Camp Meeting 2018 Inspires Church to Give Unstintingly
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.