The Role of the Church in a Modern Independent Bahamas
By Pastor T. Basil Sturrup
If you were able to go into a time machine and step out 40 years from now, what would you want the church you attend to look like? Not so long ago I was interviewed by a reporter from one of the major media houses in our nation, and the discussion was on the role of the church in an independent Bahamas. It was an exciting conversation, but it also forced me to take a second look at the impact the church is making in the society in which we live.
I began by first commending all of the Christian Churches within our country for what is already being done and highlighted the fact that our nation is better because of the Church. For example, thousands of people benefit from feeding programs, persons receive clothing, financial assistance, parenting classes, back to school programs, after-school care, disaster relief, etc. This short list represents a small portion of the contributions the Church is making in the lives of our citizens, but the most important contribution is this. A large portion of our population rejoice daily because they have the assurance of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
However, I will be the first to admit that the challenge we face as Pastors is not that the church is not doing enough for society. Our real challenge is to learn how to do these things better, and on a larger scale so that the impact will be greater. So, as we think about what the Church in a modern independent Bahamas should look like, here are a few things I would like for you to consider?
1. Making our church buildings citadels of learning. Although our main priority is to teach all the things Christ commanded us, we are also called to be all things to all men. This might require our doors to be open more than they are now, but the time invested will be worth it. Imagine harnessing the brain power of the members from different professions in each church and scheduling times for passing on skills, information, and specialized training to those who cannot afford to attend college, universities, or institutions of higher learning. The truth is the University of the Bahamas, BTVI, and other institutions can only accommodate a few thousand people each semester, but if our churches open their doors and maximize the local talent within its membership we can add to the skills bank and provide opportunities for our members to start small businesses (which is important to the strength of any economy).
2. Provide a safety net of acceptance for ex-convicts. There should not be one prisoner released from our correctional facilities without being assigned to the church of their choice. The truth is many persons with criminal records have no place to go because of the stigma attached to past mistakes. As we battle the crime problem it is insane to believe that we will see a decrease in the crime rate without a change of heart (or a new perspective) taking place in the mind of ex-convicts.
3. The church must continue to speak truth to power as the main defense against corruption within our society. As we present Jesus as the savior of the world and soon coming King, we must also present his principles that are designed to create communities where people can live in peace and harmony.
I am sure much more can be added to the above list. This is my humble submission of what I believe the church in a modern independent Bahamas should look like. --Pastor T. Basil Sturrup, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty (P.A.R.L) Director.
CONFERENCE CALENDAR OF EVENTS AT A GLANCE
5: Youth Church - Joint AY Hillview Church
6: Day of Prayer and Fasting
6 - 13: Youth Evangelistic Campaigns in Local Churches IAD/ATCU/SBC
7: Vegan Cook Off
7: Youth Council & ACLASS
7: God in Shoes
9 - 13: 3rd Global Conference on Lifestyle and Health, LLU
10: INDEPENDENCE DAY
13: Mission Transform 242: local AY take service to Home of Pastor or First Elder
13: Youth Baptismal Sabbath
17 - 21: II PCM Youth and Professionals IAD Congress, Panama
20: Health Pulpit Exchange
25: SBC Executive Committee Meeting
28: A.Y.A.: Adventist Youth Awards- Breezes Resort, Ticket Costs: $60.00. Meals: Buffet (All you can Eat)TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE ABC
The Administration, through the office of the Secretariat, would like to inform our constituency that the month of September is to be Church Audit month. Please note that a letter will be sent to the church board in this regard. We are expecting every church to intentionally and prayerfully work together to ensure that this happens.
SERVICES NEEDED: The South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is seeking to contract the services of a landscaping company to take care of its grounds. The South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is seeking to contract a professional painter to carry out works of the same kind on the Conference building.
All interested parties are asked to submit bids to the following email address: [email protected] or you may drop it off at the office Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in care of Ms. Dawne Forbes.
Pastor Leonardo Rahming, Executive Secretary
The South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is seeking to employ an Entry Level Accountant. The applicant should hold a bachelor’s degree in Accounts or Finance, have a working knowledge of QuickBooks, Microsoft Office Suite (specifically Excel), be an active member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, productive and willing to learn while growing with the organization.
