A Communication from the Chairman of the PEC, The Moravian Church — EWI Province
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
"Doing Church As A Team" is the title of a book by Wayne Cordeiro. I have not read it as yet, but I will. I think it captures what to my mind is one of the most important challenges facing the EWI Province as we go into the future. Now doing Church as team may mean different things to different people at different times, or operating and co-operating as we must in different Conferences and with differing gifts and resources. However, as a Province, it should mean one thing and one thing only and that idea is captured by the Apostle Paul when he stated - look not on your own affairs but the affairs of others. Consider not only your own affairs and interests but also affairs and interests of others (Phil. 2:4).
The simple-minded may suggest that this statement of the Apostle Paul encourages nothing more than "busy-body activity". No! It is intended to counteract "busy-body activity" and to replace it with loving concern, compassion and cooperation aroused by empathy and a commitment to share ourselves and our resources. To be sure, more things will always be wrought by a strong spirit of cooperation and Christian compassion than any single individual can dream. The word compassion has at its root the compound rendering of "com" - with, and "pathos" - suffering/sorrow. It can mean to suffer with or to experience the pressure or burden of life as shared. A dream to be sure remains a dream until others embrace the vision - becoming partners with the dreamer(s). John Maxwell has put it well, and the thought has captured my heart - "Teamwork makes the dream work".
As a Province, we are called upon to push beyond the challenges of geography and personality to engage creatively and effectively the opportunities of ministry in our time. In the womb of diversity we will find the glory of unity and possibility. It should therefore be our aim to build into a "new discourse" in this Province. In doing so, we will draw ever nearer to the possessing and perfecting of the dream of "A Church --Transformed, United, Victorious in Christ."
Dividing the Province The PEC met and has decided that one way to show and encourage teamwork, camaraderie and concern is to be in conversation and contact with all Staff Members. Accordingly, it was decided to "divide" the Province in three areas for ease of regular contact with staff :-
St. Kitts and Trinidad - Bro. Christopher
· Antigua and Barbaods - Bro. Connor
· Tobago and VI - Bro. Roberts
The aim in doing this is to encourage us all to build into a "new discourse" as we relate to each other, within Conferences and throughout the Province. The Chairman is still expected to carry out the duties as laid down in the Book of Order. This division is meant to encourage a higher level of communication and co-operation and as such to lead to a "new discourse" as we anticupate into the future.
Sis Ida Brown has resigned as the Accounting Officer at the Provincial Headquarters. She has served in that position for about 3 1/2 years. On behalf of the Province we record our profound gratitude for the tremendous and invaluable service rendered by Sis. Brown. Sis. Brown will now be able, as she desires, to spend more of her golden hours with Bishop Brown May God Bless them both with continued long life and healthful days.
Sis. Menelva Samuel was employed as the Administrative Assistant at the Headquarters, beginning October 15, 2006. Her duties will include that of the Accounting Officer. Sis. Samuel is a member of the Lebanon congregation. It is a joy to welcome her as a new staff member.
Sis. Roslyn Hamblin has been granted Furlough as at January 01 to 2007. We express gratitude for all her labours in the work of the ministry and administration. Her dedication and service as Chairman of PEC (2000-03; 2004-06) will always be appreciated.
Sis. Freida Noel (PEC Member: 2000-06) has agreed to continue to serve as Provincial Treasurer until a suitable replacement is found and appointed. We appreciate deeply her willingness to serve and express our gratitude for the sterling contributions already made.
Provincial Group Administrator
Bro. George Ramsay (PEC Member: 1996-06) has consented to continue to serve as the Provincial Group Administrator of the Insurance and Pension Plan with Sagicor Life Inc. We here record a debt of gratitude and appreciation for his long standing service and commitment.
The Web Page
Bro. Ezra Parris (PEC Member: 2000-06) has been invited to assist with the Provincial web page. We express our gratitude and appreciation for his dedication and service over many years. We look forward to his technical support in the future.
Sis. Camille James, a candidate for the full-time ministry, has been asked to serve as a Student Pastor in the Tobago Conference for one (1) year in the first instance. This year will constitute pre-collegiate preparation. Sis. James completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Technology at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine campus while attending the Catholic Seminary (St. John Vianney) in Trinidad. She is assigned to the Spring Gardens and Bethesda pastorate.
Ministers of Music Workshop
Bro. Mikie Roberts and Bro. Patmore Smith met in St. Thomas, Virgin Island for the Ministers of Music workshop from Thursday, November 16 to Monday, November 20, 2006. They completed significant work in reviewing the compilation of the new hymnal. They also gave attention to other pertinent areas of the music ministry in the Province. In addition, it has been agreed after discussions with Bro. Paul Gardner (President of PEC Jamaica) that the Jamaica Province will do all necessary work in reviewing the liturgies submitted. The work will thus be divided between the EWI and Jamaica Provinces.
Relocation of Tobago Conference Office
The vestry of the Old Moravian Church School at Spring Gardens, Tobago, served as the Conference Office for the last twenty-odd years. While it was considered centrally located, the leaks and termites became a great challenge.
