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Successful 206th Conference hosted in Montserrat after 24 years

206th Methodist Church Leeward Island District Delegates

For ten days the Methodist church in Montserrat hosted over 125 overseas delegates who joined the local delegates to hold what has been repeatedly described as ‘successful’, the 206th  Leeward Islands District of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA).

The Conference convened under the theme “That the earth may be filled with the glory of God” a call to righteousness, justice and peace”.

The Conference was preceded by a retreat for ministers. This was held in accommodations offered at Grandview Bed & Breakfast, the Sugar Mill and nearby villas. That started a service and hospitality accolade that echoed throughout the Conference as simply, “It was great.” This was further confirmed in a local report which said, the hospitality was deeply appreciated. “Visitors had their notions about life in Montserrat completely changed and many promised to return.”

The Conference began on the Tuesday, Jan 17, with a Conference Welcome Service held at the R C St. Patrick’s church, Lookout; the following day, a Flag Raising Ceremony & Conference Photograph at the Cavalla Hill Church; An Open air services Friday at Look Out and Davy Hill;  and an Island Tour – Sat 21.

Sunday 22, Lord’s day Services in Morning and Adult and Youth Demonstration at cultural center- The theme, Change – depicted in a play written by C.T. John – a one act play demonstrating change in the church, in the government etc.

Reporting on the activities, it shows that the Conference was pleased to examine and to commend four candidates for the Ministry to serve as Presbyters in their respective locale. These were two women from the St. Maarten Circuit, and one man and one woman from the Nevis Circuit. Three probationer presbyters and two pre-collegiate minsters were also advanced one year (promoted) in their training as ministers.

Some appointments were made: Rev. Franklyn E. Manners was re-elected District President for the next triennium.  Rev. Dr. Joan Delsol Meade was elected Secretary of the Conference to succeed Rev. Patmore C. Henry who has been nominated as the next Secretary of the Connexional Conference of the MCCA. Miss Ad Osha Francis of St. Thomas, USVI has been named as District Treasurer to succeed Mrs. Muriel Smith who has been nominated as the next Vice-President of the MCCA (the Vice-President is always a lay person).

The business of the Conference was essentially (1) to review “the Work of God” under 4 main headings (Committees) and (2) to plan for the next triennium guided by the Vision of the MCCA which is : “a church led by God’s spirit which is growing, financially self-sufficient; and with members equipped for discipleship and passionate in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the world in creative and meaningful ways.

Ministers who have served in Montserrat.

Review of the Work of God in respect of 1. Mission, Evangelism & Church Growth; 2. Christian Education; 3. General Education; and 4. Resources & Development

Presentations were delivered: Rev. Dr. Wycherley Gumbs gave a three part presentation “Reclaiming our Heritage” during which he reminded delegates of the fact that the MCCA is truly a Caribbean church with roots firmly planted on the Gilbert Estate in Antigua. (Nathaniel Gilbert the pioneer was actually born on the Gilbert’s Estate). This gives us greater cause to value our heritage and to have a vision for the future.

Learning is Change  An intergenerational production scripted by C.T. John and directed by Yasmin White- staged at Montserrat Cultural Centre. This play focused on some of the challenges experienced by the church in its transition to the future and highlighted the need for the church to embrace change. Introduced with older liturgies and music from the 1933 hymnal, the play ended with newer liturgies and music from the soon to be released MCCA  hymnal Voices in Praise.

The success of the Conference was praised by observers especially and including the H.E. Governor Davis. “I was really pleased to see that the Methodist conference or the Leeward’s and the Americas was back in Montserrat after a period of twenty four (24) years.

“They last came here in 1988, one hundred and twenty five delegates came from around the Caribbean and the Leeward Islands all hosted within the community all the logistic dealt with admiration. They came to Government House for a reception. Everyone was extremely cheerful, the Emerald Community Singers did a very lively performance,” the Governor offered.

Having attended varying functions including luncheons, he noted the fact that the host country catered for two weeks, at least 125  seats, “a really major event for Montserrat, which has been handled in my view, extremely well,” he concluded.

