May - June 2002
A Communication from the Chairman of the PEC
Because we have all been infected by sin, we cannot keep God's laws perfectly. God has provided a way of Salvation that depends on Jesus Christ, not our own efforts. The power and penalty of sin died with Christ on the Cross. Our sinful nature died with Christ once and for all, so we are freed from sin's power. Through faith in Christ we stand acquitted, "not guilty" before God. Consequently, we have to learn to be careful about what we let into our spirits and how we live our lives. We should remain spiritually separate from the world's wickedness.
As God called His people to be holy in Leviticus 11:44, Peter in 1 Peter 1:15 -16 emphasized the call, `But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy.'
Becoming holy does not take place overnight. It is a process that takes place little by little through our co-operation with the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Our daily lives must reflect God's holiness. He sets the standards for morality.
He is a God of mercy and justice who cares personally for each of His followers. Our Holy God expects us to imitate Him by following His high moral standards. Like Him, we should be merciful and just, like Him we should sacrifice ourselves for others.
Pursuing holiness is not going to happen automatically. Little by little we must work to rid our lives of unholy behaviour, We must strive each day to grow closer to God. As a believer in Christ, there is no greater challenge.
The PEC announces these calls:
Bishop Kingsley Lewis has accepted a call to serve as Pastor of the Memorial congregation in the Virgin Islands with effect from July 01, 2002;
Bro. Ezra Parris has accepted a call to serve as Pastor of the Sharon and Dunscombe congregations in Barbados with effect from July 01, 2002;
Sis. Julie Joefield-Parris has accepted a call to serve as Minister of Christian Education in the Barbados Conference with effect from July 01, 2002;
Bro. Hilton Joseph has accepted a call to serve as Pastor of the Gracehill congregation in Antigua with effect from July 01, 2002;
Bro. Jeremy Francis has accepted a call to serve as Pastor of the L'Anse Noir congregation in Trinidad with effect from July 01, 2002;
Bro. Sean Roberts has accepted a call to serve as Pastor of the Spring Gardens, Bethesda and Black Rock congregations in Tobago, with Sis. Florence Isaac as Lay Pastor;
Sis. Adlyn Binta Mgnonela has accepted a call to serve as Pastor of the Memorial and Chaguanas congregations in Trinidad with effect from August 01, 2002;
Bro. Adrian Smith has accepted a call to serve as Pastor of the Cana congregation in Antigua with effect from August 01, 2002;
Kindly bear these staff members and their families in prayer as they respond to these calls.
Bro. Nigel Daniel and Sis. Nasel Ephraim were ordained Deacons in the Moravian Church on Sunday, May 26, 2002 at 7:00pm in Antigua.
Bro. Vankys Jaun Isaac was ordained a Deacon in the Moravian Church on Sunday June 26, 2002 at 6:00pm in St. Kitts.
New PEC Member
There being no election after two ballots for lay member on PEC, the PEC as empowered by the Book of Order, Paragraph 39.3, co-opted at its last meeting, Sis. Frieda Noel of the Trinidad Conference, to fill the vacancy of Lay-member of PEC. Your prayers are invited for Sis. Noel and her family as she takes up this responsibility.
We express condolences to Bro. Rudolph Holder, whose mother Vivian Alexandra Holder, passed away recently in New York. Sis. Holder was ninety six years and eight months at the time of her passing. We pray that God will comfort him and his family in this their time of bereavement.
We also express condolences to Sis. Roslyn Hamblin and her family who lost her grandmother, Irene Hamblin. Irene Hamblin died at the age of 99 in England. The funeral service took place on Friday June 7, 2002 in Birmingham, England.
Please pray for Sis. Roslyn Hamblin, Chairman of the PEC, who underwent surgery in Barbados during the month of May. Bro. Errol Connor will act as Chairman of the Province during her absence. Your prayers are invited for her at this time.
Your prayers are also invited for Rev. Ralph Prince, who is currently on medical leave, who underwent surgery at the Roy Schneider Hospital in St. Thomas, USVI on June 5, 2002.
Headquarters Luncheon & Exhibition
The Provincial Headquarters Staff held their annual exhibition and luncheon on May 2, 2002 at the headquarters. The exhibition featured Mother's Day items from the printery: gift baskets for Mother's Day, Father's Day, and other occasions. Also on sale were frames, bookmarks, and booklets. Gift baskets for all occasions are on sale at the printery all year round. The luncheon was also successful and we say thank you to all the individuals and business places who contributed their time and effort to this fundraising effort.
