A Communication from the Chairman of the PEC
It seems that today’s generation more than any other has lifted imitation to an art form. Have you noticed when one style has hit the market how everyone wants to be seen in it! How everyone seems to be wearing the same brands in jeans, skirts, t-shirts, etc? Some take this imitation to great lengths. As much as I am not a fan of collective dressing, we can take a cue from it. Do you notice how the wearers are always proud to be wearing the particular brand or style? Do you notice that they will oftentimes pay the most outrageous prices for the skimpiest out fits? Oh, if Christians would be just as proud to advertise and imitate Jesus, to give up whatever it takes to follow him! I don’t know about you, but yes, yes, yes, I want to be more like Jesus and I am proud to say it.
Attaining wholeness through Christ, what does that mean? Being in sound health, not diseased or injured, not broken, damaged or defective. While these terms speak of complete wellness, underlying their meaning is the sense that the thing or person that is now whole was at one time not so whole, not so sound. Essentially, you and I, with regard to our former way of life were corrupted by our desires. The reality now, however, is that we are whole. But, lest we get carried away, always to be borne in mind is that this present state of “health” is not of our own doing; as a matter of fact we have no soundness in and of ourselves yet. We are justified whole because of Calvary, so even though we are not yet, we are. What God is actually doing is calling those things that are not as though they were. Christ’s declaration of us as whole doesn’t mean we have nothing to do. Rather, for us to receive that final stamp of perfection in the future, we must play our part in the sanctification process now. We must adopt a position of action to ultimately be declared whole and sound.
You see, God is longing to bring us to that point where He can declare over us as He did the first creation. “It is good, it is very good.” Those were the words the Wonderful Creator pronounced over everything He made as He daily evaluated His work and those are the words that He longs to pronounce over you and me, the new creation, one day. Do you know how I know that God longs to get to that point with us? When I read Job 23: Then the Lord said to Satan. “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him. He is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” Here we God positively gloating over Job, and I daresay, He longs to do the same with you and me. That, however, can only happen as we prepare for and tread through the process of sanctification, as we consecrate, dedicate, and make ourselves holy to Him.
Notice my choice of words—consecrate and dedicate. And recall the words of Exodus 19:10 where God tells Moses. “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the Lord will come down.” This meant that they were to get spiritually and physically ready to meet God. They were to set themselves apart from sin and even everyday, ordinary routine, in order to give themselves to the Lord. The Lord wants to, desires to, draw near to us. He wants to COME DOWN, and in the process makes us whole. But He can’t come down until we wash ourselves. The work of sanctification belongs to the Lord. It is He through the Holy Spirit who sanctifies.
For true attainment of holiness, we have got to prepare ourselves we have got to do our part. This preparation is both general and specific. General in that because the Israelites belonged to God, they were “his treasured possession” everything about them at any time was to paint or give a picture of holiness. There were, however, times when the people were to specially consecrate themselves. The situation in Exodus 19 was one of those times. This was after all, the first time since the Exodus that they were meeting God as a nation face to face and so the preparations had to be diligent. What about our own times of preparation for worship? Since we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, and holy nation, the same way the children of Israel were to consecrate themselves before coming into His presence so must we. Monday to Saturday must signify our daily efforts at consecration with a heightened expectation and preparation for the Lord’s Day.
God is holy—but why all the preparation? Why the entire specials care? Why go to such great lengths? I mean they couldn’t even go near their wives (vs 15). The answer to that can be put into one phrase, “be holy for I am holy.” It is hard for us to fully grasp, to fully understand the holiness of God because our daily frustrations make us want to do and say unholy things. Society’s pressures and our shortcomings reduce and narrow our view of God. In spite of all those things we must at least begin to grasp it, to grasp His purity, His moral excellence. He sets apartness from sin because when we do it stirs us up to recognize our own sinfulness as it did Isaiah when we came face to face with a vision of His majesty in the temple. All he could say is “Woe is me. I am ruined”.
Have you met the Lord? And if you have, what did the experience do for you? Know that it is impossible to meet the King and come away unchanged. At the very least it should instill a yearning for soundness, for wholeness.
God wants to do great things with all His people. Let’s get more specific. God wants to do great things among us as a Moravian Church today. Maybe like me you are asking, Why is it taking so long to be manifested in us as a body? Could the answer be found in our slowness or unwillingness to cooperate with God in this process of sanctification?
Let us get busy, planning to cooperate fully with God’s process of sanctification as His special people because He is holy and because, He requires it.
