Atlantic Caribbean Union

Festival of The Laity

Final Fetival of the Laity for ATCU held in the Cayman Islands

Final Festival of the Laity for ATCU held in the Cayman Islands Communication Departments, ATCU/ CIC
The Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (CIC) celebrated Festival of the Laity 2013 during the weekend of October 4 and 5 at the Lions Club in Grand Cayman. The theme for the festival was “Each One Reach One for Christ.”
In attendance were Dr. Leonard Johnson and Pastor Peter Kerr, president and secretary of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) respectively. As this was the final Festival of the Laity in ATCU for this year, Pastor Paul Scavella, president of the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) and Pastor Michael Smith, president of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission (TCIM), also attended the meetings. Pastor Shian O’Connor, president of the CIC, welcomed and introduced the various guests and representatives.
The Cayman Islands Government was represented by the Minister for Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure and first elected member for the district of George Town, the Honorable D. Kurt Tibbetts, OBE, JP. He brought greetings and commended the Seventh-day Adventist Church on their outstanding contributions to the growth and development of the nation.
The Festival of the Laity began on Friday evening with a parade of nations and churches that showcased twenty-two country flags, sixteen church flags, and Cayman Academy’s flag to the lively music of the Pathfinder band.
One of the highlights of the festival was the colorful, enthusiastic reports from the sixteen churches and the school, which described the year’s major events with special emphasis on evangelism. Church members, dressed in their respective t- shirts and carrying banners created to represent their church’s uniqueness, eagerly ascended the stage to share what had been accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit.
The guest speaker for the occasion was lay evangelist Eugene A. Benjamin from the Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. In 2010, he was voted as one of the most outstanding lay evangelists in the Inter-American Division. He presented the messages with power and clarity, and the Holy Spirit used him in a mighty way as he challenged the laity to become ambassadors for Christ. Through the ministry of the word, two persons surrendered their lives to Jesus in baptism. This brought the total baptisms in the CIC for this year to four hundred.
Another feature of the festival was the giving of awards to the lay members of the church. The ATCU recognized one outstanding layperson from each of the four fields within the union. The four awardees, who were chosen by their respective fields, included Conception McCoy (CIC), Arleene Sands (North Bahamas Conference), Lukandah Gardiner(SBC), and Onasis Joseph (TCIM).
Onasis Joseph and Conception McCoy received the most outstanding and most outstanding runner-up awards respectively for the ATCU. The union also recognized 10 laypersons in various categories from the CIC. The awards were presented by Pastors Al Powell, ATCU personal ministries director, and Andrew Burrows, ATCU associate personal ministries director.
In his remarks, during the presentation of the awards, Dr. Leonard Johnson, president of ATCU, noted that with approximately 400,000 persons living in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, and with just under 50 pastors in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Atlantic Caribbean region, each member has a role to play in sharing the gospel. “You are important to the church,” Dr. Johnson emphasized.
On Sabbath afternoon, over three hundred award pins were given to persons in the following categories: One hundred seventy-five service award pins for twenty or more consistent years of service in evangelism; Seventy leadership award pins for fifteen or more consistent years in leadership and support of evangelism in the local church; and over seventy evangelism award pins to front-line lay gospel workers.
The event was broadcast live on Cayman Adventist Television (CATV) and the local Adventist radio station, Praise 87.9 FM as well as on the World Wide Web. The program was coordinated by the Personal Ministries Department of the CIC under the leadership of Pastor Reinaldo Dracket. More than two thousand persons are estimated to have attended the event.