Mother and Baby Doing Fine....
We give God thanks and offer congratulations to Sis. Julie and Bro. Ezra Parris on the birth of their baby girl on February 20, 1999 in Tobago. Her name is Jaaziel (whom God strengthens), Anika (graceful). We are very pleased to report that mother, father and baby are all doing fine. May God bless all of you.
Provincial Family Service 2000
The Superintendents gladly accepted P.E.C.'s proposal for a Provincial Family Service on
Sunday January 2, 2000 at 4:00 p.m. The intention is that members will gather at one location in each Conference (2 locations for the V.I.). There will be one Order of Service and the link will be by television, radio or simply by telephone.
We are calling upon all of our technical resources throughout the Province to assist in making this a reality.
Review of "Lamb of God"
As we prepare for the upcoming Synod, the P.E.C. invites your suggestions with reference to the "Lamb of God" document on our ministry.
A formal presentation of the document will be made to the Synod and the P.E.C. would like to have the benefit of your input in the revised edition to be presented to Synod.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
Antiguan Christians call Politicians to Account
The Antigua Christian Council and the Antigua Evangelical Association pooled their efforts in challenging politicians contesting upcoming general election to observe high standards in their campaign.
The guidelines were signed by the political parties as part of a National Prayer Service at the Spring Gardens Moravian Church on Sunday 17, January, 1999.
There were also guidelines for the Media.
It would surely make a big difference to the quality of politics and general governance of Antigua / Barbuda if politicians:
- Not engage in character assassination of any kind.
- Not use race, country of origin, or class to vilify any individual, family or section of society.
- Not make grandiose promises which you know cannot be kept.
- Not use half-truths, lies or innuendoes to gain political mileage.
- Address yourselves to issues and principles dealing with national growth, economic development, and the wholesome advancement of the citizens of the Nation.
- Maintain the highest moral principles in keeping with Christian ethics during campaign, and if elected to form the Government.
- Not bribe any elector to vote for you, and do not charge your agents to offer any bribe on your behalf.
.....and we encourage the Media both print and electronic to:
- Be objective and truthful in reporting on political meetings, speeches, etc. and avoid sensationalism.
- Provide equal public coverage to the candidates of all political parties, without fear or favour, and to practice objective journalism.
Unity Chairman Reports On:
Unity Offering 1999
According to the Unity Synod 1995, the Unity Offering for 1999 is determined for the Mission Work in Zambia. The Synod had also recognized this work as part of the New World Mission Program.
The work is done under the supervision of the Moravian Church in Tanzania, South-Western Province. Since March 1998 no new information on Zambia has reached the Unity Chair. Therefore, I quote from the last report which has reached me.
During the last years, congregations have been founded in three areas: Nakonde, near the border of Tanzania, the southern shore of lake Tanganyika, and the Copperbelt area near the capital Lusaka, with a total of twenty congregations. The areas are more than 700 miles apart from each other. Several churches and pastors' houses were built or are under construction. The number of Moravian Christians in Zambia has grown to more than 1.500, and it continues to grow. Most of the new members were not Christians before, while some came from other churches or had lost their church relationship. At the moment, they are taken care of by a superintendent, a secretary, two pastors and a number of evangelists.
Now, the main task is to enable these congregations to develop and to grow spiritually, so that they become self-supportive. At the moment, these young churches are depending on funds coming from the New World Witness program, and hopefully, from the Unity offering.
Besides the building work, financial assistance is necessary for the edition of hymnbooks and other liturgical and teaching material in Bemba language (translated from Suaheli), and for the communication among the congregations and Christians in view of the huge distances separating them. With the help of the Worldwide Unity, this young church with some of its roots in the Tanzanian Moravian Church may grow and become a new witness of the Christian faith in the Zambian content.
Some Matters from The Chairman of our Unity
The Daily Texts are now published in 46 languages with an estimated 1.7 million copies distributed every year. The newest editions appear in Croatian and Kinyarwanda (spoken in the East-African country Rwanda). Negotiations have taken place to start with an edition in Arabic in the year 2000.
