May 1999

The Information


Overture '99

Revd Mikie Roberts reports on Provincial Music Workshop.

"I have been inspired and renewed," "This workshop went way beyond my expectations," "I don't know what exactly I'm going to do when I get back home, but I know that I have to do something." These were some of the comments coming from among the over 50 participants of the first Provincial Music Workshop of our Province. Organists and Choir directors as well as other church musicians came from throughout the Province for four days of work, reflection and sharing of their vision for music in our Province.

There were participants from Antigua (7), St. Kitts (3), Trinidad (2), USVI (4) and host country Barbados (35). It was a packed schedule that sought in some way to address some of the relevant issues confronting today's church musicians. One of the major concerns that was addressed was seeking to strengthen the relationship between pastors and musicians so that the overall worship of the people of God would be enhanced. Participants were very vocal about seeking to put structures in place both locally within each Conference and on a Provincial level to assist with the growth and development of the Church's musicians. Coming out in the evaluation exercise, it is hoped that some of these concerns will be tabled at the upcoming 25th Synod of our Province. There was also a time for participants to share their musical gifts with the Barbados Conference at the afternoon service of the Youth Convention.

Sincere thanks must be expressed to the Barbados Conference for hosting this workshop and the members of the Steering and Hospitality Committees for their hard work. Thanks to the other Conferences for their support and in particular Revd Algernon Lewis who served as chaplain for the workshop.

With a renewed aim and purpose as well as tremendous excitement, many of the participants left with one question on their lips: when is the next workshop?


Bishop Brown offers "A Little Prayer for Provincial Synod"

Dear heavenly Father, as we prepare for the forthcoming Synod of our Church, we humbly thank you for permitting us to be partakers in the work of your vineyard. Forgive us for the coldness of our zeal and renew us by the power of your Holy Spirit.

May your blessings rest upon the meetings of our Synod. Give those who act for us wisdom from on high. Grant us unity of spirit. Give wisdom and understanding to all who shall preside at sessions and committees. Help us in our meetings to preserve and defend the truth which you have committed to our unworthy keeping. Let all of our officers and committees seek only your glory and the good of your Church. Grant that all things be done in brotherly love and in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

At the close of Synod, may we return to our congregations with renewed determination and zeal to work for the building up of your kingdom while it is still day.

Hear us and help us and bless us for sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Widows Say Thanks

The widows of our Ministers have been expressing their gratitude to the entire Province for the generous contribution through the widows' offering for 1998. They are thankful that we remember them and that we are still willing to assist them in this special way.

A special word of greeting to all from Sis Myrtle Miller and her daughter who now live in Florida.

New Presbyters...

On Sunday May 2, 1999, three (3) new Presbyters will be counted among our Provincial staff. Brothers Wellesley Ferguson, Derick Forrester and Ezra Parris will be consecrated by Bishop Neville Brown at the Spring Gardens Moravian Church in Antigua.

Bro. Ferguson and Bro. Forrester were ordained in 1990 while Bro. Parris was ordained in 1992.

Bro. Ferguson served in the Tobago Conference before joining the staff of the Antigua staff in 1996.

Bro. Forrester served in Trinidad and Barbados before joining the Antigua staff in 1993.

Bro. Parris has been on the staff of the Antigua Conference since 1991.

Other Deacons have been recommended for consecration to the Bishop by the P.E.C. These services will take place in the near future.

Registering for June Semester of Moravian Seminary Programme

All students and other interested persons are kindly asked to note that the June 1999 semester for Moravian Theological Seminary / Buxton Grove Extension Programme will take place at the Moravian Headquarters in Cashew Hill, Antigua from June 7-25.

Two courses in Johannine Literature and Spiritual Formation will be taught by the Revd Dr. Frank Couch and Revd Dr. Glenn Asquith respectively.

I am sure that many of you will be interested in these two courses.

Kindly indicate real soon and certainly before the deadline of May 3.

