To: ALL Ministers, Preachers, Leaders, Officers and Members
From: Circuit Superintendent
Date: May 16, 2020
RE: Aldersgate 2020
Greetings and Blessings brothers and sisters in Christ. This time of year has continued to be one of great significance for us as a church as we remember the foundation God used to build this Methodist movement. COVID-19 has stymied much of our preparations and celebrations despite the rare occurrence of the 4th Sunday being MAY 24, the day of John Wesley’s Conversion at Aldersgate Street. The National Council is however inviting all Methodist and friends to join in our adjusted and creative Aldersgate 2020 celebrations as we remember ‘from whence we came’ giving God thanks for the more than 280 years of Methodist witness. Please be guided by the following
- Sunday May 24 MORNING Worship in all congregations. This worship experience will be guided by a common order of service. As such while we will be in different places of worship (our home congregations) we will share a common experience of worship.
- May 24 ALDERSGATE Media Worship, 4.00 p.m. This Aldersgate service will be an “ONLINE” worship experience. This service will be streamed live on YouTube and Facebook and also broadcast live on NBC Radio and SVG TV.
- Wednesday, May 27, 6.00 p.m. – ONLINE PANEL DISCUSSION on the topic “Security, Sanctity and Servitude in a COVID-19 environment”. This discussion will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube with the opportunity to ask questions and make comments. You can join the discussion either by using The Kingstown Methodist Church YouTube channel or the Facebook page named The Kingstown / Chateaubelair Methodist Churches.
- Saturday May 30 – Sunday 31, 24-HOUR PRAYER. Beginning at 12 noon on Saturday 30th to 12 noon Sunday 31st, we will join in prayer using the Zoom online platform. Log-in at any time and several times during this period and let us agree in prayer bringing to the Lord our many and various concerns particularly at this critical time of our life as a church, nation, region and world. We are also encouraging congregations to gather in their chapel (observing the usual protocols) for an hour or more and to indicate what time they will be meeting so those online can be aware that there are others also gathered and agreeing in prayer with them. LET US PRAY!!
Let me also use this opportunity to commend you for your faithfulness during this challenging time and remind you to check in on others, give them a word of encouragement. Remember our brothers and sisters in other parts of the Caribbean and the world especially those whose circumstance may be far more challenging than ours. PLEASE be deliberate in looking for needs within congregations such as students who may not have devices or other materials to facilitate their home learning and other ways to use our missionary and other resources and resourcefulness to continue making a meaningful difference in people’s lives. We are also arranging further assistance to our scholarship holders. As God guides may we discern and obey as we seek to be faithful to his call.
NB. Subsequent to the District General Purposes Committee Zoom meeting today, Saturday, May 16 it is hoped that Statutory Congregational and Circuit Meetings can be held by July 15 which includes the election of Circuit Stewards. Updates on our meetings will be communicated subsequently and as is reasonable.
Rev. A. Davis
To: ALL Ministers, Preachers, Leaders, Officers and Members
From: Circuit Superintendent
Date: April 04, 2020
Greetings and Blessings brothers and sisters in Christ.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, please give attention to the following:
- Worship continues. We will continue making every effort at holding worship as responsibly as possible.
- Please cooperate with the seating arrangements allowing for safe spacing except with households sitting together. Households are asked to sit together which should enable better management of the seat spacing. Congregations should be deliberate in having ushers to guide persons to seats.
- The elderly and those with pre-existing conditions are strongly advised to be mindful of their vulnerability either by being very careful in attendance or choosing not to attend.
- Generally speaking, in light of the recent developments, we encourage all members to limit their movements, visits to supermarkets, banks and other such places as much as is reasonable. Please remember to practice careful hygiene.
- Our office staffing and hours will see some adjustments. Please exercise patience and understanding if there is any inconvenience.
- In the event that you are unable to attend worship, we continue to provide facilities for you to share in the worship experiences. Sunday Services are streamed live from the Kingstown Chapel, 7.00 am, available on the Kingstown Methodist Church YouTube channel. You can also tune in to WeFM 99.9 on Sundays at 9.00am. At our last meeting of the National Council on April 01, we began working towards other technological options for fellowship should the situation necessitate.
