January 04, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings in the awesome name of Jesus our Savior and Soon Coming King!
I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and Spirit-filled New Year! For indeed, each New Year offers us a marvelous opportunity for reflection, projection and, renewal.
Undoubtedly, as we reminisce on 2017 in the North Caribbean Conference, it will be chronicled in our history books and forever etched on our personal consciousness as a year of unprecedental change and challenges. Foremost among them will be the terrible devastation of the North Caribbean Conference by the two catastropic hurricanes, Irma and Maria which totally demolished our territory and forever changed our lives in so many ways. Inspite of that however, as we count our blessings and number them one by one, there is ample reasons to rejoice in what God has done and continues to do with us, for us, and to us. To God be the Glory! Therefore, I wish to thank all whose faithful and dedicated service assisted in turning our obstinate obstacles into stepping stones for a speedy recovery. From the Executive boardroom to the schoolroom to the prayerroom of every church and to the dedicated team of administrators, directors, office staff, pastors, teachers, and every church member, I say, “THANK YOU!”
As we project and look to our preferred future, I wish to inform you that the state of the Conference remains challenged, but robustly rebounding from the rubble of devastation. Our challenge will require great effort, a sense of urgency, dogged determination and tremendous sacrifice at all levels and from everyone. I wish to summon the Spirit which once defined us as a people who have met great challenge with bold action and big ideas. Therefore firstly, we have to do more with less. To this end, we cannot and will not appoint any additional Departmental Directors but will assign the additional departmental portfolios to our team of directors according to their unique and capable skill sets. Secondly, we have made limited but critical
pastoral changes. The work of restoration across the territory is vast and enormous. Thus, we must exchange and balance the rich repertoire of ministerial expertise and talent to maximize performance. Thirdly, as a mission-driven movement, we must build a growing community of disciples that are in Christ, diverse yet inclusive. We must be active, open to the needs of people, and caring, as we develop each person’s awareness of the Coming of Christ. Let us make the Gospel relevant! In the first quarter, let us build evangelistic models that will give priority and laser focus to the broken and those disadvantaged and dispossessed by the ravages of the hurricane. The Kingdom is about change and growth. They work hand in hand to produce kingdom end.
Finally, let us renew our commitment! Coincidentally, yet very timely, this quarter’s Sabath School lesson’s focus is on Stewardship. Let us imbibe it that we may possess and practice its principles! Let us not allow crisis and challenges to compromise our faithfulness as good stewards! If we are faithful, our God will make us fruitful. I challenge every one to let our daily cry be “Lord transform me!” Let us seek a renewed and fresh encounter with the Holy Spirit.” As we begin the new year, let every church engage in the Holy Spirit Week! Let us ask God to create in us a Divine discontent with sameness! May each one say, “Lord, make me a better person, a better Christian, a better church member, a better leader, a better pastor, a better administrator, a better teacher, a better student.” I challenge all to be transformed so that we may become agents of transformation. Let it not be just another cliche but may it define who we are, how we live, and what we live for! Let us transmit it with our lips and demonstrate it with our lifestyle!
The future of the Church is as bright as the promises of God. We have nothing to fear unless we forget how He has let us in the past. As we get one year closer to the Coming Kingdom, let us embrace the privilege and duties of being members of this great Advent Family! Let us believe its message, fulfill its mission and live in anticipation of its glorious destiny. May God bless you, May God Bless Your Church and may God Bless the North Caribbean Conference!
Pastor Desmond F. James