Please remember that Unity Synod will be held In Bethlehem, PA, USA from 7-20 August. The Unity Board has appointed the President of Unity Synod who is Bro. A. Appel from South Africa. The Secretary for Unity Synod is Bro. L. Christianson from America North. He will be assisted by Bro. H. Morgan Jr. also from America North.
The Moravian Church in America Southern Province, just completed her Provincial Synod. The Rev. Dr. Robert Edwin Sawyer was re-elected as President and the other members on the board are Rev. Tom Shelton, Betsy Bombick, Rick Sides, and Donna Hurt. Two bishops were elected, Rev. Lane Sapp and Rev. Dr. Wayne Burkette. Please remember the new PEC and the two bishops in your prayers.
In the last few days and months the situation in Palestine and in Israel has worsened. We have heard and have seen the situation. People are dying in both areas. The deaths of innocent people in Israeli cities and in Palestine is painful. The only hope we can look to is that the spirit of dialogue between the two sides may become a reality. Without the two parties sitting down together , and trying to work things out, there will never be peace. No weapon can bring peace. It is only when each of the two sides feel and realize the need to sit down and solve their differences. The main problem is who will be able to force the two sides to come to the round table. We can do very little physically, but we are very powerful when we have to use our tool, which is prayers to the peace giver.
The work at Star Mountain had to stop for a while since Good Friday. Heavy bombs dropped in Ramallah shook the houses at Star Mountain. On Easter Monday, the Israel soldiers entered Star Mountain to check if some of whom they say are their enemies were hiding. When they found nothing, they left. The staff and their families live in fear and of not being sure of what would happen the next day.
The European Continental Province is working hard to find some one to replace Sister Sofi Koerte who would be leaving for good in June 2002. Sis. Sofi has been a great co-worker to the Director Sis. Rond Morraf. On behalf of the Unity we give thanks to Sis. Sofi for the service which she has given to Star Mountain for four years in such very difficult times. May the Lord help her in the years ahead.
As it was reported in 1999, the work in Southern Malawi was discontinued since June 1999, the work being closed as a result of relational difficulties experienced by the parties involved.
In February, the work was to be started in the North Malawi bordering Tanzania. The work has been started and two Moravian Ministers have been sent as Missionaries to Malawi. The ministers moved with their families. Bro. and Sis. Francis Swebe are Missionaries in Karonga and Bro. and Sis. Anangisye Kalinga are Missionaries in Chitipa.
The Moravian Church in Tanzania, Southern Province organized the evangelistic trips to the two places. The team was led by Bro. Clement Jona Mwaitbele, assisted by three ministers and good singing ladies and lay evangelists. The mission was of success that in Karonga 480 people accepted Christ and in Chitipa 600 people accepted Christ as their personal saviour. The Malawian Government has given permission to start work in this area.
Moravian Church in Tanzania (MCT)
The MCT had her annual Board meeting in Tabora. A new College Principal was appointed to succeed the late Rev. Ben Bella Mlewa in the person of Bro. Jackson Kasalma who has held numerous positions in the Church. He was once the Executive Secretary of the Province and recently he was the Rector of Sikonge Seminary.
Also there was the issue of the future sustainability of the Church in Tanzania. The Church's Mission is preaching the Word of God. But the Church also needs finances to enable its work. It was decided in principal to form a company which would run all the business. Provinces were asked to discuss this proposal with their Provincial Boards and report to MCT Office by 31st January 2002. This would enable the Church to generate some income to help in her work.
Excerpts from Unity Newsletter.
P R A Y E R F O C U S
On the 27th April 1790, The Rev. John Montgomery and his wife Mary, arrived on the island of Tobago in the West Indies to restart the earlier work which had been destroyed by a terrible hurricane. They both died within a few years, and the Montgomery Moravian Congregation is named in their honour. Now here is the rest of the story.
The great evangelist of the Moravian Church in the British Isles was without a doubt a minister with a Czech name and heritage. The Rev. John Cennick who was born a Quaker, became a member of the Anglican Church, a Sunday School teacher and evangelist with the Wesleys, then went with John Whitfield and Howell Harris, who introduced him to the Moravians. He joined the Moravians in 1745, was ordained a Moravian minister in 1749 and died in 1755 at the age of 36 years. But in seven short years he had an amazing ministry. He was the first Moravian to visit Ireland and was involved in the founding of some forty of sixty congregations, including the one in the capital, Dublin, which had over 500 members. He evangelized at great personal risk from angry mobs, in Ireland, Wales and Yorkshire in the north of England.
