ($4,000.00) in scholarship along with being named the youth delegate to the 2015 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC) Session in San Antonio, Texas, where he was able to participate in the process of reviewing and amending the rules and policies of the world Seventh-day Adventist church.

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We Are Blessed!

We Are Blessed!

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Every now and then I pause to consider what is happening around me and what am I experiencing. In doing so, I remark to myself that “We Seventh-day Adventists are blessed.” Quite naturally, the “Why?” question arises time and time again. “How are we blessed?” After all, like all others, we have our share of ups and downs, frustrations and disappointments. Like everybody else, we face the daily grind of survival coupled with a need to make things better. Nevertheless, we are blessed. However, we could be doubly blessed if we practice what we know.
 
What a Church to Belong to!
Admittedly, there are thousands of churches all around to fit each person’s likes and dislikes. But examining closely our church, I am awed by an apparent blessing that attends it. We are organized even if there is to some degree an absence or lack in your local church. We possess a network that connects one with another worldwide when it becomes known that you are Seventh-day Adventist. I have experienced this personally both as a recipient and a provider or initiator whether in Haiti, the United States, Guyana, Russia or Mexico. Then there is the academic emphasis. While I do not have the data to prove it-- it would seem as an Adventist that it is expected that one will pursue college or university studies more so than in another church denomination. This emphasis has provided the opportunity for many of us to achieve that which we would not ordinarily have accomplished. That, to me, is not a stroke of luck but a divine design, for did not God promise that He would bless Israel of old if they followed His ways and statues? (Refer to Duet. 28:3-6.)
 
Is There More?
            Resoundingly “Yes!” When I consider the health focus of the church, even though some members scorn it, the benefits are real and far reaching. For me, I consider the simplicity of nuts, grains, fruits and vegetables. That is not to say that I am full vegetarian, as I eat fish. But I extol the virtue of these foods created by our Maker for human consumption. In fact, a parent remarked that it is costly to be a vegetarian. Without much pause, I responded that it is not. Having to purchase vegetarian substitutes can be costly, but learning to make meatless loaves and patties, etc. can be more affordable than purchasing meats- in some instances. And we are so blessed, for the Seventh-day Adventist Church provides free lectures and training, but to my surprise, the attendance at these could be better. Could the poor attendance result from a lack of promotion or a lack of interest? Or do we become serious when our health is threatened? As a side note, in a recent meeting I had with the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, while speaking about the proposed National Health Plan, I encouraged him to consider lowering tariff on fruits and vegetables thus making these affordable for everyone, as they would augment the national health plan insurance. Additionally, I offered the services of the church to do inner city training employing the “I Want To Live Healthy” model at no cost, except for materials.
            Additionally, there is the prophetic message that the church has received. Whereas it may lack appeal to some of us internally, visitors are excited and awestruck by the way how we explain it. The relevance of Daniel 2, 7, 8 & 9 as well as the book of Revelation allows us to see from a perspective that gives assurance and hope, and prevents panic or reacting to every move of the pope, or who is elected president of the United States of America.
 
We Are Accountable
            Unfortunately, with all of the blessings referenced and unmentioned, comes the element of accountability. That is to say – “Am I sharing these truths?” “Am I leading folks to embrace basic and practical principles?” “Am I embracing what I know?” The current Sabbath school lessons challenge me to do more especially in my immediate neighborhood. (Even the lessons that we study weekly can make us educated and wise beyond others. It is like going to a university for life). We, as a church, are blessed. That in itself tells me that this church is ordained of God. Need I say more? Need I do more? Need I be more?