After a new effort for reconciliation in the former Eastern Region of the South Africa Province, the five previously dismissed ministers will be reinstated and their congregations reincorporated into the Province. Brother D. Meyer, Chairman of the Provincial Board writes: "we are happy about this Christmas blessing of peace and joy in our Province! The conflict had seriously burdened and hampered the life and work of the South African Church during the last seven to eight years." The South African Bishops, who were joined by brother H. Schimn, played a decisive role in bringing about the reconciliation.
The partnership between the Moravian Theological Center at Heideveld near Capetown and the Moravian Theological College (MoTheCo) at Mbeya, Tanzania, becomes reality: Brother U. Stierlen, Acting Principal of the MoTheCo, shall visit the Theological Center at Heideveld at the end of February / beginning of March 1999. The visit includes meetings and lectures and may be seen as a first step towards a growing cooperation.
Revd & Mrs McOwat of Britain in India and Nepal
Following a visit to India and Nepal in September, 1998 by Bro. and Sis. John McOwat, Bro. McOwat reported to the Unity on his mission.
Among the highlights was:
"The opening of the first Public Park in Ladakh."
Most of Friday 18th was spent in a Ministers' Meeting discussing the constitution and the future of the work in North India but at 5 p.m. we went to the Explorers' Graveyard at Karzoo which I had been asked to open as the Cemetery and Memorial Park - the only public park in Ladakh! A goodly gathering of people from the church and a number of modern-day explorers from several countries, Dutch, Czechs, Germans and English etc. as well as Ladakhi specialists and eminent historians such as Simon Digby were present. After cutting the ribbon we all moved into the park and found benches ready for the short service during which Sr Eileen Gergan Hewson (Leominster) who had been instrumental in setting up the park gave a resume of some of the famous people who are buried there. The Minister, Br Elijah German and his wife sang with their son Isaac "I walked in the garden alone" and I led a prayer of dedication and gave an address based on Psalm 103/8-18. Tea and biscuits were served. So now Ladakh has its first ever public park - and it was provided by the Moravian Church.
Brother Bob Sawyer and Sister Lynn Kale of the America Province (South) shed some light on: Y 2 K
We continue to hear a great deal about Y2K, the potential computer problem in the year 2000. Some say there is absolutely no need for concern. Others say there may be problems but do not expect any major disruption. Some say there is the potential for major, even society-threatening problems.
We understand that there may be some disruptions, but we believe that alarmists' attitudes are more destructive than helpful. We do find the following approach helpful, gleamed from the newsletter of the Shepherd's Center in Kernersville. They recommended keeping the following documents in one accessible place. They noted "Many of these documents you already have around the home, but if you are like us, we had to search to pull them all together in one place. We are now more organised, and if there are any computer glitches, we have the ability to prove things like our age, citizenship, marital status, property owned, debts owed."
- These are documents they mentioned:
- Birth certificates for each of your family members
- Marriage license or certificates
- Baptismal, confirmation, ordination, or other religious records
- Social Security Cards
- Deeds, titles, and other proofs of ownership
- Credit card statements for the previous year
- Tax returns
- College transcripts
- Military/Veteran papers
- Copies of important prescriptions for medicines and eyeglasses, and copies of children's immunization records
- Backups of computerized financial records.
- In this, as in everything, prudence is always advisable but ultimately our trust is in the Lord.
Resolutions for Synod
With less than six months to go before the 25th Provincial Synod, you are probably mindful that we have passed the timeline for resolutions which will have direct impact on the Book of Order.
However, please note that other resolutions can still be submitted as these form the basis for the work of the administration. Moreover, the P.E.C. is kindly asking persons submitting resolutions to give some more ideas on how the details of the resolution can be implemented. It has been observed that over the years some resolutions have not been implemented because they were difficult to interpret for action.