- For the Holy Week Services, preachers and congregations should bear in mind that these services can be approached with relative flexibility. Services do not have to be held every day. Whenever services are held, kindly be very deliberate in prayer as we continue to hold our nation and the world at large in prayer. PLEASE pray that our situation will not deteriorate and that God uses us as a unique witness to his grace and mercy.
- Our Preschools will not reopen on Monday April 06 as was previously scheduled.
As you share with those who may be pessimistic, consider our experiences with hurricanes. There are times when all the evidence indicates that a hurricane which hit others will hit us as well and sometimes with stronger force, yet at the last moment, miraculously the hurricane turns away and we are spared. Let us pray that this is again our testimony.
Rev. A. Davis
January 11, 2020
To: Superintendent Ministers
From: Rev. Derick A. Richards – District President
cc: Ministers & Congregations in the South Caribbean District
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings to you in the name of Jesus Christ Head of the Church and Saviour of the world.
I trust that the Renewal Covenant was meaningful and life transforming experience for you. I wish for you personally and the congregations in the circuit every blessing for a Spirit filled, purposeful and productive year 2020.
The South Caribbean District Council will convene in the Beautiful island of Barbados from Friday 17th January to Monday 21st January 2020. This will be preceded by the South Caribbean District Ministerial Training Committee on Wednesday, 15th January 2020 and the South Caribbean District Ministerial Council on Thursday, 16th January, 2020. There will also be the Ordination for Rev. Greta St. Hill and Rev. Ann Yard on Sunday, 19th January 2020 at 4.30 p.m. at the Bethel Methodist Church, Bridgetown; Barbados.
The highlights of the South Caribbean District Conference will be:
- The discussion and adoption of the South Caribbean District Education Development Plan 2020 – 2025
- The reviewing of the Faith and Order Statements on Social and Ecclesiastical issues
- The examination of Probationers and of a Candidate to the Ministry
- The Ordination of Rev. Greta St. Hill and Rev. Ann Yard
I am requesting that:
- On Sunday, 12th January, 2020, special prayers be offered, in all churches throughout the District, for the South Caribbean District Council 2020 as we ask God’s guidance upon our proceedings and that God’s will be done throughout our deliberations and decision making.
- Sunday, 19th January 2020 be observed as a Day of Prayer for the South Caribbean District and for our island states within the District.
Derick A. Richards
To: Ministers, Leaders and Members
From: Circuit Superintendent
Date: January 11, 2020
Special instructions: Please note this memo ought not to be read word for word in the announcements. Stewards are expected to share the highlights.
and Blessings, Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
We give God thanks as a new year has begun with evidence of God’s faithfulness in the year past and his promises for the year to come.
Tomorrow, Sunday January 12 has been earmarked as another Class Sunday. It is intended that this Sunday will be an opportunity for members to sit in classes at best. Preachers or congregations can use this as an opportunity to encourage and promote the importance of the small group ministry.
Please remember that the Joint Circuit Council with the Circuit Pastoral Council meets Tomorrow, January 12, 4.00pm at the Church Hall. I am confident that you are aware that all persons holding positions of responsibility in the Circuit are encouraged to attend. Perhaps a good rule of thumb is, if you are wondering if you should be there then you should. The list includes; all class leaders and assistant leaders, congregational stewards, property and care fund stewards, preachers, mentees, officers of commissions, groups and organizations, elected representatives.
For those who are not yet aware, the Rev. Desmond Mason passed a couple of weeks ago and was buried on Wednesday 8, in St. Lucia. Rev. Mason, who is the brother-in-law of Sis Gillian John, served in both the Kingstown-Chateaubelair and Georgetown-Mt. Coke Circuits at different times in his ministry. He was 95 years old when he passed. Some may remember him from their confirmation or may have seen his name on their baptismal certificate while others may share other memories of his ministry. It is our practice that the funeral is preceded by a special meeting of the District Ministerial session where the obituary is received. All superintendents of the South Caribbean District attended the funeral.