Community Service Volunteers Fund Back-to-School Needs

Community Service Volunteers
Fund Back-to-School Needs

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More than CI$8,000 has been distributed by the Community Services Department of the George Town Seventh-day Adventist Church to 10 schools on Grand Cayman to cover back-to-school needs such as tuition, books, lunch and uniforms for 40 children.
Accepting the cheque for distribution to schools, Chief Education Officer Lyneth Monteith said: “On behalf of the Department of Education Services and the Ministry of Education, I thank the Community Services Department of the George Town Seventh-day Adventist Church for its generosity in helping our students and their parents to prepare for the new school year.” The Chief Education Officer added: “It is commendable that the Church  supports ventures such as these and I am sure that the families are very appreciative of the support.”
Mrs. Elsie Myles, the coordinator of a team of community service volunteers who made the donation possible, said that she and her fellow volunteers had become aware of back-to-school needs of children while engaged in other community service activities.  The George Town Church also operates a soup kitchen and delivers about 500 cups of soup weekly to shut-ins, a group comprising mainly elderly and infirm persons.  The community service agency also delivers 80 food bags each month. 

Condolences from ATCU

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“Pass It On,” a Youth Ministries Initiative Embraced By ATCU

“Pass It On,” a Youth Ministries Initiative Embraced By ATCU
Communication Department

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has always placed a high priority on youth ministry; and in keeping with this stance, the Inter-American Division has launched an initiative dubbed “Pass It On.” This is a ministry of integration between youth and adults that promotes the transfer of knowledge and skills to the younger generation of the church in every aspect of church ministry.

The youth department of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), under the directorship of Pastor Eric D. Clarke, has fully embraced “Pass It On” and has charged the fields within its territory to implement it in their local churches.

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One of the first churches to implement the program is the Johnson Park Church in the South Bahamas Conference (SBC). The young people planned, in detail, all the church’s programs for July. Therefore, on the first Sabbath of July, the first elder, Dr. Colyn Major, officially transferred his leadership role to Takara Lewis, symbolized with the handing over of a Bible.

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The young people are eager to serve and lead, having presented their plans to the church board. “We are excited and ready to faithfully do the work of God and are in need of your support and prayers,” commented Takara Lewis as she addressed the Johnson Park church.

During July, celebrated as youth month in SBC, the young people of the Johnson park church will be mentored as Sabbath School teachers, preachers, church board members, and parking and security attendants. They will be leading out in both in-reach and outreach programs, culminating with the Pathfinder band leading a march to a nearby park where an evangelistic series is planned.

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“It is my hope that at the end of this “Pass It On” experience, the youth of the church will be revived and motivated to take on the leadership roles in the church and that they will become very active in doing the Lord’s work;” expressed Leonardo Rahming, pastor of the Johnson Park Church.

ATCU Pastors Honored at IAD Regional Summit

ATCU Pastors Honored at IAD Regional Summit
By ATCU Communication Department

Four pastors from the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) were honored at the Lord Transform Me (LTM) regional summit hosted by the Inter-American Division (IAD) in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic during June 26 – 29, 2016.

Receiving smart watches and certificates of achievement for baptizing the most people in their respective fields during 2015 were Pastors Jeff Jefferson (Cayman Islands Conference); Patrick Tyrill (North Bahamas Conference); Asha-Dane Duncan (South Bahamas Conference); and Steve Cornwall (Turks and Caicos Islands Mission).

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Sharing in the moment of celebration was ATCU’s delegation of more than 60 church employees and laypersons from across the union territory attending the 2-day event. They were led by Pastor Leonard Johnson, ATCU president, and the other union officers, Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary, and Elder Roderick Sands, treasurer.

Pastor Steve Cornwall expressed joy at receiving such an honor and was inspired to achieve even more for Christ.

“The expression of gratitude shown to me by the IAD for success in evangelism was the quintessence of my joy while attending the LTM congress in Punta Cana.  For me, it was the first time being recognized at the IAD level in my evangelistic sojourn, and hence, my unwavering passion for soul winning has been multiplied.  I will evangelize and not fossilize because I await a glorious and permanent reward which will be celestial and not terrestrial.”

Scores of delegates from five other unions joined ATCU at the third in a series of regional summits sponsored by the IAD to inspire and galvanize its members to adopt and carry out the objectives of the program for the quinquennium, Lord Transform Me.  Elder Israel Leito, president of the IAD, shared the vision for the next five years while the IAD departmental directors gave presentations on the five components of the program: Transform and Live; Explore and Learn; Connect and Share; Proclaim and Reap; and Conserve and Disciple.