Interested persons should send a cover letter and resumé to [email protected]
ATCU PUSH INITIATIVE
2019 Reaping Campaigns in ATCU
The prayer focus of The Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) for the week, July 14 - 20, 2019 is: Family Safety & Protection.
ADVENTIST LAYMEN’S & SERVICES INDUSTRIES/ASI
Evangelistic Campaigns Joint Choir Practice: There will be a joint choir practice at 4:00 p.m for members of the following churches: Living Faith, Message of Hope, Ephesus, Peardale, Agape and New Englerston on Sabbath July 13, 2019 at the Living Faith Church, 4pm. –Mrs. Voniel Smith.
IAD - ASI CONVENTION: The ASI Convention for the Inter-American Division will be an unforgettable experience. Register now with your local ASI leader/ representative at your church. Convention begins August 21 - 24, 2019 at the Atlantis, Paradise Island. Persons from throughout the Inter-American Division will be there. You must plan now to be there too. Registration is ongoing. --Ms. Shandera Smith, Executive Secretary, A.S.I.
PLEDGE – A – THON UPDATE I Total pledges so far - $44,300.00
Further Contributions Are Forthcoming From Our Members & Community Friends. Thank you for allowing God to use you to assist us in this Ministry. --Mrs. Lavern Sturrup, Communication Director.
Adventist Spotlight will be recording: August 3 - Pastor Danhugh Gordon (Johnson Park Church) *All Pastors are asked to indicate their availability. --Mr. Harold Dorsett, Television Coordinator-SBC Media Network.
CHILDREN & ADOLESCENTS MINISTRIES DEPARTMENT QUARTERLY MEETING NOTICE
July 21 @ 8:00 a.m. - Quarterly meeting for all CHAM leaders and assistants of our churches will be held at the Conference headquarters.
VACATION BIBLE XPERIENCE SCHEDULE
IN JAMII KINGDOM
JULY 7 – 13, 2019
Breath of Life Church - 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
JULY 13 – 17, 2019
AUGUST 6 – 9, 2019
--Mrs. Lavern Sturrup, C.H.A.M Director.
HEALTH MINISTRIES DEPARTMENT
Health Pulpit Exchange
On July 20, 2019 the Health Leaders of the Conference and the members of the Adventist Health Professionals Association will participate in a health pulpit exchange by presenting health messages throughout the Conference.
Free Fun Run/Walk - August 5, 2019: Movement is one of the best things you can do for yourself to keep well. Join us on August 5 for the quarterly ‘I Want To Live Healthy’ Fun/Run Walk at 6:30a.m. Route: Arawak Cay to Goodman’s Bay for walkers and runners continue to the Melia Hotel & Resort. Free fruit and water will be available for all participants. T-shirts will also be available for a small donation. For further info call 3414021 or 3230610.
--Mrs. Nathelyn LaCroix, Health Ministries Director.
WOMEN’S MINISTRIES DEPARTMENT
“WE” (Women Empowerment) – Q2 Forecast:
TBA – SBC GEMS “God in Shoes” -Community Outreach
20- Hillview WM Ladies Night Out
28 – Philadelphia WM Legal Clinic Forum
Warfare Wednesdays: The Women’s Ministries Department extends an invitation to all women in the South Bahamas Conference to take a minute to “pause and pray” with us at 12:00 noon each Wednesday. This collective effort not only enrich our prayer lives but the results of these unified prayers are unmeasurable. You may contact your local leader for more information on this wonderful initiative.
Save the Date!: Under the theme, “In Christ”, the Turks & Caicos Conference will be hosting the Atlantic Caribbean Union Women’s Retreat. This amazing retreat will convene at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa in Turks & Caicos on November 1-3, 2019 with guest speaker Janice Johnson-Browne. Kindly see your local leader for further details.
Please also note that no registration forms will be accepted after August 31, 2019.
Special Notes: Registration is ongoing for the ATCU Retreat being held in South Caicos. Registration forms can be collected at the SBC Office from Mrs. Brooks and payments made to Mr. Dwight Brown. Please see your local Women’s Ministries Leader for any further information.
Donation Request: Used, But In Good Condition Devotionals--Kindly donate to your local Women’s Ministries Leader for distribution during our community outreach projects this year. --Mrs. Jacqueline Gibson, Women’s Ministries Director.