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206th Methodist Church Leeward Island District Delegates

For ten days the Methodist church in Montserrat hosted over 125 overseas delegates who joined the local delegates to hold what has been repeatedly described as ‘successful’, the 206th  Leeward Islands District of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA).

The Conference convened under the theme “That the earth may be filled with the glory of God” a call to righteousness, justice and peace”.

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The Conference was preceded by a retreat for ministers. This was held in accommodations offered at Grandview Bed & Breakfast, the Sugar Mill and nearby villas. That started a service and hospitality accolade that echoed throughout the Conference as simply, “It was great.” This was further confirmed in a local report which said, the hospitality was deeply appreciated. “Visitors had their notions about life in Montserrat completely changed and many promised to return.”

The Conference began on the Tuesday, Jan 17, with a Conference Welcome Service held at the R C St. Patrick’s church, Lookout; the following day, a Flag Raising Ceremony & Conference Photograph at the Cavalla Hill Church; An Open air services Friday at Look Out and Davy Hill;  and an Island Tour – Sat 21.

Sunday 22, Lord’s day Services in Morning and Adult and Youth Demonstration at cultural center- The theme, Change – depicted in a play written by C.T. John – a one act play demonstrating change in the church, in the government etc.

Reporting on the activities, it shows that the Conference was pleased to examine and to commend four candidates for the Ministry to serve as Presbyters in their respective locale. These were two women from the St. Maarten Circuit, and one man and one woman from the Nevis Circuit. Three probationer presbyters and two pre-collegiate minsters were also advanced one year (promoted) in their training as ministers.

Some appointments were made: Rev. Franklyn E. Manners was re-elected District President for the next triennium.  Rev. Dr. Joan Delsol Meade was elected Secretary of the Conference to succeed Rev. Patmore C. Henry who has been nominated as the next Secretary of the Connexional Conference of the MCCA. Miss Ad Osha Francis of St. Thomas, USVI has been named as District Treasurer to succeed Mrs. Muriel Smith who has been nominated as the next Vice-President of the MCCA (the Vice-President is always a lay person).

The business of the Conference was essentially (1) to review “the Work of God” under 4 main headings (Committees) and (2) to plan for the next triennium guided by the Vision of the MCCA which is : “a church led by God’s spirit which is growing, financially self-sufficient; and with members equipped for discipleship and passionate in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the world in creative and meaningful ways.

Ministers who have served in Montserrat.

Review of the Work of God in respect of 1. Mission, Evangelism & Church Growth; 2. Christian Education; 3. General Education; and 4. Resources & Development

Presentations were delivered: Rev. Dr. Wycherley Gumbs gave a three part presentation “Reclaiming our Heritage” during which he reminded delegates of the fact that the MCCA is truly a Caribbean church with roots firmly planted on the Gilbert Estate in Antigua. (Nathaniel Gilbert the pioneer was actually born on the Gilbert’s Estate). This gives us greater cause to value our heritage and to have a vision for the future.

Learning is Change  An intergenerational production scripted by C.T. John and directed by Yasmin White- staged at Montserrat Cultural Centre. This play focused on some of the challenges experienced by the church in its transition to the future and highlighted the need for the church to embrace change. Introduced with older liturgies and music from the 1933 hymnal, the play ended with newer liturgies and music from the soon to be released MCCA  hymnal Voices in Praise.

The success of the Conference was praised by observers especially and including the H.E. Governor Davis. “I was really pleased to see that the Methodist conference or the Leeward’s and the Americas was back in Montserrat after a period of twenty four (24) years.

“They last came here in 1988, one hundred and twenty five delegates came from around the Caribbean and the Leeward Islands all hosted within the community all the logistic dealt with admiration. They came to Government House for a reception. Everyone was extremely cheerful, the Emerald Community Singers did a very lively performance,” the Governor offered.

Having attended varying functions including luncheons, he noted the fact that the host country catered for two weeks, at least 125  seats, “a really major event for Montserrat, which has been handled in my view, extremely well,” he concluded.