The Information - October 1998 (Vol 8 No. 11)
A Communication from the Chairman of the Moravian Church, E.W.I. Province.
Hurricane Georges Hit Antigua, St. Kitts and St. John (USVI).
From Sunday September 20 to about Tuesday September 22, the northern part of our Province was put under severe pressure by Hurricane Georges.
With these islands suffering from another major hurricane within three (3) years, the trauma was immense and it is clear that pastoral work will continue to be greatly needed for some time to come.
In Antigua, most of the church buildings, manses and school rooms suffered varying degree of damage but major damage was done to the roof and furniture of the Cedar Hall manse as well as the manse and furniture at the Provincial Headquarters in Cashew Hill.
Both roofs will have to be rebuilt according to the engineer.
In St. Kitts where the entire island was hard hit, major damage was done to the roof at Estridge, the roof at Bethesda and some windows at Zion. The organ at Zion was soaked but without electricity it is not possible to test the state of the organ. The damage to Estridge and Bethesda is especially devasting as the two Ministers, Bro. Algernon Lewis and Sister Denise Smith Lewis have only been there for a few days.
On St. John, there was damage to a section of the roof on the Christian Education building at Bethany.
It will be some time before these places get back to normal.
We therefore ask for your understanding support and prayers.
P.E.C. Announces Provincial Themes for 1999 - 2001
Over the past several months members of staff in the various Conferences were given a chance to reflect on the proposed Provincial Themes for 1999, 2000 and 2001. The process started back in February at the annual Superintendents' Conference. While there were a few concerns along the way, the themes were finally confirmed at the recently held Provincial staff retreat.
Over the past three (3) years, the Provincial themes focused on relationships. The themes sought to emphasise the various dimensions of relationships with our neighbour.
From a biblical perspective, we may understand those themes in the context of God's people on their journey from Egypt and arriving in the wilderness. That was a vital period as the people of Israel became very conscious of their neighbour.
The proposed themes for the next three years seek to focus on the next stage of the journey as they move into the Promised Land. Thus, the Book of Joshua has been chosen as the main point of reference.
1999 - Charting the Course - Jos. 1:1-9
2000 - Claiming the Promise - Jos. 3:14; Jos. 6:1-21
2001 - Challenging the Family - Jos. 24:14-28
The Antigua Christian Council Celebrates
The first week of September was a very special one for the Antigua Christian Council.
On Wednesday September 2, the ACC held a banquet at the Royal Antiguan Hotel to show appreciation to a long standing member, His Grace the Most Revd, the Honourable Dr. Orland Lindsay, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in the West Indies.
Archbishop Lindsay has reached the age of 70 and so retires as Bishop of his Diocese. Already a new bishop of the Diocese has been elected and consecrated.
It was a very special evening as representatives from various organisations reflected on Archbishop's ministry in Antigua.
Bishop Neville Brown of the Moravian Church gave the tribute on behalf of the Antigua Christian Council.
"Winston Bailey and the Group" provided excellent dinner time music.
Then, on Sunday September 6, a special Musical evening was held at Spring Gardens to show appreciation to the Executive Secretary of the Council, Ms Edris Roberts, for her twenty (20) years of service to the Council.
Congratulatory messages and presentations were made to Ms Roberts on behalf of the Caribbean Conference of Churches, the Antigua Christian Council, the National Choir, the Nurses' Association, her family and others.
In response to all the beautiful musical presentations and tributes, Ms Roberts recalled that it was her Pastor, the late Revd Lloyd Kitson of the Lebanon Moravian Church who recommended her for this job in 1978.
She was the first and has remained the only Executive Secretary of the Council.
One of the resolutions coming out of the 1996 Synod call for the staff and the P.E.C. to finalise the text of the Vision/Mission Statement of the Province. The following text has been distributed to all of our Churches as a tool for education, discussion and appropriate action.
Vision Statement - A Church - Transformed, United, Victorious in Christ.
Mission Statement - By the grace of God, we seek to be faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ; without distinction, we use all that we possess to call all peoples to the truth of the Gospel through worship, evangelism, discipleship and service.
Calvary Chorale of Barbados visits Antigua
The Calvary Chorale of the Calvary Moravian Church in Barbados visited Antigua from August 18-30.
The group of 28 was making its first overseas tour. It held two performances at Spring Gardens and at Cana. While a last minute change of time affected one of the performances, the group clearly had a big impact on those who heard them.
Antigua was a natural place for this tour as two Ministers' spouses now in Antigua were founding members of the group in 1987: Sis. Pat Nicholas and Sis. Deborah Challenger.
Their presence here contributed significantly towards the very pleasant time that the group had here.
Our sincere thanks to the members of the Chorale for touching the lives of those who heard them.
1998 Provincial Men's Conference - Thank You Tobago!
Our Church family in Tobago deserves our sincere thanks for all the hard work of so many of them in ensuring the success of the third Provincial Men's Conference that was held there in July.