Classes will be held from Monday to Friday with Johannine Literature from 9 a.m. - 12 noon and Spiritual Formation from 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.


Mr. Walwyn Blackman Conference treasurer in Barbados reflects on the Provincial theme for 1999, "Charting the Course"

"Charting the course...." My perspective of the way the Conference and the Province should travel towards the year 2000 and beyond.

The year 2000 has great significance in the world today. Most of it, I believe comes from the fact that man has been able to record, retain and influence more of the present millennium, the previous one and coming closer to the focal point, more so in this closing century than any other.

The church must first come to grips with the concept that, while it was the focal point in the life of the society more than fifty years ago, this same technological revolution of which we boast, has caused it to be relegated to a much lower level of significance. In the meantime, it has done nothing to permit itself to regain that position and the slide continues.

In addition, it no longer has the resources it needs for this battle. It should be clearly pointed out that there has been lost of resources. Quite simply put the lower level resources which the church possessed at that time was sufficient to command the position it did at that time but this is no longer the case.

So what are these significant changes which I consider the church needs to make in an effort to come along and get ahead "in charting the new course?" There are a few concepts that need to be embraced!

Leadership: To just go ahead, the Province and the Conference need "leadership". This must not be interpreted in a personal and limited manner to suggest that there is a need for a new Chairman of P.E.C. or new Superintendents.

What it means is that at the level of Province, the church needs a Chairman that sees the need to navigate the future differently; the Church needs to match with him the members of the P.E.C. who recognize the need for this change and the ability to make it happen: the Province needs Superintendents who embrace this change and are capable of making the changes.

Management : Just as the Caribbean is currently grappling with the absence of this requirement in the case of the West Indies cricket team, the Province, the Conferences and, indeed, the Congregations, must grapple with the need to raise the level of management performance from that which they now experience.

We, like our counterparts in business, must come to the view that greater levels of success will come only with better levels of Management. What is more important and with which we must grapple is the fact that not everyone who is appointed to manage is capable of managing.

New Approaches: It should be clear to all that the present structure of the Province is such that any member of staff could, at some time, be appointed to the management positions commonly known as "Superintendent", "Secretary of the P.E.C." and "Members of P.E.C.". There must come a time that any member of staff who aspires to hold these positions must prepare themselves for these positions in a fashion they would pursue were they seeking a managerial position elsewhere.

The Church must develop a mechanism whereby every member of staff must be exposed in a form and structured way to training that is necessary for the "ordinary person" to prepare them for such posts.

Charting a Path..... To The Year 2000... and Beyond: In my opinion, the Province should gather a group of thinkers to address the needs of the Province. These persons should include persons from outside the Church who will not be restricted by "history and tradition" as well as some whose discipline is "managing". A clear and incisive look must be made of the present structure and practices and the result of the continued existence of these practices with a view to improving them. Indeed, the present structure of the Province, namely that of there being six different Conferences spanning five different cultures and four different monetary currencies must, eventually come under review. (I did not say revision!).

Structures must be put in place which will see the level of management allowed to improve. The Conference must seek to make use of the talent it has but which it discourages because of its bureaucracy. I suspect that a new path can be charted with God's grace and with the will of those who want to see the "promised land". This new path will see the Conference go forward into the new millennium with confidence and success even if the status quo is to be disturbed. Indeed, the suggested path may appear different but even the best chefs know that they cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs!

{These are excepts taken from a paper presented to Conference Officers in Barbados in March 1999.}

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to: Friedensberg Moravian Church in St. Croix

The Friedensberg Moravian Church in St. Croix celebrates its 228th anniversary on May 3. There are 729 members and the pastor is Rev Roslyn Hamblin.

Happy Anniversary to: Centenary Moravian Church in Barbados

The Centenary Moravian Church in Barbados celebrates its 133rd anniversary on May 3. There are 156 members and the pastors are Rev Holder and Rev Andrew Roberts.