On Monday 30th October, 2006, the Tobago Conference officially relocated its office to Cashew Hill, Montgomery. A decision was taken to name the building, "Mizpah Manor," This name speaks of the joy experienced when the parties involved in this disputed property were finally able to meet and agree to bring closure to the matter in a most cordial, Christ-like manner. We reasoned together and now the four-room, air-conditioned building is fully back in the church's hands. The building now has the Secretary's office, the Superintendent's Office, a Conference room and a classroom. We say "to God be the glory".
The PEC has acceded to the request made by Bro. Joseph Nicholas, and in consultation with the PEC of the Southern Province has renewed the secondment arrangement for for another five (5) years.
We wish Bro. Nicholas and family continued success as he continued to minister in Florida.
UTCWI Board of Governors
The Board of Governors meeting took place on October 26, 2006. Bro. Mikie Roberts represented the Province. While in Jamaica Bro. Mikie met with the Ministers in Training (MIT) both collectively and individually. He counseled and encouraged them as their's was a most difficult emotional start to the new academic year (the death of the President and a double rape on campus). Bro. Roberts also met with Bro. Paul Gardner (President of PEC Jamaica), Bro. Alvin Barker (Tutor/Warden) and Bro. Stanley Clarke. The MIT's have weathered the storm and have settled into the challenge of the semester. Let us continue to encourage them with our prayers and support.
We welcome to the Provincial family Samara Anaya Naomi, daughter born to Rev. Sean and Sis Paula Roberts on July 29, 2006. Both baby and mother are fine.
Bro. Sidney Walling was honored at the 25th Anniversary celebrations of Antigua and Barbuda's Independence. He was made Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of the Nation (KCN) for Services to Cricket and the Community Bro. Walling is a member of the Spring Gardens congregation in the Antigua Conference. The Province salute him on this achievement. Bro. Walling is 99 years old.
Bishop in Guyana
Bishop Kingsley Lewis traveled to Guyana to officiate at the ordination of Bro. Leroy Levans. The Ordination Service took place on Sunday, November 12, 2006.
Bishop Lewis also represented the Province at the Annual Provincial Conference of the Guyana Moravian Church held during the same week - November 12-16.
The election for a new Unity Board President has been completed. Sis. Angelene Swart of South Africa is the new Unity President. Sis. Swart has the distinction of being the first female, and a lay person in this office of Unity President. We wish her well in her tenure.
The Moravian Church Foundation held its Board meeting for the first time in Antigua during the period November 13 - 16, 2006. From reports the meeting went well, and was chaired by Bro. Robert Hopcroft. All members of the Board were present except Bro. Vincent Richards who was hospitalized during the time of meeting.
CCC Sunday Observance
The Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC) at its 7th General Assembly held in Panama 2005 designated the Sunday closest to November 13 of each year as CCC Sunday. As a Member Church, in keeping with this resolution, we are expected to observe this Sunday with prayers for the work of the CCC and ecumenism as a whole, and also to receive a special offering for the said work.
It has been noted that the greatest single threat to the sustainability of the CCC lies in the financial sphere, and several factors contributing to the threat have been identified. Member Churches are therefore called upon to encourage their membership to give generously to the work of the CCC. The Province is being asked to use the First Sunday in Advent or a Sunday before the year's end to received a special offering in accordance with this appeal. Let us honor the commitment to ecumenism.
Birthday greetings for the month of November go out to :
Sis. Florence Isaac 7
Bro. Rowan Simmons 19
Bro. Ezra Parris 21
Sis. Myrtle Miller 21
Sis. Geraldine Roberts 23
Sis. Joyce Walters 24
The Dunscombe Moravian Church in the Barbados Conference celebrates its 146th Anniversary on November 08, 2006. The Rev Ezra Parris is Pastor, with Rev. Jeremy Francis and Sis. Movelle Kellman, as Associate Pastors and Supplementary Minister, respectively. The congregation has a membership of 126.
The Tortola Fellowship celebrated its 13th Anniversary with a Mission Lovefeast observance on November 12. The Fellowship has received permission to put a temporary structure upon the land it is to receive as gift from Sis. Mary Francis. The issue of the land seems very near to a resolution. Bro. Mikie Roberts has special responsibility for the Tortola Fellowship along with Sis. Winelle Kirton-Roberts and Bro. George Bedford - the other staff members in the pastorate. As they forge ahead with this ministry undertaking, we solicit your prayers and continued support.
The Potters (Zion) Congregation celebrated its 125th Anniversary on Sunday, October 15, 2006. The guestspreacher was Bro. Joseph Nicholas, Pastor of Prince of Peace Moravian in Florida; and former Pastor of Potters and former Chairman of EWI Province.
"Come Celebrate the Child" is the third Annual Choir Concert under the direction of Bro. Patmore Smith, Minister of Music in the Antigua Conference. This Advent Season musical treat will be used to mark the end of the year long celebrations of the 250th Anniversary of the Moravian work in Antigua. The theme chosen in observing this special milestone is 250 Years Establishing, Educating, Empowering People of God.
We wish the Antigua Conference well and pray for continued success in all its work and witness to the glory of God.
Moravian Memorial Dates
November 13th - The Proclamation of the Headship of Christ in the Moravian Church, 1741. (Christ as Chief Elder of the Moravian Church)
December 13th - The beginning of the Moravian Missions, St. Thomas, V.I., 1732
Copyright 2006 The Moravian Church Eastern West Indies Province P.O. Box 504, Cashew Hill, St. John's, Antigua, Caribbean.