January - February 2004
A Communication from the Chairman of the PEC
Live then Teach
A Reflection on the Provincial Theme: Making Disciples of All People, by Rev. Deslyn Belle-Watson
| In Matthew 28:19-20, we find the final directives of Jesus to his disciples; who having spent three years teaching, left them with the specific two-fold command to "make disciples". A command which in the first part challenges the pupils to understand themselves in relation to the Christ, and secondly to observe the principles they were to impart. |
Often times, we read the text and make references to the work to be done with others (v. 19), overlooking the fact that Jesus asked that we teach the things he taught us (v. 20a). The disciple of Christ is to be a student of the faith, subjected to the discipline of the faith and willing to be disciplined by the faith before trying to teach the faith as a discipline for others. Before making any new attempt to make disciples, they first had to be disciples. Each had to wrestle with the message, become a disciple, a learner, a student of the faith.
Note carefully, that whereas a disciple is a follower, not all followers are disciples. People followed Jesus for many reasons; not all wanted to become disciples/students of the faith. In the same way, not all persons present in a classroom are students - a student interacts with the material with a desire to learn and not just be present.
It is of absolute importance for us to know that we are required to live the discipline (the faith) before we try to teach the faith. How can we teach that which we have not learnt? How can we make disciples not knowing who is a disciple?
Bro. Glenvil Gregory is now resident at the Moravian Provincial Headquarters in Cashew Hill, Antigua. All correspondence and such like should now be directed there. Kindly bear Bro. Gregory in your prayers as he takes up his official appointment.
PEC Meeting and Superintendents' Conference
Please be in prayer for the Superintendents' Conference which will take place in Antigua during the period January 19-20, 2004. This follows the first PEG Meeting of 2004 which will be held during the period January 15-18.
Bro. Vankys Jaun Isaac has returned to the Antigua Conference after receiving treatment overseas for an injured back sustained in a vehicular accident. We give God thanks for his recovery and request your prayers for him.
The Province extends condolences to the following families:
TRIBUTE AND CONDOLENCES ON THE PASSING OF BRO. LINDBERG DOWE
JANUARY 22, 2004
I greet you in the name of Christ, our Chief Elder. On behalf of the Moravian Church EWI Province, I express condolences to Sis. Dowe, widow of Bro. Lindberg Dowe, his children and other relatives. Bro. Dowe began his ministry in the Moravian Church many years ago, as Lay preacher in his local congregation and then as Lay Pastor. As a Lay Pastor, Bro. Dowe responded readily by taking up the challenge of giving pastoral leadership to congregations in times of need. In particular when there was a shortage of Moravian Ordained Clergy, he provided the Pastoral presence and cared for the flock of God.
In my own encounter with him there are 3 things that stood out for me:
As a Province we celebrate today the legacy of Bro. Dowe. His legacy is a life of sacrificial service to the benefit of the Church. This he did through his total surrender to the Lordship of Christ, the great diligence he gave to his work and the particular love he exercised in serving others. In conversations he would say "Christ did not come to be ministered unto but to minister." As a Province we recognize the great contribution he has made to the Church. We give God thanks and praise for his life, witness and contribution. Hence the entire Province is touched by his passing. We pray his life will inspire all of us to similar commitment and service.
May God's comfort and strength be yours, for He is our refuge and strength, and a very present help in trouble. God grant you peace in this time of sorrow.
Repairs to Headquarters
We are currently in the process of replacing and repairing items at the Provincial Headquarters. We ask that any one desirous of making a donation towards these repairs, make that contribution through your Superintendent or forward it directly to the Provincial Office in Antigua.
We know that every bit will go a long way in helping us to achieve our goals, so we ask that you make whatever contribution you are able to. A wish list will be sent to the Superintendents outlining the items needed.
The PEC apologizes for the delay in the printing and distribution of the 2004 Almanacs of the Moravian Church EWIP. The decision was made for the Almanacs to be printed by Unity Printers in St. Kitts. However, the Printery is not fully functional since we are awaiting the arrival of some vital pieces of equipment. These will enable us to produce coloured work of the highest quality. It is anticipated that the equipment will arrive and will be installed within
the next week. It is our hope that within the next month we will be able to print and distribute our Almanacs of which we can all be proud.
Unity Prayer Watch
The dates for this years Prayer have been slightly changed. We are asked to begin the prayer day one day before the normal day so that the prayer chain would not be broken. The EWI prayer dates are March 31 to April 14, 2004.
