A Communication from the Chairman of the PEC
The Provincial theme for this year 2002 is one that speaks directly to the stage of the journey that we as the Moravian Church in the Eastern West Indies Province have reached.
This situation can be likened to that in 2 Chronicles 30. Here we have the people of God living outside the will of God and experiencing the consequen- ces for their actions.
The theme assumes brokenness as it calls for wholeness. We do not need to be particularly perceptive to accept that there is brokenness in our Church. The financial struggles, the breakdown in relationships in all levels of the church, the lack of cooperation between the leadership and the led which in turn creates a disregard for spiritual authority, the declining membership are all results of the brokenness that exists. But even then, all is not lost.
In addressing this situation Hezekiah called the people together. There were some who bluntly rejected the call (v.10). However, there were others who wanted something more than what they had. They believed that there was more of God to experience. So they humbled themselves and went (v.11). Humility precedes access. We need humility among us.
Humility led them to a place of surrender. Verse 14 records that they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem. To take altars is to take away anything that is not of God. The idols of pride, traditionalism, attitudes, hatred, unforgiveness, secret and open sins and addictions, lack of respect for spiritual authority, our private concepts of God and all other things which prevent us from seeing God clearly. They must go. The wound will not heal if foreign, poisonous substances are present. As radical as it might seem, some of the altars that need to be removed are human. This is clear from God’s instructions to His people as they entered the Promised Land and also from Elijah’s encounter on Mount Carmel. If you leave the root it will sprout again to haunt the next generation.
Now the way was clear for the lamb to be slaughtered, for the priests to sanctify themselves and for the people to be sanctified by the sanctified priest (vs. 15, 17). It is clear to me that our path to attaining whole- ness in Christ necessitates humility, surrender and then sanctification.
The PEC has concluded its last meeting for the year. However, they will be meeting on November 4 and 5 in retreat, in Antigua. The PEC expresses thanks to the Antigua Conference for the support being given in respect of this Retreat. Please continue to bear the PEC members in your prayers.
Various Conferences held Staff Retreat during the months of September and early October. They took opportunity to look at the document ‘Articulating a Vision’; produced by the PEC. Further reflection on this document is to take place within the Conferences.
Moravian Caribbean Regional Conference
The Provincial leaders of the Moravian Church in the Caribbean will be holding a Moravian Caribbean Regional Conference from Saturday January 25, 2003 - Friday January 31, 2003. The Conference will be held at the Moravian Multi-Purpose Complex at the Provincial Headquarters in Antigua. Please pray for our leaders as they seek to __________.
Bro. Vankys Jaun Isaac, who has formerly served as Associate Pastor of Potters and Judges Hill, has accepted a call to serve as Pastor of the Potters and Judges Hill Moravian congregations in Antigua with effect from October 1, 2002.
Sis. Vera Waithe has accepted a call to serve as Pastor of the Clifton Hill and Centenary congregations in Barbados with effect from October 01, 2002.
The previous arrangement with Sis. Dorothea Rohde of the European Continental Province came to an end in August 2002. We express thanks to Sis. Rohde and the ECP for her service within our Province during the last 3 years. The PEC has invited Sis. Rohde to serve within the Barbados Conference as a Supplementary Minister.
Bro. Glenvil Gregory will proceed on furlough and two months additional leave with effect from November 01, 2002. During this period the staff member on the Executive Board, Bro. Dion Christopher, will serve as Acting Superintendent, and Bro. Ralph Prince will serve as interim pastor of the New Herrnhut congregation.
The PEC has granted Sis. Georgette John six (6) months Leave of Absence with effect from October 01, 2002. Please bear Sis. John in prayer at this time.
We express condolences to:
The Province mourns the passing of Sis. Edna Knight, wife of the late Bishop John Knight. Sis. Knight died at home in Antigua on Wednesday afternoon, September 25, 2002 following a short illness. The funeral service was held on Wednesday October 02, at the Greenbay Moravian Church. We extend our sympathy to her daughter, Sis. Joan Murphy of the Provincial Headquarters Staff, and other members of Sis. Knight’s family. Please bear this family in prayer at this time.
Rev. Ralph Prince and family on the death of his brother , Eugene Lambert. The funeral took place on Saturday August 31, 2002 on St. Thomas.
Bro. Alfred Henry (acolyte at Calvary in Barbados) and family on the death of his wife Phyllis who died shortly after arriving in St. Croix to attend the Provincial Women’s Conference. The funeral took place on Friday August 31, 2002 in St. Kitts.
Rev. Romeo Challenger, Superintendent of the Antigua Conference, whose mother Sis. Ida Challenger passed away on October 22, in Antigua. The funeral took place at the Gracehill Moravian Church in Liberta in Antigua on Thursday October 31, 2002.