Pastor Peter Kerr, assistant to the president for evangelism, is enthused about the initiative and anticipates a great revival as members make this prayer their cry.

“As we together allow the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts, our churches, homes, and by extension, our countries cannot be the same.  We will be powerful witnesses for Christ,” Pastor Kerr exclaims.

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At the end of the summit, delegates were charged to return to their conferences and missions to share and implement the vision and objectives of Lord Transform Me.

Cayman Academy Continues its Upward Growth Trend

Cayman Academy Continues its Upward Growth Trend

By Patricia Ebanks, Communication Director; Cayman Islands Conference


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Last weekend (Saturday, 25 June) 18 students graduated from Cayman Academy, up from last year’s eleven, with forecasts of a 26-member final year class in 2017. The commencement exercise took place at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

With a waiting list of 112, more than a third of its current enrolment of 328, the school announced a summer building programme that will result in two new classrooms to accommodate an additional class each for Grades 1 and 7. Also announced were expanded offerings in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) programme, and a fall 2016 launch of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) for post Grade 12 students.

The academic achievements of the school’s students were on display during the graduation ceremony, with ten of the eleven students of the Class of 2015 recognized as “honour students.” The ten qualified for this achievement by passing eight or more subjects in the CSEC examinations at grades 1 to 3. One student, Chamelle Williams, passed eleven subjects.

Indeed, quality education was a recurring theme at the 2016 Cayman Academy graduation ceremony, with Board Chair Shion O’Connor announcing the introduction of an Academic Quality Control Committee to monitor curriculum and instruction for the 2016/17 academic year.

Responding to this announcement, Minister of Education, the Hon. Tara Rivers, who brought greetings at Saturday’s graduation exercise, said that this “well aligned” the school with new legislation aimed at ensuring quality in the delivery of educational services in all schools.

But the stars for the evening were this year’s 18-member class, headed by Valedictorian Matthew Harvey, who copped award after award for academic and social achievements.

Indeed, the values imbued by the school during their years at the institution were reflected in the parting words of Valedictorian, who encouraged his fellow graduates to exercise care in every decision they made: “Our lives are like streams and so our futures are determined by every decision we make, whether great or small.”

He ended with advising classmates to “…excel at whatever you do by putting God first. In that way, you will continue to carry the torch high for the world to see that your alma mater has prepared you well. Make good decisions and allow God to guide you as you do so.”

Meanwhile, Salutatorian Edwards reminded her fellow graduates that “regardless of what the situation is or where the issue lies, one may not necessarily always be able to immediately resolve the problem.”

In those cases, she said, “Instead of becoming frustrated and worried over what we cannot control, be the change you wish to see through your actions, and encourage others to follow your example.”

Miss Edwards reminded her classmates to always give their “best shot” in whatever they strive to do. She advised also that when “people try to close the door on you … just grab that handled and pull or push --- do whatever it takes to open that door.”

Keynote speaker for the evening, Mr. Roy Bodden, president of the University College of the Cayman Islands, reflected in his address to the graduates, as well, an emphasis on moral virtue. He spoke to the importance of upholding and reinforcing moral virtue across all sectors of the society, especially in the family, which bears the primary responsibility, he said, noting: “If the family continues to decline, then the society will decline.”

Mr. Bodden exhorted the graduates to demonstrate moral virtue by being true to themselves, and to work to transmit these values to future generations so that they will be even better.

In the process of supporting student achievements across the board, Board Chair O’Connor said that the school would be establishing a scholarship offie to facilitate access by students to all available scholarships on offer in Cayman and elsewhere.

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LORD TRANSFORM  ME (Rally Song)

To the tune of Glory , glory hallelujah

    LORD TRANSFORM  ME

Lord transform me is our mission and the prayer of our hearts 
Cause the Master has been waiting for our church to come alive
By the moving of His Spirit 
We believe that day has come
Our church is marching on

             Chorus
Lord,Transform Me is our mission
Lord, Transform Me is our mission
Lord, Transform Me is our mission 
Oh, Lord please hear our prayer

                    Verse 2
Lord transform me for your glory is the cry of SBC
And it also is the pray'r of all 
our folks in TCI
North Bahamas feels the Spirit and Transform and Live they cry
Our church is marching on!!