They were able to pull together layers of expertise and skills from several areas towards this Conference.
The entire Province is grateful that you did it so lovingly for all of us.
Thank you!! May God bless all of you.
Pray for New Bishops of our Unity
You are all invited to join the entire Moravian Unity in prayer for the newly elected Bishops: Sis. Kay Ward and Bro. C. Hopeton Clennon.
Bro. Clennon's consecration will be on October 25 at 3 pm at Schoeneck Moravian Church in Nazareth Pennsylvania while Sis. Ward will be consecrated at 4pm at the Litiz Moravian Church also in Pennsylvania.
1998 Staff Retreat - A Great Experience!!!
The experience at the 1998 staff retreat held in Antigua in September was a tremendous blessing!!
The level of involvement by staff members was very high; the presentations by staff as well as our two lay members who were specially invited to make presentations were of a high standard and our family members in Antigua fed us well with some very tasty and sumptuous meals.
The programme that included a weekend allowed for much more flexibility in the activities and staff members enjoyed this immensely.
Verbally and on the forms, Ministers were truly blessed by the experience.
Our sincere thanks to the Antigua Church family and to all of our people who contributed so much towards this great experience.
Again Antigua, we all thank you very much.
May God bless all of you!
Board of World Mission and Hurricane Georges
Our sincere thanks to Sis. Gail Walker and the Board of World Mission for their high level of preparedness to assist us in the face of Hurricane Georges. Sister Gail was in touch with us several times in the 48 hours or so leading up to the hurricane and we really appreciate this show of solidarity.
Consequently, two Brothers visited our Province from the BWM within days of Georges: the Revd Dr. William Campbell of North Carolina and Mr. Charles Nienow of Wisconsin. They were able to see first hand the ravages of the hurricane on our Province and to stand with us in our crisis.
Brothers, we thank you sincerely and all the wonderful people whom you represented by your coming.
May God continue to bless our ministry together as we seek to put the pieces together and to rebuild.
Please Join the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle and Pray:
Week 42: October 11-17
Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe.
Week 43: October 18-24
Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda.
Week 44: October 25-31
Week 45: Nov. 1-17
Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland.
October 31 - Reformation Day
November 1 - All Saints Day
November 29 - First Sunday in Advent.
Sister: A female member of the Moravian Church, either single or married. The term is used among Moravians as a form of address, but does not mean that the person so-called is a nun or professed member of a religious order.
Synod: The legislative meeting of a Moravian district, province, or of the Unity, composed of clergy and lay delegates from congregations (or, in the case of Unity Synod, from the provinces.)
Unitas Fratrum: The Unity of Brethren (Latin), the official name of the Moravian Church.
Unity, The: The worldwide fellowship, both spiritual and organisational, of the Moravian Church.
Watchword: The daily text of the Moravian Church, drawn from the Hebrew Scriptures and chosen by lot. The German word for the Watchword is Losung.
Zinzendorf, Nicholas Ludwig von (1700-1760): German Lutheran nobleman. Zinzendorf received refugee members of the Bohemian Brethren in 1722, allowed them to build a settlement on his land, reorganised them into a society for world mission and spiritual renewal, and eventually became a bishop of the Renewed Moravian Church. Count Zinzendorf resided in Pennsylvania from late 1741 until early 1743. On December 24, 1741, he gave the new Moravian settlement of Bethlehem its name.
Thanks to Revd Dreydoppel Jr. and Revd Dr. C. Daniel Crews of the US Provinces.
All Female Selectors for 1999 Synod Cricket Match
On the Saturday during the staff retreat, the Ministers went on a tour of Antigua and ended at Frys Bay for an afternoon of fellowship and fun. As can be expected, there was a very lively game of cricket.
However, the female Ministers and several spouses made it clear that the game was not all fun as they had formed themselves into the selection committee for the cricket team of the 1999 Synod Cricket Match.
Moreover, they made it clear that past performance was not a criterion. Then, to test the quality of the bowling themselves, several of them batted and it soon became clear that they knew what they were talking about.
When it is remembered that in the last Synod held in Antigua (1984) the match was against members of the Antigua Parliament and then in 1987 in Barbados, it was against the Anglican clergy, many are already looking forward to the 1999 match but some are likely to be disappointed as they might not find favour with our female selection panel.
It's a Boy!
Congratulations to Sis. Andrea Charles Browne, P.E.C. member, and Bro. Dave Browne on the recent birth of their son in the USA. We are pleased to report that the entire family is doing fine!
We offer congratulations to Sister Lexs Forrester for completing the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Christian Education with Covington Theological Seminary in Georgia.
Sis. Lexs is the wife of Bro. Derick Forrester and they are serving in Antigua.
Let Us Pray For:
Brother Matthew Crooks (Tobago) who recently lost his mother.
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Sister Sonia Spencer who is in the USA for medical attention.