Happy Anniversary to: Memorial Moravian Church in St. Thomas

The Memorial Moravian Church in St. Thomas celebrates its 156th anniversary on May 17. There are 1436 members and the pastor is Revd Leon Matthias

Happy Anniversary to: Lebanon Moravian Church in Antigua

The Lebanon Moravian Church in Antigua Celebrates its 161st anniversary on May 19. There are 567 members and the Pastor is Revd Dr. Derick Forrester.

Congratulations to all of you!!


Let's not Forget

May 3, 1728 - The beginning of the Daily Text in Herrnhut, Germany.

In the early days, the Text for the following day was given at the evening service by Count Zinzendorf. For persons who could not attend the service, someone would go in the morning to announce the Text for the day. From about 1730, the Daily Text became an annual publication. Up to Count Zinzendorf's death in 1760, he selected the Texts.

May 12, 1727 - The adoption and signing of the Brotherly Agreement by the community of Herrnhut. This marked the official renewal of the Unitas Fratrum or Moravian Church.


Events Upcoming

  1. May 1-27: Prayer Watch in the Eastern West Indies Province. Conferences, congregations, families and individuals are asked to do your part so that the chain link will not be broken.
  2. May 13: Ascension Day 40 days since Easter
  3. May 23: Pentecost or Whit Sunday -- 50 days since Easter
  4. May 30: Trinity Sunday
  5. June 17-20: P.E.C. meeting in Antigua.
  6. June 23-29: Meeting of the Unity Board in Bethel, Alaska.

The 17th Archivist of the Unity Archives in Herrnhut, the Revd Paul Peucker Speaks

In 1996 I moved from home congregation in Zeist in the Netherlands to start a new job in the Unity Archives in Herrnhut - Germany. In 1997 I was appointed Director of these archives: this made me the 17th Unity Archivist in a long list since its founding in 1764.

The Unity Archives in Herrnhut is one of the oldest institutions of the Moravian Church. In 1764, the first synod after Zinzendorf's death resolved that the records of the Moravian Church should be united in one archives in order to make them available for the new leaders of the Unity and for historians who were asked to write the history of the Moravian Church and its mission work. All the files from the directory of the Moravian Church that were scattered among Marienborn (Germany), Lindsey House near London and Bethlehem were united in Zeist, while a group of archivists started to catalogue and appraise the material. In 1801, the Unity Archives was moved to Barby (Germany), in 1809 to Niesky and in 1820 to Herrnhut. Here, a special archives building was erected in 1888-1890 to house the precious documents, books, paintings and other historical objects. The collection in the Unity Archives have withstood many moves, several wars and different political regimes. The great fire and destruction of Herrnhut on May 9th, 1945 did not reach the present building. Under the Communist regime of East Germany, the archives were left alone. That also meant that there was hardly any government support. During all those years, it was only possible to do research in Herrnhut with a special visa.

After the Fall of the Wall in 1989 and the resulting German Reunification, a new era began for the Unity Archives. With a grant from the Moravian Church Foundation, the exterior facade was restored. Inside, a large reading-room was created to facilitate ten researchers with laptop computers. The number of researchers has more than doubled since the early 1990's. In 1998, 197 researchers (1900:81) on 541 research days (1990:324) were recorded. These researchers came from 16 different countries.

Please Pray For...

Sis Patricia Nicholas and her family. Sis Nicholas' mother died in St. Kitts recently.


Sis Sonia Spencer who returned to her home in St. Croix recently after several months of medical attention in the U.S.A.


Bro. Cortroy Jarvis who returned to Antigua recently after several weeks of medical attention in the U.S.A.


Birthdays this Month!!!

Happy Birthday to:

  • Sis. Lenore Worrell 1
  • Bro. Patmore Smith 10
  • Sis. Ivy Vessup 10
  • Sis. Patricia St. Hill 12
  • Sis. Eulalie King 17
  • Sis. Deborah Challenger 27

A Smile


A man and his wife were on vacation. In a remote area they found a little "greasy Spoon" restaurant.

