2014: The Year of Non-Formal Education and Continued Evangelism

2014: The Year of Non-Formal Education and Continued Evangelism
Communication Department, ATCU


Last year was proclaimed by the Adventist church in Inter-America as the Year of the Laity, a time that was used to celebrate and recognize the valuable contribution the lay members were making in spreading the good news of salvation in the region.

With the dawn of 2014, the Inter-American Division (IAD) is once again focusing on the laity.  Having labelled 2014 the Year of Non-Formal Education, the IAD will spend the year training lay members and equipping them to do even greater service.  

Pastor Israle Leito, president of IAD, commenting on the initiative said, “We want our lay leaders to enhance their leadership skills, equip others, not for academic degree, but as a spring board to continue structured certification training in united efforts with every department and ministry of the church for years to come.”     

Consequently, the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will join 21 other unions in the IAD in embracing this program, providing training courses and resources to its members so that they can better serve the church.  

Pastor Reinaldo Dracket, personal ministries and Sabbath School director for the Cayman Islands Conference, a field within ATCU, reports that his department has already begun the non-formal education for Sabbath School teachers and prospective teachers.  The intensive training program was started at the Creek Seventh-day Adventist church in Cayman Brac on December 5, 2013.    Pastor Dracket emphasized that this training will help the teachers learn, in a systematic manner, how to be competent and skilled at what they do.  

As the year continues, training will be replicated for all departments throughout the churches scattered across the union and the division.  According to the roadmap, the document that outlines the various events, the year of non-formal education will conclude with various graduation ceremonies throughout the IAD on Sabbath October 25, 2014.

In addition to this major thrust, the Adventist church in the Atlantic Caribbean region will continue to focus on the evangelistic initiatives including Mission to the Cities, an effort designed to reach people in large cities and towns across the IAD territory.  In ATCU, the city of Nassau, in New Providence, the Bahamas, has been identified by the union for the Mission to the Cities endeavour.   Because Nassau is the largest city in ATCU in terms of population, the union decided to conduct this major evangelistic outreach here during the third quarter of 2014. 

Pastor Johnson, president of ATCU, indicated that although the cities in ATCU do not have the millions of persons like those in Central America, there are still thousands in our territory who need to hear the gospel of Christ. 

ATCU  Begins The New Year With Prayer

ATCU  Begins The New Year With Prayer
Communication Department, ATCU

The Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) is set to begin 2014 with an intentional focus on prayer as it launches its annual prayer initiative and joins the Adventist world church in its “Ten Days of Prayer” program.
The ATCU Prayer Initiative, which will enter its third year on January 1, 2014, is a corporate prayer experience that invites the ATCU membership and other interested persons to answer the call to prayer and devotion to Jesus Christ issued by the program “Revival and Reformation. “Revival and Reformation,” formulated by the Adventist world church, aims to encourage members to develop and maintain a close relationship with Christ through prayer, Bible study, and sharing their faith with others.
During 2014, the ATCU Prayer Initiative will center on the spiritual virtues listed in 2 Peter 1:5 – 11 where the apostle Peter sets forth the divine plan for the development of Christian character.
In addition to praying for special groups, union initiatives, and local and regional concerns, each month will be dedicated to asking God to intertwine one of these virtues into one’s moral tapestry with the aim of becoming more like Him every day.

The “Ten Days of Prayer” program (formerly called Operation Global Rain) was adopted by the Adventist world church in 2010.  Throughout the ten-day period,  each member will be praying through the Lord’s Prayer as recorded in Matthew 6:19-13 and Luke 11:1-4.   The theme is “Teach us to Pray.”  
Below are important dates to be observed in January 2014.
January 4, 2014 - Day of Prayer and Fasting
On this day, ATCU members will be praying for all pastors and elders in Adventist churches throughout ATCU and for the success of the Vision One Million Initiative.  In addition, each local church is encouraged to include its own special needs and reasons for thanksgiving and praise. 
January 8 – 18, 2014 - Ten Days of Prayer
Pastor Peter Kerr, prayer coordinator for ATCU, in anticipation of what God will do as the ATCU membership unites in prayer at the beginning of the year said, “It is my sincere hope that God will pour out His Spirit in Pentecostal power just as He did after the early church prayed for ten days in the upper room. He will do it again.”   You can find resources for the “Ten Days of Prayer” at www.tendaysofprayer.org while the ATCU 2014 prayer booklet, with the weekly prayer focus, can be viewed at atcunion.org, or one can be obtained from any Adventist church in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, or the Turks and Caicos Islands.