More Presbyters to be consecrated
At the request of the P.E.C., Bishop Neville Brown will consecrate three (3) Deacons as Presbyters on Sunday May 2, 1999 in Antigua. They are Bro. Welleslly Ferguson, Bro. Derick Forrester and Bro. Ezra Parris.
Our Church has three (3) Orders of Ministry: Deacon, Presbyter and Bishop. At ordination, the Minister becomes a Deacon. After five years, the Minister's work is assessed and then the Minister is given the stamp of affirmation by the Church by being consecrated as Presbyter.
Indeed, the person is now regarded as an Elder Minister.
We invite your prayers for these brothers and their families.
Recognition Banquet on St. Croix
On Saturday January 30, 1999 over three hundred Moravians and their friends gathered at the Crusaders' Club on St. Croix for a Recognition Banquet sponsored by the Moravian School.
Three outstanding members of the St. Croix community who have made significant contributions were honored for their work. The honorees were:
- Mrs. Helen Joseph a former principal of the school; Mrs. Doreen James and Mr. Lloyd Austin former members of the Board of Directors.
- Each honoree was presented with a plaque made from local mahogany.
- Mrs. Evannie Jeremiah and other members of the Board should be commended for this great effort.
Sister Lilian George, Christian Educator in the V.I. Conference reflects on our Provincial theme for 1999
"Charting the Course"
As we look towards the 21st century - a New Millennium - we ponder our responsibility as Christians to lead non-Christians into the right direction, at the right time, in an age that seems to be going downhill.
We, as leaders, need to let our people see in us role models as Joshua saw in Moses. Joshua was chosen by God as Moses' successor to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. This, however, did not come in a bed of roses.
Rather, Joshua had to display certain leadership qualities.
And rightly so, for he was carrying on the work that was begun by a stalwart. However, God reminded Joshua that as he was with Moses, so would he be with him.
Our forefathers began concentrative work in our Church and we have the mandate to continue that work - indeed to Chart that Course. We can only do so through prayer, persistence, and perseverance. Our young people especially, need our direction in times like these. This age seems to be corrupt with
drugs, alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity and the like. But as
servants of the Lord, we need to seek his help and direction in order to save our youth and lead them to the saving knowledge of Christ. The road may be rough and dreary, but we have to foot it bravely and trust in God to lead us through. As he was with Moses and Joshua, so he will be with us. He has not made any other provision: HE IS COUNTING ON US!!
The World Council of Churches Sends out message to the Church
In this and the next two issues of 'The Information', we shall carry the text of the message of the 8th assembly of the W.C.C. to the churches.
Being Together Under the Cross in Africa "Blessed is our God always, now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen"
Called by the drums of Africa we gathered in Harare, Zimbabwe as representatives of over three hundred churches at the 8th assembly of the World Council of Churches. We greet our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ throughout the world who share and rejoice with us in the life and fellowship of the Holy Trinity.
Fifty years ago the World Council of Churches began its journey of faith with the Assembly in Amsterdam and clearly affirmed "We intend to stay together". Our pilgrimage through Evanston, New Delhi, Uppsala, Nairobi, Vancouver and Canberra has led us to rejoice in the hope, mission, vision, freedom, life and renewal that God gives.
The theme of this Assembly, "Turn to God - Rejoice in Hope", is an invitation to look again to the very foundation of our faith and life as churches, finding there the hope that will draw us on. In this our Jubilee year we proclaim good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed, and the year of the Lord's favour.
Meeting in joyful assembly, we invite one another and the whole church to journey towards visible unity, which is God's gift and call to us. We have found that Christ is both the centre of our unity and our living water of life. We confess that we have often turned away from God's purposes and from serving God's reign. For this we grieve and repent.
The life of the Assembly has revolved around worship, prayer and bible study. At the centre of the place of worship has stood a great carved cross with the continent of Africa at its heart. It is indeed part of the joy of this assembly that we are in Africa. Here we experienced the life, growth and vitality of faith in local congregations. We rejoice in the beauty and wonder of God's creation. We remembered that it was to Africa that the Holy Family with the infant Jesus came as refugees, and today Africa like every other continent is a place where many people are displaced, homeless and refugees.
