ATCU Executive Committee Plans for Large Reaping Campaigns in 2019

ATCU Executive Committee Plans for Large Reaping Campaigns in 2019
ATCU Communication Department



The executive committee of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), the principal governing and policy-making body of the Adventist church in the Atlantic Caribbean region, concluded its series of meetings for the mid-year period of 2017 at the union headquarters in Nassau, Bahamas on Thursday, June 1, 2017.

ATCU has changed the way it assembles the executive committee to economize without compromising the efficiency of the meetings. Usually, the meetings would be held over a two-day period with members residing outside of Nassau, Bahamas traveling to Nassau for the meetings. However, since 2014 and with the use of a video conferencing platform, the union administrators have been able to conduct one day of the meetings online. This proved to be financially prudent and decreased the amount of time committee members spent away from their families, offices, and personal responsibilities.
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With this new schedule, the committee, which is comprised of almost thirty persons, held its first day of meetings online on May 25, 2017, with the second being conducted at the union headquarters in Nassau on June 1. Agenda items focused on implementing key strategies for evangelism, education, and youth ministries among others.

Evangelism

In 2015, the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (IAD) embarked on an evangelistic endeavor known as “Lord Transform Me (LTM),” an initiative that calls for the membership of the 24 unions of the IAD to be involved in witnessing activities and major evangelistic campaigns annually. Each year, the IAD selects a union to be the site where evangelists from around the division would converge to conduct one-week reaping campaigns culminating in a grand baptismal service at the end of the week. The union chosen to be the host site in the spring of 2019 is ATCU and, consequently, the committee voted the plans for organizing and preparing for this huge event. It is projected that there would be over 60 evangelistic sites throughout ATCU assigned to over 60 preachers, Bible workers, and leaders who will be coming from all over the IAD. At the end of the week-long reaping campaigns, the union leaders expect that 1000 persons would be baptized on the grand baptismal day in ATCU.

Pastor Peter Kerr, ATCU LTM coordinator, revealed that leading up to the event a number of training sessions in small group ministries and evangelism strategies will take place across the union to empower the many volunteers who are needed to make this massive outreach a success.
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Education

In education, committee members accepted the union board of education’s recommendation that all schools within ATCU have the same mission statement, vision statement, and value statements and, consequently, voted to adopt the new statements proposed. Union education director, Dr. Cheryl Rolle, explained that this development represented the first step in the move towards the ATCU schools becoming a school system rather than a system of schools.

According to Dr. Rolle, the goal of the school system initiative is for all ATCU schools to engage in the standardized implementation of global best practices in the areas of
governance and leadership, academics and instruction, and finance in providing quality
Adventist education to the students in the Atlantic Caribbean Union territory.

“While each school will maintain its uniqueness and personality, all schools of the ATCU will be working together to ensure that each school has a clear and shared mission and vision; high standards and expectations; effective school leadership; high levels of collaboration and communication; standards-based instruction and assessment; frequent monitoring of teaching and learning; supportive learning environment; and high levels of parent involvement. Achieving this will define us as a school system of excellence.”

There are four schools within the union: Bahamas Academy in New Providence, The Bahamas; Grand Bahama Academy in Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas; Maranatha Academy in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands; and Cayman Academy in George Town, Grand Cayman.

Youth

Embracing the idea that the young people are the future of the Adventist church, the committee voted to support the IAD initiatives Pass It On and Mission Transform Evangelistic Campaigns, programs designed to encourage youth in becoming actively involved in church leadership and evangelism. Pastor Dannie Clarke, former union youth director, pointed out that these events will help to affirm our youth in the faith through training and the strengthening of their leadership skills.

Children and Adolescents

The IAD has declared 2018 as the Year of the Child and Adolescent. The major activity for this year will be an evangelistic initiative called “The Talking Backpack” which the committee voted to support as throughout the year children and youth participate in activities that teach Christian values and prepare children and adolescents to share the gospel.

Symposium of Praise

A highlight of the mid-year meetings is the symposium of praise where praise reports from the four fields and NCU are shared with the members. At this year’s symposium, five lay leaders were presented with gifts and certificates from the IAD for their outstanding work in lay evangelism: Johnny Taylor (ATCU); Racine Smith (Cayman Islands Conference); Marvin Green (North Bahamas Conference); David Knowles (South Bahamas Conference); and Yanique Henriquez (Turks and Caicos Islands Mission). Additionally, Elder Stanley Major received an award in absentia from the IAD for being the longest serving local elder in the English-speaking region of the IAD.

At the end of the mid-year meetings, committee members asked God to bless the decisions of the committee and left the meeting inspired to continue God’s business in this territory.
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The executive committee is comprised of members from the four fields of ATCU (the Cayman Islands Conference; the North Bahamas Conference; the South Bahamas Conference; and the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission) as well as representatives from Northern Caribbean University which is jointly owned by ATCU and the Jamaica Union.