ATCU Fields Give Financial Aid to TCIM at Union’s Year-end Meetings

ATCU Fields Give Financial Aid to TCIM at Union’s Year-end Meetings
Dawne Forbes

Under the theme “Faithfulness to His Word,” 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, conducted its year-end meetings on November 9, 2017 (held via video conference) and November 14, 2017 (convened at the union office in Nassau, Bahamas).

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The thirty-member committee is made up of representatives from the four fields of ATCU (Cayman Islands Conference, North Bahamas Conference, South Bahamas Conference, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission (TCIM)) as well as the union’s university, Northern Caribbean University. Representing the Inter-American Division (IAD) was Pastor Balvin Braham, assistant to the president for evangelism and field secretary. Agenda items focused on implementing key strategies for evangelism, leadership development, and education among others.

Assistance for TCIM
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During the meeting on November 14, members praised God for His mercies during the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria which barreled through the Turks and Caicos Islands in early September 2017. Pastor Smith, president of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission, reported that while all of the buildings sustained major damage, residents and members were thankful that no lives were lost as a direct result of the hurricanes.

In a demonstration of solidarity and support, the officers of the Cayman Islands Conference, the North Bahamas Conference, and the South Bahamas Conference presented checks to the officers of the TCIM to assist with the recovery efforts. The Cayman Islands Conference indicated that they would also be sending a 20ft container with relief items and supplies. Pastor Smith expressed heartfelt appreciation for the assistance.
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Evangelism

In addition to the fields reaffirming their baptismal goals for 2018, the committee voted to support the IAD’s Lord Transform Me calendar of activities for next year. Pastor Kerr, ATCU executive secretary and assistant to the president for evangelism, also gave an update on the plans for the reaping campaigns that will take place in the ATCU territory in 2019.

Since 2015, the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (IAD) has spearheaded 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. In 2019, ATCU will be the host site for the LTM reaping campaigns.
For this huge outreach event, there will be 60 evangelistic sites throughout the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands assigned to over 50 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 in ATCU on the grand baptismal day.

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. Additionally, the focus of the union’s 2018 prayer initiative will be the 2019 LTM reaping campaigns.

Education

In the education arena, committee members voted to adopt the certification program for elementary and secondary school principals and vice principals proposed by the Education Department of the IAD. According to Dr. Cheryl Rolle, ATCU education director, the program aims to increase administrator efficiency and is also open to area coordinators and conference directors of education. Once the participants would have completed the required courses, they would receive a five-year certification. Upon expiration, recipients will have to renew by completing additional courses.

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.

Leadership Development
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With regard to leadership empowerment, the committee voted to support the IAD’s second segment of the leadership development program scheduled for July 9 – 11, 2018. The programs objectives are (1) to guide organizational leaders in developing their leadership capacity; (2) to expose organizational leaders to trends, issues, and best practices in organizational leadership; and (3) to provide leaders with a forum for networking and cross-cultural leadership exposure. Pastor Balvin Braham, IAD leadership development coordinator, explained that the event is open to union and field officers and directors, institutional leaders and administrators, pastors, and elders. As space will be limited for each seminar, proposed attendees must pre-register by January 20, 2018, on the designated website.

Newly Elected Directors
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Pastor Johnson, president of ATCU, welcomed Pastor Kent Price, newly elected ATCU director of the Personal Ministries, Stewardship, and Youth Departments, to his first committee meeting since being voted to the position on August 31, 2017. Pastor Price replaces Pastor Eric Clarke who was asked to serve as president of the North Bahamas Conference earlier this year.

Also, during the year-end meetings, the committee voted to ask Pastor Kenny Deveaux to serve as the director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) and as coordinator of Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) for ATCU. As this is a part-time position, Pastor Deveaux will continue as a full-time pastor of the South Bahamas Conference.

ATCU 2018 Calendar of Events

The 2018 Calendar of Events was voted and can be found here.

Administrators’ Summit

One of the scheduled meetings during the year-end activities was the Administrators’ Summit where leaders from the four fields of ATCU met under the theme “Faithfulness to the Mission” to strategize on such issues as “Prioritizing Evangelism,” “Remaining Committed to the Ideals of SDA Education,” and “Nurture and Retention.” Presenters included the officers and directors of the union.

Resolution of Gratitude

At the conclusion of the year-end meetings, committee members supported the Resolution of Gratitude to God for his blessings, guidance, and protection during 2017. They then asked Him to bless the decisions and plans that were made and left inspired to continue God’s business in the Atlantic Caribbean territory.