Over 100 baptized during rain-affected Lay Preach-a-Thon 2017

Amidst torrential rains that saw some churches canceling up to 3 meeting nights for the week, 138 persons got baptized during Lay Preach-a-thon 2017 that ran between November 11-18.

Lay Preach-a-Thon is a one-week evangelistic programme organized by the Personal Ministries Department of Central Jamaica Conference as an extension to the Annual Week of Prayer. It has been held in November every year since 2013.

“Evangelism is not merely about baptisms,” said President Johnson, as he encouraged and thanked the Pastors for their efforts. “It [Evangelism] is about proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ via the various methods. There are times when there will be no baptisms; but preach the word just the same”, Johnson continued.

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Inter-American Leaders Discuss Rebuilding Efforts With Maranatha

Top Seventh-day Adventist leaders in Inter-America met with Maranatha Volunteer International (MVI) leaders yesterday to discuss rebuilding efforts in the recently hurricane-ravaged territory in the Caribbean. Leaders briefly took note of the scope of damage to churches and schools after hurricanes Irma and Maria in the worse hit islands during a meeting at the Inter-American Division (IAD) headquarter office in Miami, Florida.

“There is great need for reconstruction on islands like Dominica, Barbuda, St. Maarten, and the US Virgin Islands, and we wanted to bring Maranatha in to see how far they can help us in rebuilding properties and schools,” said Pastor Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America.

“I know Maranatha cannot be stretched much, but they come with good will and good intentions to see how they can help us move further on the ground,” said Pastor Leito.

President of Maranatha Volunteers International (MVI) Don Noble said that the 48-year-old supportive ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has some 180,000 project requests at the moment, but is willing to look into assessing what it can do in the IAD territory.

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Inter-America’s Bible Competition Finalists to Compete in Mexico

Young finalists representing Inter-America’s Seventh-day Adventist church territories will take part in the final Bible competition of the year on Dec. 2. Twenty finalists are set to travel to Riviera Maya, Mexico, to test their knowledge on the books of Daniel, Hosea and Joel after months of competing against peers across campgrounds and churches in their respective countries and islands.

This year becomes the 14th such annual territory-wide Bible initiative that has engaged thousands of young people to dive into studying specific books to strengthen their spiritual life, organizers said.

One change this year is the name change of the bible event across the IAD to Bible Connection instead of the Bible Boom one used previous years, said Pastor Al Powell, youth ministries director for the church in Inter-America. “The new name will allow for greater involvement in the reading of the Word of God while the software is adjusted throughout Inter-America,” he said.

Powell said the Bible books being studied this year are in line with the General Conference’s study of the Bible initiative by the youth ministries department this year.

Finalists will answer 50-55 questions in the final competition, which will be held at Teatro de la Ciudad in Riviera Maya, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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Communicators Recognized For Outstanding work in EJC

Four months after the Now is the Time Family & Health Evangelistic Campaign  ended on July 15, 2017, the communication team responsible for the online streaming and video production  at the meetings were recognized for their outstanding contribution to the success of the campaign  at a special  service at the East Jamaica Conference Headquarters on November 11, 2017.

The thirty six member production team whose efforts brought the messages of preacher and evangelist Dr. Newton Cleghorne into the homes of thousands of persons in Jamaica and around the world, were given a special certificate of recognition and provided with uniform shirts which identifies them as Communication Production Team members of the Conference going forward.

Noting that the performance of the team was exceptional and that the video production was professionally done, president of East Jamaica Conference, Dr. Eric Nathan, expressed appreciation to the team on behalf of the Conference.  He commended the group of mostly young people for using their talents to assist with the spreading of the gospel during the recent series.

Communication Director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica Elder Nigel Coke said he was proud of the work of the team and noted that they executed well during the Now is the Time Campaign.

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In Jamaica, Adventist Blind Senator Achieves Doctor of Philosophy Degree

It is said that “Perfection is an unattainable goal, but it is in striving for it that makes us achieve greater levels of excellence.” This statement is true and reflective of the life of Senator Floyd Morris who received the Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) from the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, Nov. 3, 2017.