Be reminded that the Unity Offering for 2004 will go towards Mission work in the Guyana Province. This offering is to be collected on the first Sunday in March, March 7, 2004.
MCF New Board of Directors
The Moravian Church Foundation met in July 2003 in Amsterdam and elected some new Board members. They are as follows:
We ask that you remember these members and the MCF in your prayers.
Call and Consecration
Sis. Georgette John has accepted a call to serve as Pastor of the Bon Accord congregation in the Tobago Conference on a Supplementary basis. This call takes effect on March 01, 2004. Please bear Sis. John and the Tobago Conference in your prayers as she takes up this new assignment. Also pray that God will be with her and grant her success.
PEC requests the prayers of the entire Church in this Province for all of our Ministers and their families, and especially for Sis. Esther Moore-Roberts who will be consecrated a Presbyter on March 14, in Tobago. Sis. Moore-Roberts was ordained a Deacon on July 22, 1990. She is currently Minister of Christian Education and Acting Superintendent of the Tobago Conference.
Unity Youth Conference
The Unity Youth Conference is scheduled for July 26 to August 07, 2004 in Jamaica. Four persons will be representing our Province at this Conference. The names of these delegates will be given in another issue of The Information. We invite your prayers for this Conference as youth from the Worldwide Moravian Church come together to deal with pertinent and relevant issues and to foster Unity amongst them.
We are in the process of completing the 2004 Provincial Directory which will be published by the end of March.
Sis. Annette Williams has been appointed Treasurer of the USVI Conference. Sis. Williams was acting in that position for the past six months. Please bear Sis. Williams, her family and the USVI Conference in your prayers.
Ash Wednesday Celebration
The Antigua Conference will be having a joint service on Wednesday February 25, 2004 at the Lebanon Moravian Church in Antigua. This service is to celebrate Ash Wednesday which begins a period of reflection and repentance leading up to Good Friday.
The Antigua Conference will be celebrating Moravian Week from Monday February 23 to Sunday March 07, 2004. Activities include Church Officers Retreat, Youth Night, Sports Day and a March of Witness. Please be in prayer for the Antigua Conference as they seek to affirm their calling and to fulfill the Provincial theme.
Provincial Men's Conference 2004
The Provincial Men's Conference will be held in Antigua from July 7 to 11, 2004. The theme is 'Men . . . Converted . . . Reformed, Ready to Serve.' Men of all ages: youth through to the retired are encouraged to attend.
The Conference will be hosted at the beautiful Jolly Beach Resort. The total fee is US$475.00 and includes accommodations, meals, shirt, tour and use of all hotel facilities.
Birthday greetings are extended to the following persons:
Advanced birthday greetings for March are going out to:
Anniversary greetings are extended to the following persons:
Rev. Ray & Mrs. Shirley Joseph - 7
Rev. Dr. Kingsley & Mrs. Maureen Lewis - 19
Advanced Anniversary greetings for March go out to:
Rev. Ralph & Mrs. Rosalind Prince - 2
We rejoice with the following congregations which celebrated anniversaries in February:
The Sharon congregation in Barbados celebrated its 236th birthday in February. The Pastor is Rev. Ezra Parris and the congregation has a membership of 951.
The Spring Gardens congregation in Tobago celebrated its 153rd anniversary in February. The Pastor is Rev. Sean Roberts and the congregation has a membership of 287.
The Friedensfeld congregation in the USVI celebrated its 203rd anniversary in February. The Pastor is Rev. Reuben Vessup and the congregation has a membership of 359.
Advanced Anniversary congratulations go out to the following congregations who will celebrate in March:
The Friedensthal congregation in the USVI will celebrate its 249th anniversary in March. The Pastor is Rev. Winston Chase and the congregation has a membership of 620.
Memorial Service for Rev. Rudolph Gibbs
The Antigua Conference has planned a memorial service in honour of the late Rev. Rudolph Gibbs. Rev. Gibbs died on January 29 and was buried on February 7, in Barbados.
The memorial service takes place on Thursday March 11, 2004 at the Potters Moravian Church beginning at 7:00pm. All are invited.
The next issue of the Provincial Newsletter will be published in March. We welcome articles and information of interest to be shared with the Province in The Provincial Newsletter. We also welcome information on programmes and events which will take place in congregations and Conferences. These should reach us no later than March 15th. We are also in need of anniversary dates for congregations in the Conferences.