Some of you may be familiar with Bro Noah Kumi from Ghana who served for a short while in the Georgetown-Mt Coke Circuit as lay evangelist. Shortly after arriving here he took ill and after some recovery returned to Ghana. We received news a couple of days ago informing that he has passed.
Do remember both families in prayer.
Annual New Year’s Concert
Our grand, wonderful, uplifting and inspiring annual New Year’s concert will take place on 26th January 2020 at the Kingstown Methodist Church from 4:30 pm, under the theme: It’s your season count it all joy. Tickets are available in each congregation. Please make a special effect to support and promote the concert. We are keen on having not only our Methodists members but non-Methodists as well. This is not a concert for us only. I encourage you to share via WhatsApp and other social media the promotional flyer and video attached.
Youth Fest 2020
The Youth and Young Adult Commission introduces a revamped Youth Month this year. This new approach will take off with a launch of Youth fest 2020 on 18th January, 5:30 pm. This launch includes a March from Heritage Square to The Old Treasury Building Car Park. We are inviting all to join in the march wearing white. The march ends with presentations by our youth, including the Rooted Dance Ministry and a time of singing and the Word.
Have you ever visited our website, Facebook page or YouTube channel? Make a special effort to do so and to promote our online presence. You can also share the link to the sermons and worship services with your friends – sharing the word with them may be a blessing in their lives in a manner you never anticipated.
Website – http://kingchatmethodist.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KingChatMethodist/
Please remember the meeting of the South Caribbean District Council in prayer. Council runs from Tuesday 14 to Monday 20. In addition to the Superintendent, those attending include, Bro Nigel Scott who is a member of the Ministerial Training Committee, Bros Kingsley Duncan, Circuit Steward and Bro Elson Samuel, Lay representative. Rev Smith will also be attending to meet with the Ministerial Training Committee as a missionary in the District.
Your in Christ Service
Rev. A. Davis
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus (Phil 2.5)
One of the most telling truths about humanity is that we are all influenced by one another. Simply put, we are social beings. What this also means is that we have role models, we follow examples and we walk in someone else’s footsteps. The Bible presents Christ as our perfect example, best role model and the one whose footsteps we ought to walk in (Eph 5.1-2, 1 Cor 11.1). This is the substance of Paul’s counsel here in Philippians “let the same mind be in you that that was in Christ Jesus.” In one sense we can understand this to be a reflection on our mind/thinking; in view of the fact that our mind shapes everything about us. The reason Solomon advised “as a man thinketh so is he” (Prov 23.7 paraphrased). Alternately and denotatively, mind here is understood as attitude, not just thought process but how that thought process harmonizes and interplays with our behaviour and our response to a given stimuli.
Jesus’ mind-attitude is epitomized (best reflected) in the incarnation. It is described as “humble”. This is not simply a disposition or ‘personality trait’ equal to ‘easy going’. This is a choice made which includes selflessness (do nothing out of selfish ambition – vs. 3), seeing great value in others (“regard others as better than yourselves – vs. 3) and giving priority to the needs of others (look not to your own interest but to the interests of others – vs 4). Humility is also about how we respond to unfavourable situations since the word humility in itself is from the same root as humiliate. This humility was the foundation of Paul saying “therefore God highly exalted him…” It is a triumphant, overcoming, revolutionary type humility. This is the story of Jesus. God uses an unknown girl, a cattle pen, an insignificant village and shepherds as key components of the most revolutionary and victorious life to have every walked this earth.