             Chorus
Lord,Transform Me is our mission
Lord, Transform Me is our mission
Lord, Transform Me is our mission 
Oh, Lord please hear our prayer

         Verse  3
The momentum is with Cayman
As they rally to the call
They connect and share with others
Through Proclaim and Reap campaigns
As they keep their eyes on Jesus 
His reward will sure be theirs
His truth is marching on!!

             Chorus
Lord,Transform Me is our mission
Lord, Transform Me is our mission
Lord, Transform Me is our mission 
Oh, Lord please hear our prayer

                    Verse 4

Lord, Transform me, is the prayer of us all in our union
We are willing to be used by You in finishing Your work
Consecrate us for Your service and conserve Your precious flock 
Oh Lord, transform us please!

                               Chorus
Lord,Transform Me is our mission
Lord, Transform Me is our mission
Lord, Transform Me is our mission 
Oh, Lord please hear our prayer

                       Verse 5
Soon the battle will be over 
And the victory will be won
Soon the Master will be coming 
For the saints of all the earth
May He find us all transformed
And waiting for that glorious day
Our Church is marching on!!

                           Chorus
Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah
Glory, glory hallelujah
Our church is marching on!

ATCU Officers Participate in First IAD Online Executive Committee Meeting

ATCU Officers Participate in First IAD Online Executive Committee Meeting
ATCU Communication Department

On May 3, 2016, the Inter-American Division (IAD) blazed a new trail in the Seventh-day Adventist world church as it became the first division within the denomination to conduct a division-wide executive committee meeting online.

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Committee members from the IAD’s twenty-four administrative fields, from as far north as Mexico all the way south to Colombia, connected to the headquarters of the IAD in Miami via interactive video conferencing at 10:00 A.M. to examine and discuss programs and plans of the Adventist church within Inter-America. In less than six hours, committee members were able to complete the 65-item agenda.

Dr. Israel Leito, president of IAD, opened the meeting, welcoming the almost 100 committee members connected from around the IAD. As Dr. Gerson Santos, associate secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, presented his devotional thought for the meeting, he expressed that having such meetings online not only has economic benefits, but families do not have to be separated from each other because of travel. “At the end of this meeting, everyone will be able to go home to their families,” said Dr. Santos.

Joining in from the headquarters of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU), representing the Adventist churches in The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, were the union’s president, Dr. Leonard Johnson; secretary, Pastor Peter Kerr; treasurer, Elder Roderick Sands; and the rotating lay member, Elder Andrew McFall.

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“The church is moving very quickly in embracing technology and using it to efficiently execute the work that God has placed us here to do,” expressed Dr. Johnson.

The officers and staff of ATCU, like the leadership of the IAD, are committed to economy, efficiency, and accountability as they administer the work of God’s church. Consequently, union officers also have been preparing to conduct union committee meetings in this fashion. Technical infrastructure and equipment presently are being sourced to make this a reality within the coming months.

ATCU Attends Launch of Lord Transform Me in Venezuela

ATCU Attends Launch of Lord Transform Me in Venezuela
ATCU Communication Department

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Ever since the launch of the Lord Transform Me (LTM), an evangelism initiative, in October 2015 at the year-end meeting of the Inter-American Division (IAD), the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) has kept the LTM’s objectives and strategic plans at the forefront of its activities and programs.

LTM is an intentional effort of all members of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church in the IAD to live Christ-like lives through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and in harmony with Romans 12:2 which says, “Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”

Daily reading the Bible and communicating with God, members’ minds are renewed as Christ changes the way they live, interact
, and serve. They then influence others through lifestyle and deliberate means to accept Jesus as their Savior and become His disciples.

The official launch of LTM will take place in Caracas, Venezuela on Saturday, April 16, 2016. Leading up to the launch, there will be a massive mobilization of members throughout the territories of IAD, especially in Venezuela, to reach communities with the good news of Jesus Christ. During this two-week period, over 800 different evangelistic campaigns will be conducted in Venezuela by pastors from around the IAD, including ATCU. Pastor Peter Kerr, ATCU executive secretary, will be one of the evangelists, and he has been preparing for this important outreach endeavor and expressed great excitement at going to spread the message of Christ in Venezuela.