At one of his meetings in the north, a Scot by the name of John Montgomery was converted and was led to join the Moravians. He and his wife Mary had three young children when they were called to become missionaries to the West Indies. The three children were sent to the famous Moravian boarding School at Fulneck. Here the older brother was eventually called into the ministry and James the younger brother was called to a life of a religious poet. James had a real religious experience while his teacher was reading poetry to his class under the trees and shrubbery outdoors. After he had left Fulneck he held several jobs, but continued to write poetry and then some of his most treasured hymns. He got a job in Sheffield. Because of the political activities of the owner, within three years, James became the editor when his boss fled England. James was also bold in his stance on contemporary issues and was put in prison twice. But he became quite famous for his religious poetry and advocacy for foreign missions, and the British Bible Society. He worked for the churches in his community and wrote many hymns for various church festivals. He was honoured by the Methodists and Anglicans, and for a time dropped out of the Moravian Church. But at the urging of his minister brother was reunited with the Moravian congregation at Fulneck for his last years. He became the greatest hymn writer of the Moravian Church and wrote over 2000 hymns, many of which are still in use in most English language hymnals. His hymns have been translated into dozens of languages as well. Think how impoverished our worship would be without his inspired hymns!
There are countless other great affirmations of Montgomery's Christian faith and Missionary zeal. In his own words, he said, "When I was at Fulneck School, I was the only Scotch lad there. An angel visit short and bright it was to me, and I do not
A true missionary Prayer is his hymn -
God gave us a wonderful gift in the hymns of James Montgomery. Look up his hymns in your hymnal and let him lead you into the presence of God. Let His glimpses of glory be your prayer. Amen!
Excerpt taken from ONWARD - Moravian Mission a publication from the Moravian Church in America Northern Province.
The Friedensberg congregation in the USVI Conference celebrated its 231st birthday in May. The Pastor is Rev. Dion Christopher, and the congregation has a membership of 514.
The Centenary congregation in Barbados celebrated its 136th birthday in May. The Pastor is Rev. Dorothea Rohde, and the congregation has a membership of 68.
The Memorial congregation in the USVI Conference celebrated its 159th birthday in May. The Pastor is Rev. Ralph Prince and has a membership of 1394.
The Lebanon congregation in Antigua celebrated its 164 birthday in May. The Pastor is Rev. Winston Jones and has a membership of 508.
The Clifton Hill congregation in Barbados will celebrate its 161st birthday in June. The Pastor is Rev. Dorothea Rohde and the congregation has a membership of 152.
Birthdays for May
Birthdays for June
Anniversaries for June
WCC Vacancy Notice
Programme Executive Staff
Position: Media Relations Officer - Cluster on Communication
Reports to: Team Coordinator for Public Information
Liaises with: Press and information offices in member churches and regional and global ecumenical and confessional bodies, religious and secular press (print, broadcasting and electronic), news agencies. All WCC clusters and teams.
Objective: To promote greater understanding of the life and work of the
Duties and Responsibilities:
• To be the official WCC spokesperson to the media (e.g. at press conferences and in responding to media inquiries);
• To work within the WCC Public Information Team
• To be responsible for WCC relations with external media (news agencies, print, audio, visual, broadcastin and electronis), including:
Organization of media operations at major WCC meetings and events;
Preparation and distribution of communiqués, press releases and media kits;
Scheduling of interviews with WCC staff members for media represenatives
To develop and maintain contacts with information offices in WCC member churches and ecumenical partner bodies, and with religious and secular media;
To advise WCC staff on matters related to the media.
Qualifications & Special Requirements:
• Substantial professional media and journalistic experience;
• Imagination and creativity regarding the use of the communication media;
• Commitment to the work of the WCC, ecumenical awareness, preferably at the international level, and familarity with the life of the churches;
• Ability to speak and write English and in at least one other working language of the WCC (French, German, Spanish or Russian). Working knowledge of additional languages helpful;
• Ability to relate well to colleagues and work in a team;
• Ability to organize one's own work and time in a context of multiple responsibilities.