This highly exalted, triumphant message born at Christmas is grounded in the principle of humility advocating for a certain kind of selflessness. This is not simply putting others before you, rather, this humility is about being invested in the other person’s relationship with God. Putting them first towards them honouring God in their life. Jesus humbled himself to be a slave, the ultimate servant that we may be reconciled to God. This challenges us to see the worth in others, a worth is not based on the certificates and accolades they received, nor is worth primarily based on the fact that we are humans – mortal beings of flesh and blood. Our worth is in and through and because of God. Recognizing the worth of all human beings is and ought to be grounded in a deep appreciation that we are all made in God’s image and likeness and that God’s very breath is in us, we are all His children, in him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17.28). We must therefore aggressively reject any effort to define human worth by physical or material accomplishment, by intellect or wit or by any national or international institution. While institutions have their place and value human worth is neither because a constitution so declares or any treaty so requires. The worth of every Vincentian whether we are signed on to an international treaty or not is inalienable. This is a good time for us to see one another because we all matter and remember simple virtues such as hi and hello, good morning and good evening. It is a good time for us remember the good Samaritan, who needed no name, nor identification, no family history but cared for the next person just because here was a child of God in need. This is a good time to remember that the tourist and the local alike are all people of worth, children of God. This is a good time to remember that the person in a mansion and the homeless on the street are all people of worth, children of God. This is a good time to remember the employer and business man and the employee and unemployed are all people of worth, Children of God. Such is our worth that Jesus made an amazing sacrifice, leaving the glory of eternity, becoming moral just for you and me.
This matter of our worth also challenges us to raise question about issues regarding our women and children. The stories of abuse and rape prompt our consideration of the matter of worth. We must resist the many activities that, in effect, demean our women and treat our children merely as commodities. Our world continues to wrestle with the problem of Trafficking of Persons and St Vincent and the Grenadines needs to do due diligence to ensure that we do not add to the narrative. We must challenge our business places who believe a scantily clad young woman is the best lure or advertisement for their product. We must challenge bosses, employers and other senior personnel who lure women into offering themselves for favours. We must continue to cry foul to our van drivers and our entertainers who use music and various art forms to present the woman as a sex object. We must speak up and speak out when we learn of neighbours or villagers who seek to destroy the innocence of our children. If we do not together work towards protecting our children, giving them a strong sense of security and an assurance that we are a nation, that’s there for them, we may well say to them that they are of little worth, contributing to destroying their self-esteem. The worth of our children is at risk as they are exposed to ideas and philosophies that devalue them by instructing and indoctrinating them into believing that they are simply what they feel, and that God did not make them male or female, rather they must figure out which of more than 100 possibilities they are. The worth of our young people is at risk when we devalue them by teaching that they have no control, no power over their body and sexual appetite so just “protect yourself”. The worth of our people in this nation has been compromised by an annual festival that encourages and celebrates no restraint, vulgarity, nudity, indulgence and bad behaviour. The incarnation tells us of our worth as Jesus sacrificed himself that we may become reconciled with God, possible only when we are willing to turn from sin.
This humility Jesus exemplified at Christmas woos us to become persons who are invested in responding to the need of others. This is not about people pleasing, neither is it simply about being do-gooders rather it is looking after their interest, their best interest. It is seeking to reconcile others to God – their greatest need. In so doing we work towards the other experiencing the fullness of life as God desires. This therefore is a call for neighbourliness. It is being deliberately invested in the wellbeing of the next person. This is challenging at a time when “mind your own business” is a common mantra. The call for neighbourliness challenges us at this time of gift-giving, when it seems we care, to be deliberate in our thoughts towards the other. It forces us to candidly reject the folly of tribal politics which can at times see someone celebrating the demise of the next person simply because they are on a different side of the political divide. Rejecting the kind of tribalism which may even manifest itself when the funeral of the die-hard of one party – however outstanding a person they were – sees a noticeable absence of persons from “the other side”. This neighbourliness is the kind that must see us leaving our spaces of comfort and convenience to encourage and support those who are hurting and struggling. This kind of neighbourliness encourages us to be more responsible with the stories we hear and our readiness to spread them without getting the facts. We must consider the lives that will be affected. It is the kind of neighbourliness that challenges our use of social media and encourages our talk show personalities and radio programs to be more invested in the advancement of people’s lives than ratings and popularity.
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. This humility we celebrate at Christmas is that we must also aspire to collectively and individually exemplify. It is this humility that sees God highly exalting. It suggests that the future of SVG can be tremendously advanced if we are to learn a fundamental Christmas lesson in humility and let the mind that was in Christ be also in us.
Message by the Christian Council of St. Vincent & the Grenadines