Friedensthal Moravian Church in St. Croix
The Friedensthal Moravian Church in St. Croix celebrates its 244th anniversary on March 29. There are 702 members and it is led by a pastoral team of Bro. Conrad Spencer and Bro. Samuel Jacobs. Congratulations to all of you!!!
Bethlehem Moravian Church in Barbados
The Bethlehem Moravian Church in Barbados celebrates its 35th anniversary on March 8. There are 156 members and the pastor is the Bro. Rudolph Gibbs. Congratulations to all of you!!!
Please Pray For:
Revd John McOwat of the British Province and Bishop Schimn of the European Continental Province as they continue the work of facilitating reconciliation in the troubled Czech Province. They went there in January and again in February.
- March 15-19: Christian Educators annual conference in Tobago
- Sunday March 28: Palm Sunday & Ministerial Training Sunday
- Thursday April 1: Holy Thursday
- Friday April 2: Good Friday
- Sunday April 4: Easter Day
- April 5-9: Synod of the Jamaica Province
- April 15-18: P.E.C. meets in the USVI
- April 22-25: Provincial Music Workshop
March 28 is Day of Prayer for Ministers in Training!!
Sunday March 28 has been set aside as the time when our Province gives special attention to theological education and ministerial training. We appeal to all of our congregations to offer prayers for our ministers in training and also to collect an offering to assist in the training. This one way that the general membership is called upon to contribute directly to the training of our ministers.
For this year, our ministers in training are:
- Sis Deslyn Belle - St.Kitts
- Bro Nigel Daniel - Antigua
- Sis Anique Elmes - USVI
- Bro Nasel Ephraim - Antigua
- Bro Jeremy Francis - USVI
- Sis Sadie Harry - Tobago
- Bro Hilton Joseph - Antigua
- Sis Movelle Kellman - Barbados
- Sis Adyln Mgonela - St. Kitts
- Bro Sean Roberts - Antigua
- Bro Rowan Simmons - Antigua
- Bro Adrian Smith - Barbados
- Bro Patmore Smith - Antigua
- Sis Joyce Walters - Barbados
Birthdays this Month
Happy birthday to:
- Bro. Derick Forrester 4
- Sis. Elva Kitson 7
- Sis. Eulencine Christopher 18
- Bro. Gaveston David 19
- Bro. Kingsley Lewis 20
- Sis. Denise Smith-Lewis 20
- Sis. Vera Waithe 29
Anniversaries this month!
Happy anniversary to:
- Revd Ralph &
- Mrs Rosalind Prince 2
- Revd Alwyn &
- Mrs Eleanor John 29
"Steve," screamed his mother, "you've been fighting again, and this time you've lost all your teeth!"
"No, I haven't, mom," protested Steve. "I got'em right here in my pocket."
A backwoods couple were visiting a college campus with the thought of sending their daughter there. In the course of their sight-seeing, they came to the tennis courts where a girl and a boy were playing.
"This is fine," said the father. "They keep them separated with a net up here."
A Scoutmaster was determined that his scouts should be ready for the next Court of Honor. He ordered each of them to be ready to report a good deed on the next night. When the boys had gathered, he began his questioning.
"What was your good deed for the day?" he asked.
"I helped an old lady across the street," the first scout answered.
"Good," He turned to the next boy.
"What was your good deed?"
"I helped him help the old lady across the street."
"I see." The Scoutmaster turned to the third boy. "What was your good deed?" he asked expectantly.
"I helped those two help the old lady across the street."
Frowning now, the Scoutmaster asked the fourth boy. "I helped the other three guys help the old lady across the street."
"Now, look here," the Scoutmaster said. "Why did it take four boys to help one old woman across the street?"
"Because she didn't want to go."