Religious Liberty Sabbath, January 21, 2017
IRLA World Congress - August 22 - 24, 2017 (International Religious Liberty Association) Interested in attending. Contact us at SBC 2423414021.
There are some conversations we’ve avoided having in our churches. But the South Bahamas Conference decided to face them head on during The Cure for the Common Life, a transformational series of meetings held from January 27 to February 6, 2016 at the Living Faith Church.
Through authentic connection and an atmosphere of candour and encouragement, the 11-day series featured the uncensored testimonies of the life-changing experiences ordinary Bahamians, coupled with profound teachings by mental health professionals and trained spiritual counsellors on sex, forgiveness, unbelief, grief, divorce and other taboo topics.
Series Coordinator and clinical psychologist Dr. Stephanie Hutcheson said, “The landscape of our existence is peppered with highs and lows, mountaintops and valleys, moments of praise and moments that rend our very hearts. For 11 nights, The Cure for the Common Life allowed us to revisit those moments of the journey where we thought we'd break and sometimes we did. We’re celebrating the fact that someone came along during those moments to mend our brokenness, allowing people to stand today to tell their stories, exposing and exploring the commonality of humanity so that another life could be changed. None of us is perfect but our testimonies can help to heal others.”
This ‘people helping people’ approach is based on 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Testimonies about the journey through life’s unpredictable events came from persons like Sonia Kemp, who lost her son tragically to gun violence; Dr. Virginia Romer, who offered unreserved forgiveness to the person who had attempted to take her life; Mary Knott, who spoke candidly about the causes and effects of divorce on her life; K. Darron Turnquest, The Bahamas’ Director of Youth, who participated in a panel called ‘Sex and the Single Christian’; and many others who accepted the call to share their testimonies. The meetings featured prominently a counselling care team comprising a number of Christian counsellors, including several SBC pastors and psychologists in public and private practice.
According to South Bahamas Conference president Pastor Paul Scavella, the series was part of a movement to provide practical tools to help Christians and non-believers release emotional baggage and live life unfettered. “Life is common to us all and we all have a story that can use a cure,” he said. “The conference has plans to develop and expand our evangelistic outreach by utilising Biblical truth and some of the best tools from counselling psychology to provide an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit can begin to transform the whole person. The ultimate goal is to enable hurting people to experience Christ as ‘the God of all comfort’”.
Work in progress. Return here for updates January 3.
2016 South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. All Rights Reserved.