“I am excited to be one of those to preach Jesus in Venezuela,” said Pastor Kerr. “Though I have never been there, I know that God is going to cover me and am expecting to see the Holy Spirit transform lives.”

Pastor Leonard Johnson, president of ATCU, will also be a part of the delegation heading to Venezuela. Though Johnson will only be participating in the official ceremony on April 16, he has been assisting and supporting Pastor Kerr in all the preparations for the campaigns.

Sites throughout ATCU will be connecting to the launch event being aired from Caracas on the Hope Channel from 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. DST. Pastors, elders, and the laity have been working with persons in their communities, giving Bible studies, conducting outreach programs, and praying that the Holy Spirit will convict individuals to make a decision to follow Jesus all the way in baptism.

Adventist church officials in Caracas are expecting that in Venezuela alone there will be at least 10,000 baptisms on April 16
. Simultaneously, Adventist churches throughout the IAD, which extends from Mexico in the north to Columbia in the south, will be conducting baptisms.

Every year until 2020, there will be one grand evangelistic thrust in a different union throughout IAD, and ATCU is scheduled to host the LTM event in 2019.
The officers, directors, and staff of ATCU are all preparing for this grand occasion and are in full support of the IAD as the events are launched throughout its region.

“There is a lot of planning and preparation involved in hosting such an event,” said Pastor Johnson, “but we are up for the challenge, and only if we trust in God and have faith that He will carry us through, we will be successful.”


ATCU Represented at Global Adventist Internet Network Conference 2016

ATCU Represented at Global Adventist Internet Network Conference 2016

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This year's Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) convention took place at the General Conference Headquarters in Maryland, February 24-28, 2016. The Inter-American Delegation was one of the largest with close to 50 communicators and technologists who traveled from Guadeloupe, Martinique, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico and from the IAD headquarters located in Miami.
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Representing the Atlantic Caribbean Union was John Garcia, IT/Media Coordinator who also assisted in translation services for the Spanish-speaking attendees.

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Johnson Provides Leadership Training in Russian and Ukraine

Johnson Provides Leadership Training in Russian and Ukraine

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Taking counsel from a quote attributed to Ellen White which in part says that at this time God’s cause is in need of men and women who possess rare qualifications and good administrative powers, the Euro-Asian Division of Seventh-day Adventists invited the president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), Dr. Leonard A. Johnson, to present leadership seminars and devotional messages to its church leaders in Bocha, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia during February 15 – 18, 2016. 

Pastor Johnson was grateful for the opportunity to travel across oceans to minister to people he never dreamt of meeting much less ministering to. “I simply attribute this rare privilege to God and the people He has placed in position to impact, assist, and mentor me,” says Johnson.

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An experienced administrator, Pastor Johnson has also conducted leadership seminars in all of the local conferences and mission within ATCU and continues to provide training and resources to both Adventist and non-Adventist communities throughout the Americas as well as around the world.

ATCU K-12 schools strategize to function as a school system rather than a system of schools

ATCU K-12 schools strategize to function as a school system rather than a system of schools
ATCU Communication Department

On January 17, 2016, the education department of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), headed by Dr. Cheryl Rolle, welcomed members of the Bainum Family Foundation, a Seventh-day Adventist Initiative located in Silver Springs, Maryland, to the union territory to conduct an assessment of its schools in The Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and at a later date, the Cayman Islands.

“While the Adventist church does have an evaluation process in place for its schools that is implemented systematically by the union, it does not mean that other independent educational agencies cannot be used to help us realize our goals.  Recognizing that there is always room for improvement, we have taken this proactive approach of identifying our strengths and weaknesses, particularly in the areas of leadership and governance, academics and instruction, and finance in order to develop strategies that will make us an excellent school system rather than a system of schools,” said Dr. Rolle.