YOUTH DEPARTMENT TIDBITS
Summer Youth Activities:
Adventist Basketball League 2019: Every Saturday Night: July 13, 20, 27 Time: TBA Teams are asked to register at the Conference Office.
Adventist Track & Field Olympics 2019: Sunday, August 4, 2019 @ 9:30 a.m. T.A.R. (Former National Track & Field Stadium)
Adventist Youth Awards 2019: Sunday, July 28, 2019 Time: 5:45 p.m.. Venue: Super Clubs Breezes Resort & Spa
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE!
--Pastor Jamal Franklyn, Youth Director.
The next clean-up and breakfast for the men in the South Bahamas Conference is scheduled for the month of August 2019. Please watch here for this date. –Mr. Curtis Bryan, Men’s Ministries Coordinator.
The Music Committee of the South Bahamas Conference will host a "Meet and Greet' Activity at the South Bahamas Conference headquarters tonight, Saturday July 13th, 2019, beginning at 8:00 p.m. All Music Coordinators, Choir & Band Directors and Church Musicians are invited to attend.
Are you between the ages 15 – 30 years old, and have the ability and love for singing? The Music Committee of the South Bahamas is looking for persons to be a part of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Youth Choir.
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.
--Mrs. Annette Dorsett, Music Coordinator, South Bahamas Conference.
PRAYER MINISTRIES--JOINT PRAYER MEETINGS
All members are invited to participate in all of our joint prayer meetings for the reminder of the year. Please note that each service will be held at 6 o’clock in the morning with the exception of July which will be from 9 a.m. - 12 noon.
August 4, 2019
November 3-8, 2019 - Week of Prayer Early Morning Joint Meetings at 5:00 a.m. each morning at the Grant’s Town.
March 13 -15, 2020 - Prayer Conference will be held. I am asking all members to start preparing for this awesome experience. Our guest will be Pastor Pavel Gora- Ministry Magazine Editor. You will not want to miss this. – Pastor Leonardo Rahming, Prayer Coordinator.
CENTREVILLE CHURCH THANK YOU
The Prayer Saturated Church Seminar: The Prayer Ministries Department of the Centreville Church extends a special thanks to the Administration & staff of the South Bahamas Conference, the presenters, Prayer Ministry coordinators and the many persons who weathered the rainstorm in support of The Prayer Saturated Church Seminar (Part I). It was truly a solemn assembly and a time of refreshing, for which we give glory and honor to God. Let us continue to pray without ceasing! -- Elder David Knowles, Prayer Coordinator.
CENTREVILLE CHILDREN’S CHOIR
Under the distinguished patronage of Pastor Paul and Mrs. Joan Scavella, the Centreville's Children's Choir will host a grand concert dubbed, "Together We Worship" on Sabbath, 20th July 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at the church. We are inviting all children's choirs and a special invitation is extended to all the children of the South Bahamas Conference, inclusive of their current and past choir leaders and members. This is an occasion you don't want to miss!—Mrs. Lorraine Duvalier.
Living Faith and Centreville churches – The Adventist Youth department of our churches will be hosting a Sex Education Series, at the Living Faith Church. You are invited to join in the discussions on a variety of related topics every Saturday, during this period ending on July 20, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. Come for the Real Talk, Exciting Activities and more!
NEW PROVIDENCE CHURCH
Biggest Loser Challenge: The Women’s Ministries Department of the New Providence Church is inviting all persons who are interested in being a part of a weight loss lifestyle change program to join them every Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m. at Goodman’s Bay. For more details, please call 323-0610. --Sister Sharon Roach, Women’s Ministries Leader.
PHILADELPHIA CHURCH MUSIC WORKSHOP
A Praise & Worship Workshop will be held with Theo Milford, Worship Leader & Gospel Recording Artist, from the Washington DC Metro Area. The Workshop begins this coming Thursday July 18th and concludes Sabbath afternoon July 20th with a Grand Concert. All Praise Teams, Choirs and Singers are especially invited to attend. Time: 7:00 p.m. nightly. Venue: Philadelphia Church, Nevis Way, Elizabeth Estates.
Please Email Weekly AnnouncementsTo: [email protected]
By Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.
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