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Sis. Lenore Worrell who is back in Antigua but is still recovering from recent surgery.
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All the members of our Church family in Antigua, St. Kitts and the USVI and indeed all those who like them suffered at the hands of Hurricane Georges as they all seek now to put the pieces together.
Thirteen persons graduated from a 16 week workshop as trainers and seven of them proceeded to do the EE Clinic programme as a teacher/trainer along with one other. The eight persons are now certified as teachers/trainers.
Bro. Mikie Roberts did a two month summer assignment in Barbados. One of the highlights of his assignment was a programme presented by a combined Conference Choir of over 50 voices. The Choir together with the Holetown Harmonites featured in a "Moravian singstunde' in celebration of the Holy Trinity. This was presented at the Calvary Moravian Church on August 23, 1998. There was a mixture of songs and negro spirituals. some selections were done in German and Latin. The programme was of a very high standard and was well received. Other contributors to the programme were Bro. Arthur Maynard, Bro. Andrew Allman, Sis. Sheila Chase and Bro. Anthony Sealy.
Dunscombe Women's Fellowship celebrated its fortieth anniversary with a service on Sunday 20 September 1998. The Sermon was preached by Sis. Vera Waithe and the service led by Revd Winelle Kirton-Roberts, two products of Dunscombe.
The Moravian Women's Fellowship Island Council (Barbados Conference) celebrates its 40th anniversary in October with a month of activities in the various congregations. The committee is as follows: Sis. Shelia Chase - President; Sis. Sonja Parris - Secretary; Sis. Movelle Kellman - treasurer; and Sis. Dorothy Morgan - Assistant Secretary/Treasurer.
Bro Matthias Hui Reports from Star Mountain
A Celebration Day
'At the end of the semester, before the summer holidays begin, Star Mountain has seen a special celebration "..on the occasion of the changes in the management of the centre", as was written in the invitation. Old and young guests came on the stage which was put in the middle of our quiet and decorated small forest. A teacher who led through the program in nice Arabic phases; Mounib Younan, the Lutheran bishop from Jerusalem, who gave his benediction; children of the Star Mountain School who played a theater piece which made everyone laughed around; the Governor Mustapha Issa who, in a comitted way, greeted the persons present from the Palestinian Authorities; the mother of a pupil who thanked Star Mountain while her daughter was standing near her; Hans Beat Motel from the Moravian Church in Bad Boll/Germany who handed over the stick officially from the old to the new management.
After four years of very intensive cooperation and good development of the centre, the three-person-management (Rauda Marouf, social worker, Anna Muller, special educator, Matthias Hui, Theologian) was replaced. The first time in the 130 years history of the Herrnhuter Brudergemeine in the Holy Land, a Palestinian takes over the general directorate. Rauda Marouf works at Star Mountain since 11 years, and so was able to prepare herself systematically for her new post. The Vice director will be Sophie Korte from Germany who, due to her Islamic Studies and her 1 ½ years of administration work in local organisations, is fairly well familiar with the region, its people and their language.'
Birthday This Month!!
Happy Birthday to:
Bro. Winston Jones 2
Sis. Georgette John 6
Sis. Zenaida Ramsay 8
Bro. Cardinal King 9
Bro. William Lomax 13
Sis. Lilian George 14
Bro. Joseph Nicholas 15
Sis. Megan Gibbs 17
Bro. Wellesley Ferguson 21
Sis. Mabel Matthias 21
Bro. Algernon Lewis 24
Bro. Erflin Browne 25
Sis. Julie Joefield Parris 28
Bro. Dave Browne 29
Anniversaries this Month!!
Happy Anniversary To:
Revd Dr. Derick & Mrs. Lexs Forrester 27
Revd Joseph & Mrs. Patricia Nicholas 27
Two girls walking home from Sunday School discussed a question suggested by a Bible passage. It was hearing the King James Version of the words that Jesus healed the sick "of divers diseases."
"I don't understand that part. What are 'divers diseases'?" asked the younger girl.
"What do you care what they are? You can't even swim," replied the more learned girl.
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A pastor who had been having difficulties with his church accepted a chaplaincy at the state penitentiary. When he preached his farewell sermon at the church, he told his members why he was leaving.
"You don't love me," he moaned. "You haven't paid my salary. You don't love one another., I haven't had a wedding since I've been here. We haven't had a funeral in this church since I've been here. I'm going to be chaplain at the penitentiary. Now I will preach this morning on a text from John 14." He cleared his throat and read, "I go to prepare a place for you."
Then he announced the special number - "Meet Me There."
A Smile - Thanks to David Blum on Unitas Website
Pastoral Good News/Bad News
Good News: The Women's Guild voted to send you a get-well card.
Bad News: The vote passed by 31-30.
Good News: Church attendance rose dramatically the last three weeks.
Bad News: You were on vacation.
Good news: Your deacons want to send you to the Holy Land.
Bad News: They are stalling until the next War.