Mr. David Daniels, senior director of the Bainum Family Foundation and leader of the audit team commended the ATCU’s education department for its proactive approach in addressing the issues in the schools within the union. “I have been accustomed to being called when things are bad,” said Daniels. “But, here at ATCU, we’ve come to help bring the schools from good to great as it were.”
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Several weeks prior to the visit, students, teachers, and parents from Bahamas Academy in Nassau, Bahamas; Grand Bahama Academy in Grand Bahama, The Bahamas; and Maranatha Academy in the Turks and Caicos Islands, completed surveys in preparation for the audit.  The professional team also reviewed school documents such as external exam results for over a five-year period.

When asked about his initial assessment, Daniels said that he was extremely impressed with how excited the students were to learn. He stated that the schools within ATCU had great potential for being model schools not only within the Adventist school system, but also for the government school system.

Daniels and his team members, Amy Soper, Marcus Gray, and Ginger Slaughter, during their weeklong assessment, interviewed representative stakeholders of the schools, met with students, teachers, and administrators, and conducted classroom observations. On Thursday, January 21, they presented an initial report of their findings to Dr. Rolle and the education directors from the fields: Mrs. Lynn Smith from the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission; Mrs. Joan Scavella from the South Bahamas Conference; and Mrs. Desiree Forbes from the North Bahamas Conference. Within three weeks, a more detailed report will be submitted to Dr. Rolle to be shared with the stakeholders.
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Dr. Rolle said that she was grateful for the assistance from Mr. Daniels and his team who volunteered to assist on their own time, as the foundation works with faith-based schools in the United States only. 

“The wonderful thing is that Mr. Daniels and his team will continue to work with us as we implement the recommendations.  So, we look forward to this working relationship and their support as we forge ahead to ensure that all schools in the union are schools of excellence, speaking the same language as it relates to the delivery of quality Seventh-day Adventist education.”

Stakeholders were excited about  the process and have committed to supporting the endeavor and initiatives.

“This process gets us excited because I expect positive developments in our school as a result of the audit,” stated a local church elder and former parent of Bahamas Academy.

The Bainum Family Foundation supports educational programs and projects assisting underserved children and youth as well as Seventh-day Adventist primary and secondary schools. To meet this mission, the Foundation develops programs that build instructional and organizational capacity in schools to ensure that both students and schools reach their full potential for success

The goal of the four schools within ATCU is to provide a balanced spiritual, mental, physical, social, and vocational education in harmony with Seventh-day Adventist standards and ideals that will prepare children and young people to be productive citizens in their communities and heaven.







ATCU president urges new NBC leaders to preserve the Godly heritage

ATCU president urges new NBC leaders to preserve the Godly heritage
ATCU Communication Department

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Speaking at the installation service for the new officers, directors, and committee members of the North Bahamas Conference (NBC) held January 13, 2016, Dr. Leonard Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), urged the incoming administrators and directors to guard and preserve that which they were receiving, the Godly heritage of spreading the gospel message.

Being installed as the new president of NBC was Pastor Henry Moncur who was voted by the NBC executive committee to replace Pastor Errol Tinker, retired as of December 31, 2015. Pastor Andrew Burrows, former youth, stewardship, personal ministries, and communication director of ATCU, was installed as the new executive secretary of the field, replacing Pastor Henry Moncur. Additionally, three new departmental directors and two committee members were inaugurated.

Gathered for the occasion were the presiding ATCU officers, government officials, clergymen from the community, conference members, and family members and guests of the inaugurated officers, directors, and committee members.
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In his address, Johnson further explained to the leaders that in order for them to preserve the Godly heritage that they were receiving, they would need to remember that what they had and what they had become did not originate because of their doing. It came from God through the training and guidance of their parents, mentors, friends, and others along the way.

“When we forget those whom God used to train us, to inspire us, to impact us, we, in essence, forget God,” said Johnson.

The union president went on to encourage the newly elected individuals to preserve the Godly heritage by making leaders out of others. Highlighting the contributions of Pastor Tinker to the Adventist church and, in particular, NBC, Johnson stated that Pastor Tinker, over the years, had taken the time to train and nurture those with whom he had worked, leaving a strong and distinguished heritage upon which to build.

