My Dear Parishioners,
This week I share with you the contents of a letter from Bishop Brooks to the Clergy containing an Update on the Plans for the Celebration of our 175th Anniversary as a Diocese.
He began by indicating that the commencement of the celebrations was fast approaching and as such, he wished to encourage full participation therein, mindful of the following:
- The theme for the year-long observance is: “Celebrating our Heritage –Seizing the Moment—Embracing the Future.” I am asking that you publish this in your bulletin and place it in a prominent place in your churches.
The Service to launch the celebrations will be held at St. Andrew’s Church, Antigua, on Sunday, 28th August, 2016 commencing at 4.30 pm. The Celebrant and Preacher will be The Most Rev. Dr. The Hon. John Holder, who is also the Bishop of Barbados. I take this opportunity to invite the Clergy from throughout the diocese to attend. If you are unable to do so, I would like you to highlight the Diocese in your services. Additionally, efforts are being made to link up ABS Radio with other stations. By so doing, the faithful will be able to listen and share in the service.
Each island in the Diocese is encouraged to hold celebrations throughout the year. The following is the list of the suggested month for each island:
- Anguilla - September
Aruba - October
Barbuda - November
Dominica - December
- Montserrat - January
Nevis - February
Saba - March
St. Barths - April
- St. Kitts - May
St. Martin/St. Maarten June
St. Eustatius - July
Antigua - August
4. The plan is that we start in Antigua and end in Antigua, where the 50th Session of Synod in the Diocese will be held during the week of 20th August, 2017.
It is hoped that during the celebrations on each island a lecture on the work of the church in that particular island can be presented.
There will be two featured lectures. One to be presented on Antigua and the other on St. Kitts. Dr. Professor Kortright Davis will be the Presenter. The exact dates for the lectures will be communicated to you in due course.
As part of the Lenten observance, 2017, parishes are encouraged to organize Prayer Pilgrimages. During these pilgrimages the Clergy and the faithful can offer Prayers of Thanksgiving for God’s guidance and mercy, the Founders of the Diocese , the Ministry of the Church (clerical and lay, pastoral and specialized), the Use of Technology etc.
Please continue to highlight the Endowment Fund Drive. Special envelopes will be issued closer to August, 2017.
A Commemorative Magazine will be published. This special publication will contain messages from the Diocesan Bishops of the Province and the Prime Ministers/Chief Ministers of territories in the Diocese.
We are also exploring the possibility of an issue of stamps reflecting the celebrations.
What do we hope would be the outcome/legacy of these celebrations?
The five Marks of Mission, namely:
1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God
2. To teach, baptize and nurture new believers.
3. To respond to human need by loving service.
4. To transform unjust structures in society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation.
5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth; become an integral part of our mission going forward.
A course outline for all persons serving in the ministries of the Church. Before persons are licensed and /or commissioned for any ministry, it is expected that they would have completed this course. So let us continue to pray and to work together for a fruitful celebration.
With all good wishes and prayers Archdeacon Emeritus