“God has brought you to the right place where you can surrender, renew, rejuvenate, and recommit your whole being to a God who is anxiously waiting to meet you where you are!” said Mrs. Jacqueline Gibson, women’s ministries director of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in her welcome to the ladies from across the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) territory attending the union’s Women’s Ministries Retreat held during the weekend of October 20-22, 2017, at the Melia Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. This year’s retreat, hosted by the South Bahamas Conference, was under the theme “Fulfilling my Purpose.” Among the almost 300 attendees were ladies from other denominations as well as from the Adventist conferences and mission in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Mrs. Denise Johnson, women’s ministries director of ATCU, in her welcome message invited attendees to use the weekend to focus on God and His purpose for their lives as noted in the theme text for the retreat, Jeremiah 29:11. “Are you aware of the plans God has for you? And, if you are, have you accepted them and are walking according to His purpose?” she asked.
Bringing greetings on the opening night were Pastor Paul Scavella, president of the South Bahamas Conference, and Dr. Cheryl Rolle, associate secretary of ATCU, who spoke on behalf of the president of ATCU, Pastor Leonard Johnson.
The speaker for this power-packed weekend was Ms. Linda Anderson, dean of women at Oakwood University. At the commencement of the retreat, she spoke to the attendees on the topic “Peculiar Women of Purpose,” showcasing women who by the world’s standards were not considered suitable, but for whom God had a purpose.
Throughout the weekend, the women in attendance were reminded of the biblical principles that point them toward discovering and fulfilling their purpose in God. On Sabbath afternoon, time was carved out specifically for the GEMS (Girls Empowered for Ministry and Service) in attendance where they openly discussed issues and were given guidance on how to find and fulfill their purpose as young women.
The weekend concluded with a moving pinning ceremony where women were encouraged to continue to fulfill God’s plan for their lives.
By Nadia King, South Bahamas Conference
Ready To Share Him!
Excitement filled the air as women from the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, and representatives from England, the United States, and Columbia filled the Sheraton Hotel, Cable Beach in Nassau, Bahamas for the annual Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) Women’s Ministries Retreat on Friday evening, September 20, 2013.
Under the theme, “That I May Share Him, we welcomed the Sabbath with a vibrant, enriching, song service that spiritually prepared us for the word from the Lord. Just before the word, however, Sis. Patrice Gordon, event coordinator for the South Bahamas Conference, led us into a humbling prayer experience. She urged us to empty ourselves of the hindrances that would prevent us from receiving the outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the weekend.
Our keynote speaker, Sister Heather-Dawn Small, women’s ministries director of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, under the control of the Holy Spirit, delivered a captivating and inspiring message entitled “Yes We Can…With God!”
In this message, she reminded us that we belong to God and we are unable to successfully accomplish anything without Him. She challenged us to come back to a holy God who is waiting to empower us for the completion of his work.
It was an awesome experience to share in this service of consecration and rededication with the sisters of the Adventist faith and those who were visiting from the Women’s Department of the Anglican Diocese.
Celebrating the Sabbath!
Sabbath School began with a program that showcased the many hats women wear. The sisters from the Cayman Islands delivered an engaging program which included dramatization, song, and study of the word.
“Reformation: Healing Broken Relationships” was the lesson that we studied. At the end of this presentation, we were encouraged to actively participate in the process of healing broken relationships in our lives and around us. We were inspired to continue wearing the many hats (roles) that God has blessed our lives with. Sabbath school culminated as the sisters of the Turks and Caicos Islands invited women to tell how they share Jesus during the personal ministries segment.
The power of the Holy Spirit was ever present as we moved into the divine service. Under the direction of Sister Allison Rolle, the praise team blessed our souls with hymns and songs, creating an atmosphere of praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord. Later, we moved into another prayer experience that began to transform the souls of the women as they poured out their petitions before Lord.
The word was once again presented to us by Sister Small under the caption “What do you smell like?” Using the key text 2 Corinthians 2: 14-16, she presented to us how we should be “the aroma of life” that leads souls to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. We left the worship room determined to be vessels filled with the sweet fragrance of Christ which is his character and his Holy Spirit.
During the divine service, it was a pleasure to worship with the Honorable Janet G. Bostwick and the Honorable Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt. These women both delivered words of encouragement and thankfulness for being included in the worship experience.
On Sabbath afternoon, six (6) buses filled with women, eager to share Jesus, left the Sheraton Hotel grounds. The ladies were armed with the Priority Magazines, pamphlets, prayers, and songs, ready for outreach. Our first stop was the Cable Beach police station where pamphlets and magazines were distributed. Later, we stopped at Goodman’s Bay, Rawson Square, and Montague Beach where we shared with anyone who would listen.