Ordination of Adlyn Mgonela
Sis. Adlyn Binta Mgonela was ordained a Deacon in the Moravian Church on Sunday July 28, 2002. The service took place at the Bethesda Moravian Church in Cayon, St. Kitts at 6:00pm. Please continue to pray for Sis. Mgonela and her family as they endeavour to labour in the Master’s Vineyard.
A series of Financial Workshops were held in the St. Kitts and Barbados Conferences over the last few months. These workshops were conducted by Sis. Lenore Worrell, the Interim Provincial Treasurer, and were mainly for Staff, Conference Executives, Conference Treasurers and Assistant Treasurers, and Chairs and Assistant Chairs of the Board of Stewards. These workshops were arranged to facilitate a better understanding of the financial problems of the Province. The remaining Conferences to host workshops are Trinidad, Antigua, and the USVI.
Provincial Women’s Conference
Calling all Women who want to be challenged by God. Have you made your reservations for this wonderful Conference? If not, your days are getting shorter since the Conference is slated to run from August 20-26, 2002. Contact your Superintendent or Christian Education Director, for more information.
Please pray for Sis. Bonnie Williams, whose grandmother Sis. Maude O’Garro, passed away on July 15, 2002. Sis. O’Garro, a member of the Urlings congregation in Antigua, was laid to rest on Friday July 26, 2002.The funeral service and burial were at the Gracebay Moravian Church in Antigua.
We express sympathy to the family of the late Sis. Helen Goodwin, who died on July 16. Sis. Goodwin was the wife of Bro. Warneford Goodwin (deceased), a former Provincial Treasurer of this Province. The funeral service was held at the Spring Gardens Moravian Church in Antigua.
We also express sympathy to Rev. Dr. Paul Thompson, the Moravian Warden at UTCWI, whose mother passed away recently in Jamaica. We ask that you bear Bro. Thompson and his family in your prayers at this time of their bereavement. Sis. Thompson was also the mother of two other Moravian ministers in the Jamaica Province: Rev. Livingstone Thompson, and Rev. Canute Thompson.
WCC School on evangelism
The WCC, in co-operation with CCC, held its first School of Evangelism Workshop in cooperation with the Caribbean Conference of Churches from December 6-15, 2001 in Havana, Cuba. Rev. Algernon Lewis from the St. Kitts Conference represented the Province at this workshop. Participants were gathered from across the region including Panama, Ecuador, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Cuba, all sponsored by WCC.
The theme of the School for Evangelism was “Voicing the Gospel in the Caribbean.” Some of the topics covered were ‘Mission and Unity’, ‘Gospel and Culture’, ‘Towards reconciling and healing communities in the context of Globalization’, ‘Communicating the Gospel in an age of Communication’, ‘Mission in the context of a Plural Society and other Faiths’, and ‘Communicating the Gospel to Children and Youth’.
The Aim for this workshop was to engage in a study and discussion of the biblical and theological understanding of the evangelism aspects of mission and to articulate and live out an authentic response to God’s loving intentions in the contemporary Caribbean context. Participants were expected to come prepared to share their knowledge and experiences in order to learn together and it was hoped that they would take back to their churches what they have learned.
Bro. Lewis found the experience of sharing with others on matters of Evangelism very meaningful, especially the informal sharing.
These are the final days leading up to Unity Synod. The delegates to Unity Synod from the EWI Province are Rev. Roslyn Hamblin (Chairman), Rev. Conrad Spencer and Bro George Ramsay. Observers include Bishop Kingsley Lewis (a former Unity Board Chairman), Sis. Zenaida Ramsay, Rev. Reuben Vessup, Sis. Movelle Keflman (Supplementary Minister), and Dr. Vincent Richards (member of the Moravian Church Foundation). The Synod will be held at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The Board of World Missions has invited delegates to a meeting preceding Synod. Please continue to pray for this Synod, that the Spirit of God would lead His Church in all of its deliberations and decisions.
Election and Consecration of Bishops
The Synod of the Northern Province of the Moravian Church in America, held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, June 14- 18, 2002, elected Brother Douglas H. Kleintop and Sister M. Blair Couch as Bishops of the Unity. They will be taking their place as the 33 1st and 332nd bishops of the Unity. Brother Kleintop will be consecrated on October 13, 2002 and Sister Couch on November 3, 2002. Please remember Bro. Kleintop and Sis. Couch and their families in your prayers.