"We'll each have two eggs, toast, and a cup of coffee," the man said to the waitress. "And by the way, we'd like a few kind words."

The waitress promptly brought the order to the couple and walked away.

"What about our kind words?" the man asked.

The waitress leaned over and whispered in his ear, "Don't eat those eggs!"



A plane full of retirees headed for Florida was gripped with fear when the pilot announced, "Two of our engines are on fire, we are flying through a heavy fog, and it has eliminated all our visibility."

The passengers were numb with fear, except for one - a retired minister. "Now, now, keep calm," he said. "Let's all bow our heads and pray."

Immediately they bowed their heads to pray - except one man. "Why aren't you bowing your head to pray?" the minister asked.

"I don't know how to pray," replied the passenger.

"Well, just do something religious!" instructed the minister.

The man got up and passed his hat down the aisle, taking an offering.


The World Council of Churches sends out message to the Churches

In the two previous issues of "The Information", we carried the first two parts of the text of the message of the 8th assembly of the W.C.C. to the churches. Now we are pleased to present the final part of that message.

Being together under the cross in Africa.

Blessed is our God always, now and forever, and to the ages. Amen"

We have also experienced the pain brought by our remaining divisions, as revealed in our inability to share one Eucharist. But we were constantly reminded that what unites us is stronger than what divides us. Christian remembering is not centered on our divided memory but rather on the saving events of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For this reason, to remember together as Christians is an essential part of turning to God, so that we may rejoice in hope. It is as we turn to God and see in the other the face of God that we know and see who we are. This is the heart of a truly ecumenical spirituality. We sought to allow open space for one another, and to create space for those who are failing to connect with each other in a divided world. In the Assembly, a wide range of concerns and commitments came together, providing an opportunity to realize how the Spirit leads the community of faith far beyond any individual horizon. We experienced the richness of God, and of the various ways we can respond to a world which encompasses people of many living faiths. We claim religious freedom as a fundamental human right.

The World Council of Churches began its journey in faith with the determination to stay together. We experienced this same determination in Harare, even when we were aware of the difficulties that we faced. As churches long committed to staying together, we now commit ourselves to being together in a continuing growth towards visible unity - not only in assemblies and ecumenical gatherings but each in every place. It is this being together that all ecumenical work at every level must serve. The mission to which God calls the church in the service of God's reign, cannot be separated from the call to be one. In Harare we saw once again the immensity of the mission in which God invites us to share. In this mission we who are reconciled to God through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross are challenged to work for reconciliation and peace with justice among those torn apart by violence and war.

From this 8th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, we share with you, our brothers and sisters, a message of hope. The God who has called us together will bring us to the fulfillment of all things in Christ. The Jubilee which has begun among us is sent to you, to celebrate the liberation of the entire creation.

As we have turned once again to God, we have been able to rejoice in hope. We invite you to share with us the vision which we have been able to express together and which, we pray, will become part of a common life and witness-

We long for the visible oneness of the body of Christ, affirming the gifts of all, young and old, women and men, lay and ordained.

We expect the healing of human community, the wholeness of God's entire creation.

We trust in the liberating power of forgiveness, transforming enmity into friendship and breaking the spiral of violence.

We are challenged by the vision of a church that will reach out to everyone, sharing, caring, proclaiming the good news of God's redemption, a sign of the kingdom and a servant of the world.

We are challenged by the vision of a church, the people of God on the way together, confronting all divisions of race, gender, age or culture, striving to realize justice and peace, upholding the integrity of creation.

We journey together as a people with resurrection faith. In the midst of exclusion and despair, we embrace, in joy and hope, the promise of life in all its fullness.

We journey together as a people of prayer. In the midst of confusion and loss of identity, we discern signs of God's purpose being fulfilled and expect the coming of God's reign.