Dr. Johnson’s final exhortation on preserving the Godly heritage was that the administrators, directors, and committee members as well as the congregation should keep God’s Word at the center of their lives.

“Not only must we preach the Word, we must live the Word. We must abide by the Word, even though the Word may not be popular. Leaders, please remember, if it is not backed up by the Word, even if it means that we are going to lose certain subventions from the government, we cannot compromise.”

The NBC, the administrative body that oversees the work of the Adventist church in the north Bahamas (covering Abaco, the Berry Islands, Bimini, and Grand Bahama), has over three thousand members and is one of the four fields that comprise the ATCU. The other three fields are the South Bahamas Conference, the Cayman Islands Conference, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission.

STEWARDSHIP - LORD TRANSFORM ME

Pastor Eric Clarke, Stewardship Director



True stewardship is the continual preparation for heaven and kingdom living. Stewardship is not something that happens when the offering plate passes us, but it is a way of life, which happens more away from church than during a church service (2-3 hours per week).


 
In getting people ready for kingdom living, we realize that God has given us the power of choice to show how much we love Him. Stewardship is the response of love to a God, who gives everything for mankind’s salvation.
 
During 2016, the church will be saturated with the theme, “Lord Transform Me.” We would like each member and follower to appreciate the individual prayer and commitment to be transformed by the Lord. We also have a duty to the body of believers and the community. When the Lord transforms, church members demonstrate more to each other and to the community that they truly care.
 
We also have a responsibility to ensure that those who live in our dwelling homes are faithful. No, you can’t force them but by example and encouragement, they should be aware of the joys and blessings of faithfulness.
 
Often, we evaluate our faithfulness based on our return of tithes and offerings. In reality, we have to be faithful in all that we have, meaning the 100% and not just the portion given in tithes and offerings.
 
The church also has a responsibility in assisting the members in the management of all that God has blessed them with. They are to increase their talents for the benefit of advancing the kingdom of God.
 
“Many poor families are poor because they spend their money as soon as they receive it.”  Counsels on Stewardship, p 269.
 
Proverbs 13:11B “whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
The church limits its financial resources when it does not train its members to be faithful stewards of the total 100%.
 
Deuteronomy 8:18: But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth.
 
I take this opportunity to thank the membership of God’s remnant church for their faithfulness and commitment to the cause of God.
 
The goal of each steward is his or her soul salvation and the salvation of as many. The steward manages his Lord’s property so that gain, benefit and increase may be achieved.
The returning of tithes and the giving of offerings must never be an addendum or an appendix. The giving back to God speaks to our spiritual connection and relationship with God. If we properly understood that God has given to us everything that we have, we would be totally transformed and would want to give all in our power to the advancement of God’s work and Jesus soon coming. This is the real meaning of ‘God is love.’ “Lord I love You and I want you to transform me. I am Your steward.”-
STEWARDSHIP - LORD TRANSFORM ME

ATCU President Receives Queen’s New Year Honor

ATCU President Receives Queen’s New Year Honor
ATCU Communication Department

LJAF

“I accept such honor not necessarily for myself but on behalf of the church that I serve with all the energy and strength that God has given to me,” stated Dr. Leonard A. Johnson as he commented on being one of the twenty-six Bahamians listed to receive one of the annual Queen’s New Year Honors to be given in 2016.

The award bestowed on Dr. Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU), comprising The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, is the Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (CMG) for services rendered to the church
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The CMG, granted to men and women of high office or to those who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country, was instituted in 1818 by the Prince Regent (later George IV) of Great Britain.

Recalling his humble beginnings and acknowledging the support and guidance he received along the way from his late parents, friends, and his wife of 32 years, Denise, Dr. Johnson credited the honor to God. “This high and significant recognition without question must be attributed to God and by extension, His church. I accept the honor humbly and look forward to the day when I shall receive the greatest award issued by God Himself.”

In October of 2015, Pastor Johnson was re-elected as president of ATCU for another five-year term. He, along with his fellow officers and directors, has recommitted himself to spreading the good news of salvation across the Atlantic Caribbean territory.

Johnson is expected to accept the actual insignia later this year at a special ceremony.