NEW SERIES VOLUME 9 NUMBER 6 - A NEWSLETTER OF THE PROVINCE
Sister Elva Kitson offers "A Little Prayer for Provincial Synod"
O Gracious God, Almighty and Ever-loving Father, it is with hearts filled with gratitude that we, your children come before you. We are thankful that you have condescended to be our Father and our God, and by your complete selflessness could take our human form, dwell amongst us, show us the way to live amongst each other, then invite us to continue the mission to go into all the world and preach the gospel.
Lord we thank you for the men and women who have been obedient to your call and were instrumental in bringing your light into a sin-darkened world. In our time, the responsibility is ours to be faithful to your directive for a world that continues to fraternize with the powers of evil.
As our Synod prepares to convene, Lord, reveal to the hearts of the participants that theirs is the blessed privilege to serve you, and that they must do no less than serve you in sincerity and in truth. Make them obedient to your Divine Will so that whatever they may think, or say, or do, now, or in the days ahead, and especially throughout the sessions of Synod, will be in accordance with that Will, so that your name may be glorified, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Souvenir Plates of 25th Synod
The P.E.C. is pleased to announce that the souvenir plates to commemorate the 25th Provincial Synod will soon be available. A limited number of plates will be on sale and so, persons interested will be asked to place an order. The order forms and copies of the design in colour will soon be in the hands of the Ministers.
Please stay tuned and plan to order a souvenir plate for this the 25th Synod of our Province.
The plate will carry a map of the Caribbean and the venues for all 25 Synods will be noted. Special note is taken of the first one in 1899 in Barbados and on the twenty-fifth in Antigua.
The design was done by Brother Neville Legall of the Barbados Conference; and we are truly grateful to him.
Unity Board Meets in Alaska
The Unity Board that consists of one member from each Unity Province will meet in Bethel, Alaska June 22-29, 1999. For this meeting, leaders of Province without Unity status have been invited.
The Unity Board meets at least three times during the inter-synodal period for Unity Synod.
Among the special items on the agenda for this meeting are:
- Reports on Provinces and Unity Undertakings
- Appointing of Standing Theological Committee
- Conflicts in the Czech Province and the Honduras Province.
- The Issues of Baptism/Blessing of children.
- Matters arising from the Bishop's Conference.
- Ground of Unity - translation into other languages.
- Ecumenical matters: dialogue with Roman Catholic Church on John Hus.
Your prayers are kindly requested.
Conferences Name Delegates for Provincial Synod
The Antigua Conference will be hosting at least 120 Moravians from throughout the EWI Province as well as fraternal delegates from other Provinces at the 25th Provincial Synod from August 8-21.
With all Conferences registering large numbers of official observers, it is clear that many of our members are taking a keen interest in the work of the Synod.
Fr. Gregory for Synod Retreat
The Revd Dr. Howard Gregory, President of the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI) in Jamaica will be the special presenter for the retreat on the opening day of Synod.
He will use the morning session of the retreat to lead us in the subject of retirement.
Fr. Gregory is an Anglican priest and has been on the faculty of the UTCWI for about 19 years; 9 years as President. He is highly qualified and is a Pastoral Counsellor by training.
25th Synod To Elect Bishop
The P.E.C. has announced that the election of a Bishop for the Eastern West Indies Province will be on the agenda for the 25th Synod. The right Reverend Neville Brown is the present bishop residing in the Province. It is important to note that even though he has reached the mandatory retirement age for the active pastorate, he continues as Bishop.
It is also important to point out that the election of another Bishop is not really a replacement for Bishop Brown as a Bishop in the Moravian Church never loses his/her Episcopal office. It then becomes a matter of how the Bishops share the functions.
Please pray for the Synod and especially the process of election in this matter.
Proposals For Synod??
Have you been thinking of sending a proposal to the P.E.C. or the Synod? This is a wonderful opportunity to do so. The P.E.C. is now compiling all the reports and proposals which are to be discussed at the 25th Synod of our Province.
The intention is to send these out in early July so that Synodals will have a greater chance of reviewing the materials, of discussing them with other officers and leaders of the Conference and ultimately make more meaningful contributions to the discussion of Synod.
If you have anything for the Synod, please submit it now. Let us do all that we can to enhance our planning process for Synod. God deserves the best we have in all things.
P.E.C. Holds 12th Meeting in Antigua
The Provincial Elders' Conference will hold its third meeting for the year in Antigua from June 17-20. This is also the 12th and final meeting for this P.E.C. that was elected at the 24th Provincial Synod.
If you have any matter to be put before the P.E.C., kindly get in touch by mail, fax, phone, or e-mail so that it can be on the agenda.
This is also a good time to thank al the members of the Provincial family who have done so much to facilitate our meetings in the various Conferences. Thank you all so much. May God bless you.
Revd Rudolph Gibbs - Pastor of Bethlehem/Fulnec Congregations in Barbados reflects on the 1999 Provincial theme: "Charting the Course"
This responsibility was handed to one man at the time Israel was about to cross the Jordan and claim the land of Canaan. Joshua was that man and his instructions came from the one God. Who was this Joshua? He was Moses' assistant and successor. A man of great faith in God. He was a great leader, trained by Moses, and a brilliant military strategist. He was a man of God, faithful to ask God's direction in the challenges he faced.