Unity Synod 2002 has come and gone. It was held at Bethlehem College in Pennsylvania, USA and was a wonderful experience for the 50 delegates, 8 guests, 9 observers and several visitors who had attended. Bro. Angetile Musomba has being re-elected as Chairman of the Unity Board. This election was declared at a Unity Board meeting held during Unity Synod.
European Continental Province
The European Continental Province held her Provincial Synod in May. Bro. Hans-Beat Motel who had been a member of the Provincial board since 1981 resigned his position. He was also once the Unity Chairman for two terms: 1997 - 1998 and 1999 - 2000.
Mission Update: Moravian Mission around the World
In addition to the Unity Undertaking at Star Mountain in Ramallah, there are currently seven areas of mission work known as New World Witness, being undertaken by the Moravian Church. These are supported by mission funds from Moravian congregations throughout the Unity. There are four other outreach efforts by Provinces.
The New World Witness or Mission Areas of the Moravian Church are: Albania, Congo, French Guiana, Garifuna People of Honduras, Malawi, North India and Zambia. A few Provinces in the Caribbean have also taken up the challenge of supporting new work in the region. The Jamaica Province has been reaching out since 1997 to a group of Christians in Cuba who became interested in Moravian affiliation through reading an article on the Moravian Church. There are now 2 fellowships totalling more than 50 communicant members. Pastoral supervision has been by Jamaican pastors, but two local pastors have been assisting and are identified for this work. Finances are needed to acquire property for a multi-purpose complex and a manse. The Jamaica Province has also been supporting a new work in Grand Cayman. A member of the EWI Province was once seconded to that work. At present this Moravian congregation is fully established and has its own pastor. The communicant membership is 52 with a lively Sunday School, and active Men’s Association and Women’s Fellowship. A multi-purpose building has been constructed and progress is being made on the construction of a manse.
The Moravian work in St. Martin goes back to the 1980’s. At this time there was some assistance from the EWI Province. The work is now a District of the Suriname Province and the congregation is being served by a pastor from the Suriname Province. There are approximately 100 members worshipping in the building of the Methodist Church. Plans are in progress to start the construction of a multi-purpose building towards the end of 2002.
In the EWI Province the Virgin Islands Conference has spearheaded an outreach to neighbouring Tortola. This began in 1993 and was supported by the pastors and lay leaders and members of the VI Conference. Since 1999 the Province has been able to station a pastor in Tortola. At present there are approximately 40 members and an enrollment of 15 persons in the Sunday School. The congregation is still in need of a building of its own as the facilities of a hotel are being used for services.
Chairman Reports on Unity Synod
In August (07 - 20) Moravians came together from throughout the world wide Unity, representing 15 Provinces, 4 Affiliate Provinces and several Mission Areas. The proceedings of this Unity Synod were led by Bro. Abe Appel, a lay member of the South Africa Province, chairman appointed for the Synod.
The Synod passed a number of resolutions affecting the Unity. I will share a few here and introduce others in due course. Of great significance is the new roster for the Unity Prayer Watch. The EWI Province will now participate in the Prayer Watch during the period of April 01 - 14 yearly. Formerly we participated during the month of May.
Provincial Caribbean Christmas Putz
In order to help ease the financial situation in the Province, a committee was set up to find ways in which funds could be raised. The committee has planned its first fund-raiser for this year: A Caribbean Christmas Putz. This will involve carolling, a mini food fair, entertainment, and the Nativity Scene, depicting the birth of Jesus Christ. This event is scheduled to run from November 28 to November 30 at the Spring Gardens Moravian Church grounds. The co-operation of the entire Antigua Conference is being sought to make this Putz a wonderful success. The plan is to make it an annual event, and also to expand it into a Provincial affair with food and chefs coming from other Conferences.
The Committee members are Sis. Lenore Worrell, Sis. Angela Roberts, Sis. Consuela Parker, Sis. Julie Henry, Sis. Jean Edwards, Sis. Eileen Lynch, Bro. Audie Martin and Bro. Ambrose Byron. Your prayers are solicited for the members of the committee and for their efforts.
Moravian Music Sunday
Moravian Music Sunday is November 10, 2002. This year our focus will be the development of a Caribbean Moravian Hymnal. On that occasion each congregation is expected to submit its top 10 hymns towards the compilation of a hymnal. Minister of Music , Bro. Mikie Roberts has outlined to the pastors, organists and choir directors the procedure for this and further information will come to you through them.
Birthday greetings for September :
Birthday greetings for October :
Anniversary greetings for September
Anniversary greetings for October:
Happy 21st Independence!
The nation of Antigua and Barbuda will celebrate its 21st year of Independence on November 1, 2002. The island gained Independence from Britain in 1981. The Premier was Vere Cornwall Bird, who later became the first Prime Minister. We all say “God bless you Antigua, and may His guiding hands continue to be upon you!”
It’s A Boy!
In our last issue, we incorrectly printed September 8 as the birthday of Rev. Winston Jones. However, it should have been Rev. Winston Chase. We apologise to these two gentlemen for any inconvenience caused.