Our outreach culminated on Clifford Park with a worship service at the set of sun. Director of women’s ministries and communication of the North England Conference, Sister Geraldene Farmer, shared with us on the theme “How Big is Your But?” She explained that while we may be eager to think or act as if we are incapable, God is able to qualify and equip us for all things. She challenged us to allow God to work through us to accomplish those things which we find impossible.
The Total Experience!
On Sunday morning, our devotion was presented by Cecilia Iglesias, director of women’s ministries of the Inter-American Division. Sister Iglesias inspired us by reaffirming that women are an indispensable gender in the work of the Lord. She admonished that we should not allow our weaknesses to hinder us from working for the Lord and challenged us to let our weaknesses be transformed into strengths as we place them in the hands of the almighty God.
By this time, our spiritual vessels had been running over, and still there was more to come. Our guest soloist for the weekend, Anthonette F. Kerr, prepared us for the charge with the song “I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel.” Sister Small presented her final message entitled “What Can One Woman Do?”
Sister Debbie Zonicle, women’s ministries leader for the Centerville Seventh-day Adventist Church, Nassau, Bahamas, led us into a time of sharing where we participated in a symbolic foot washing ceremony and prayer service. We formed connections with each other through a prayer chain link formed by using the many prayer requests submitted throughout the weekend. Each prayer group made a commitment to encourage each other during the remainder of the year.
To God Be the Glory!
A heartfelt thank you is extended to Sister Denise Johnson and her team who successfully accomplished a great spiritual work this weekend. We anticipate even more next year in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Article By: Sheila Wood, Women’s Ministries Leader
Cayman Island Conference
From August 29 - September 1, Denise Johnson, Women's Ministries Director for the Atlantic Caribbean Union led a delegation of 15 ladies from the union to attend the Inter- American Division's Women's Ministries Convention. Under the theme, "Women, Go Tell the World," the event was held at the Hilton Hotel in Miami, Florida. More than 600 Women's Ministries leaders from the 22 Unions within Inter-American Division were reminded of their mission to tell the world about the love of Christ. Adventist World Church Women’s Ministries Director, Heather-Dawn Small challenged the ladies to step out of their comfort zones and focus on connecting with those around their communities and cities.“Sometimes you must live the Word, not just speak it,” added Small.
According to Cecilia Iglesias, Women’s Ministries Director of the church in Inter-America, the aim of the convention was to equip women to continue being effective in evangelism in whichever area they serve in the church. During the convention, which was the largest ever for the Division, there was an awards ceremony recognizing outstanding women in Leadership and Evangelism. Amonng them were Neila Jones and Fredia Blake from the Cayman Islands Conference. Neila Jones who recieved the leadership award is an ordained elder of the Creek Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cayman Brac and serves the church in variious minstries such as Children's Ministries director, Adventurer Club director, and choir leader. According to the locals, she is known as the "Mother Theresa" of Cayman Brac.
Frieda Blake who was recognized as an outstanding female evangelist, has served her local church faithfully and diligently over the past five decades. She has filled roles such as Missionary Volunteer (now Advent Youth) Leader, Community Service Leader, and Interest Coordinator. She currently serves as an ordained elder and children’s division leader at her local church.
According to Denise Johnson, during the sessions the ladies were motivated to use what they have as they witnessed for Christ. They left with a zeal to work within their home fields and churches in doing more to advance the gospel. The ladies look forward to the Atlantic Caribbean Union's Women's Ministries Retreat which will be held in Nassau, Bahamas from September 20-22, 2013.
The Ministers wives of the Cayman Conference enjoyed an unforgettable week on March 22 and 23, when they were visited by both The Shepherdess Coordinators of ATCU and IAD. This gathering included all the Shepherdesses of the Cayman Islands Conference with their coordinator, Mrs. Donnet O’Connor along with the Shepherdess Coordinators from the other fields of the ATCU territory; Mrs. Joan Scavella of the North Bahamas Conference and Mrs. Lyn Smith of the Turks and Cacaos Islands. Missing from the group was the coordinator of the North Bahamas Conference, Mrs. Tinker, who passed on last year.
Like the Olympic torch is kept burning as it treks its way to the Olympic stadium, the torch of evangelism throughout ATCU is kept burning by both pastors and lay members during 2013 the Year of the Laity. During the months of January and February pastoral crusades were held across all unions of Inter-American Division including ATCU. This was followed by crusades conducted by laymen throughout the union territory. Read More...
The atmosphere was one of excitement and keen anticipation as women from the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission (ACUM) converged at The Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport, Grand Bahama, August 14-16, 2012, for their second annual retreat under the theme, ‘That I Might Live for Him.’