Death of Bishop Ulrich
The Czech Province is currently mourning the passing of Rt. Rev. Dr. Adolf Ulrich. Bishop Ulrich died on July 06,2002 and was buried on July 20, 2002 in the Protestant Church of Martin ye zdi, Martinska Street, Prague 1. Bishop Ulrich was 93 years of age and was a retired Colonel of the Czechslovak Foreign Army from the West (France, England 1939-1945). Please bear the family of Bishop Ulrich and the Czech Province in your prayers at this time.
Provincial Synod of Suriname Province
Please pray for the Suriname Province, who will be holding their Provincial Synod from August 25 -30,2002. All the Provinces of the Unity had been invited and Rev. Roslyn Hamblin will be representing the Eastern West Indies Province at this Synod.
The Unity Board have approved help for the work in Cuba. It is hoped that before long, there will be new congregations in Cuba. The Unity Board had approved funds from New World Witness in order to purchase the place for the Church.
The Churches in Tanzania are facing the HIV/AIDS problem together. On April 23 - 25, 2002, the Ecumenical Council of Churches (CC~ had a Consultation on HI V/AIDS in Dodoma. The different Churches including the Moravian Church are working hard to find ways to educate, teach, and counsel those affected. The Church has been called to tackle the problem of HIV/AIDS together. Many people are being affected, many people are dying, many people are sick. There are more than 1.1 million orphans in the country who receive very little care. The Moravian Church needs the International support of all its brethren on this fight.
Provincial Synod of Moravian Church in America – Northern Province.
The Moravian Church in America Northern Province held its Provincial Synod on June 14- 18, 2002. A new chairman, Rev. David L. Wickmann, has been elected. Please pray for Rev. Wickmann and the Provincial Board as they take up the challenge to lead the Church into the future.
Mission and Evangelism
The WCC’s Mission and Evangelism team is preparing for its World Mission Conference in 2005. World Mission Conferences are held every 7-8 years. The last such conference was held in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, in 1996. The 2005 conference will focus on churches as reconciling and healing communities amidst mulitifaceted and changing contexts in a violent and globalized world. The conference is expected to move away from producing long reports, and rather draw on experiences from local churches and mission groups worldwide. With a proposed ceiling of 500 participants, those unable to attend will be offered the possibility of interactive sessions on the web. The theme of the Breklum consultation is “believing without belongings? In search of new paradigms of church and mission in secularized and post-modern contexts’. Missiologists from all regions of the world will look at new situations and challenges to church and mission, and their deliberations will help to prepare for the 2005 conference.
At its meeting in Barbados last year, the CCC’s Continuation Committee took the decision to close the Organisation’s offices in Barbados, and to relocate its headquarters to Trinidad. This decision was the outcome of lengthy deliberations during the course of which alternative options were explored. In the final analysis it was decided that this particular measure would be in the organisation’ s best interest. The continuation Committee and the General Secretary also wish to take this opportunity to express their deep appreciation to the staff members at the Barbados office for their unstinting, dedicated service to the organization.
Belated Birthday greeting for July are extended to:
Birthday greetings for August are also extended to:
Sis. Marleen Browne I
Anniversary greetings for July are extended to:
Bro. Neilson & Sis. Vera Waithe 7
Anniversary greetings for August are also extended to:
Bro. Elroy & Sis. Jacqulin Christopher 7
Congratulations are extended to Rev. Nigel and Mrs. Belinda Daniel, who got married in Tobago,
The Greenbav Congregation in Antigua celebrated its 157 — birthday in July. The Pastor is Rev. Romeo Challenger and the congregation has a membership of 816.
The Mount Tabor congregation in Barbados celebrated its 7711 birthday in August. The Pastor is Rev. Alban St. Hill and the congregation has a membership of 348.
The Bethlehem congregation in Barbados will celebrate its 381 birthday in August. The Pastor is Rev. Nasel Ephraim and the congregation has a membership of 157.
The Urlings congregation in Antigua will celebrate its 15 II birthday in August. The Pastor is Rev. Erflin Browne and the congregation has a membership of 167.
Congratulations are extended to Bro. Sean Roberts, Sis. Adlyn Mgonela, Bro. Adrian Smith and Bro. Jeremy Francis who recently graduated from the United Theological College of the West Indies in May 2002. Bro. Sean received two awards for Sportsman of the Year and Sports Personality of the graduating class. Sis. Adlvn was the Valedictorian and received four other awards: Academic Excellence, Contemporary Theology, Embodying the Ethos of the College, and Church and Development. Bro. Adrian received the following awards: Student of the Year, Academic Excellence, Preaching, Urban Ministries and Christian Ethics, and Leadership Development.