As we continue during this year, which stands in the shadow of the oncoming new millennium, there are many lessons to learn - effective leadership is the product of good preparation and encouragement. Joshua was trained by the greatest leader of all times - Moses. Among his many attributes and talents was vision. Moses had a vision but he was to die before it became a reality - so one of his greatest challenges was to train a leader to replace him; the fulfillment of his dream would become the responsibility of that person. Moses made an excellent decision when he chose Joshua as his assistant, and that choice was later confirmed by God when he instructed Moses to commission Joshua as his successor.
The person after whom we pattern ourselves will have a definite impact on us - Joshua patterned himself after Moses - a person committed to God provides the best model for us. Joshua was a man of God - committed to God.
Moses, my Servant is Dead" ..
Therefore you arise and take all the people over Jordan into the land I am about to give you. As we live the Christian life, we need to cross over from the old to the new. We need to put off our selfish desires and press on to possess all God has planned for us. Like Joshua and Israel we need courageous faith to live the new life. Of the twelve spies that were sent out, only Joshua and Caleb showed complete confidence that God would help them conquer the land. Now this trust came to maturity and Joshua also had the assurance of God's continuing presence. "As I was with Moses, so will I be with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Just as God was with Moses and Joshua, He is with us today. He is with us as we face our new challenges in life. Every day we face tough situations, difficult people, and numerous temptations, God promised never to abandon us or fail us, and this promise was repeated by our Lord, Jesus Christ as he sent us out into the world to do His work (Matt.28:20) ... "surely I am with you to the very end of the age". However, God requires courageous faith from each of us (Josh. 1:6) "Be strong and of good courage".
June Semester of Buxton Grove/Moravian Seminary
The June '99 Semester of the M.A.T.S. programme between Moravian Seminary, Bethlehem, PA. and Buxton Grove convenes at the Provincial Headquarters in Antigua June 7-25.
As in the past, two courses will be offered: Johannine Literature by Professor Frank Crouch and Spiritual Formation by Professor Glenn Asquith.
Formal teaching will be from 9am - 12noon and from 6pm - 9pm.
The Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree is offered by Moravian Seminary and persons may enroll at any point in the programme.
It is a programme designed for clergy and laity as well as for Moravians and for persons who are not Moravians.
The next semester will be in January 2000.
A new dimension is being added to the programme as a result of another decisive visit of the Revd Will Sibert, the Computer specialist of the Seminary. Students of the Programme will soon be able to access the Library facility of the Seminary in Bethlehem by means of the Internet. This will greatly enhance the capacity of the programme.
Revd Sibert arrived on June 1 and will be here for about one week.
Happy anniversary to Clifton Hill Church in Barbados.
The Clifton Hill Church in Barbados celebrates its 158th anniversary on June 26. There are 156 members and the pastor is the Rev. Rudolph Holder with Rev. Andrew Roberts as Assistant Pastor.
Your prayers are kindly requested for two of our new Ministers and their partners as thy are joined together in Holy Matrimony.
- On June 19, Pastor Deslyn Belle of St. Kitts will be married to the Revd Troy Watson of Jamaica. The service will take place in St. Kitts.
- On July 24, Pastor Rowan Simmons will be married to Ms Earlene Clarke of Tobago. This service will take place in Tobago.
- June 7-25: Buxton Grove/Moravian Seminary will meet in session in Antigua for the June Semester.
- June 17-20: The P.E.C. meets in Antigua for its last official meeting during this inter Synodal period.
- Both Pastor Belle and Pastor Simmons will take up their first Calls on July 1.
- June 22-29: Meeting of the Unity Board in Bethel, Alaska.
- July 4 (Sunday): United Holy Communion Service in most Conferences to mark the Martydom of John Hus.
A meek little man in a restaurant timidly touched the arm of a man putting on an overcoat. "Excuse me," he said, "but do you happen to be Mr. Smith of Newport?"
"No, I'm not!" the man answered impatiently.
"Oh-er-well," stammered the first man, "you see, I am, and that's his overcoat you're putting on."
* * *
Helping the bruised man up from the pavement, the policeman said, "Can you describe the man who hit you?"
"That's what I was doing," was the answer, "when he hit me."
* * *
" Three men were arguing over which profession was the oldest.
Said the surgeon: "The Bible says Eve was made by carving a rib out of Adam. I guess that makes mine the oldest profession."
"Not at all," said the engineer. "in six days the earth was created out of chaos - and that was an engineer's job.
Said the politician: "Yes, but who created the chaos?"
Birthdays this Month!
Happy Birthday to:
- Sis. Violet Holder 5
- Sis. Bernadine Chase 7
- Bro. Charles Peters 7
- Sis. Joycelyn Connor 17
- Bro. Selvin McMillan 25
- Sis. Jasmin Crooks 26
- Sis. Lexs Forrester 28
- Sis. Roslyn Hamblin 29
Anniversaries This Month!
Happy Anniversaries to:
- Revd Reuben &
- Mrs. Ivy Vessp 1
- Pastor William &
- Mrs. Zenobia Lomax 27