Senator Morris, the second blind person to achieve the highest level of academia at the university in its 69-year history, was one of eight visually impaired individuals who earned their degrees in the 2017 graduation exercises.  He received his Ph.D after defending his dissertation titled, “Mediated Political Communication in Modern Jamaica: Cases of Michael Manley, Edward Seaga and P J Patterson”- all former prime ministers of Jamaica.

Morris was among the 3,356 individuals who were presented with graduate and under-graduate certifications. He had individuals who assisted him with research and reading during his preparation for the degree.

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Jamaica’s first blind senator is now Dr Floyd Morris

The torrential rains pelting the packed morning ceremony for The University of the West Indies (UWI) presentation of graduates 2017 on Friday could well have been the proverbial showers of blessings for Floyd Emerson Morris, Jamaica's first blind senator and former senate president.

The outright show of emotion and the spontaneous standing ovation that erupted as Morris stepped forward to receive his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree were the icing on the cake, but masked the journey of unimaginable courage of this extraordinary Jamaican.

Thirty-one years before becoming only the second blind Jamaican to receive his PhD, Morris left St Mary High School in the eastern parish without a single subject, mainly because his sight had deteriorated so badly that he was unable to complete his Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) exams.

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Adventist Church President Points Russian Leaders to the Bible

Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist world church, encouraged top clergy and government leaders in Russia’s capital to uphold the principles of the Protestant Reformation and to seek a God-guided reformation of the heart.

Keeping his focus on church mission, Wilson also emphasized practical Christianity and the three angels’ messages (a central theme of Seventh-day Adventist eschatology) in his remarks at a Moscow forum commemorating the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses to a church door in Germany.

“It is a great privilege on this day 500 years after the Reformation began, when there seem to be so much instability and challenges in the world, to continue the reformation in our hearts,” Wilson said in a brief speech to 200 leaders gathered for the “Reformation: 500 Years” event on Oct. 31.

He said the Seventh-day Adventist Church was grateful for the foundations of the Reformation, and he singled out several principles as especially important: only the Bible, salvation only by faith in Jesus, Christ is the only mediator, eternal life only through the grace of Jesus, and to God only be the glory.

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ADVENTIST CHURCH IN SOUTH MANCHESTER LAUNCHES “SOUP KITCHEN” DURING ANNUAL WEEK OF KINDNESS

The Rest Store Seventh-day Adventist Church, located in South Manchester, launched its “Soup Kitchen” on October 19, 2017, as it celebrates 43 years of service to its community during the observance of the annual Week of Kindness.

The plans for the “Soup Kitchen” which is a vision of the Community Services Department, under the leadership of Merle Smith, started a few years ago, however, budgetary constraints delayed the project coming to fruition until now. The Kitchen is realized from proceeds of the sale of sweet potatoes, organized by the community services department, and contribution from several donors/benefactors.

Main Speaker for the occasion, Pastor Everett Smith, Community Services Director at Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (CJC) commended the Church while reminding the audience that “community service is more than cooking food and giving out clothes.” He further noted that “Christianity is more than coming to Church, but people will know we are Christians by our love.”

In bringing greetings, the Member of Parliament of the South Manchester Constituency, Mr. Michael Stewart, commended the Church on the initiative and emphasized that nutrition is fundamental to the welfare of all citizens”.

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Inter-American Division Connects with the Community During Breast Cancer Awareness

Seventh-day Adventist employees at the Inter-American Division (IAD) Headquarters in Miami, Florida, took time away from their desks to wave in drivers and onlookers nearby in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness month. The two dozen women wore special t-shirts and passed out gift bags with treats, brochures on breast cancer information and offered prayers on Oct. 18, 2017.

The activity was part of showing solidarity for one of the staff members at the office who has been undergoing treatment with the disease, said Jainie Pita, human resources director at the IAD and one of the organizers of the initiative.

“It was so wonderful to be able to put work aside and share with our office community about breast cancer awareness,” said Pita. “Many of us know someone who has breast cancer or has gone through it or has relatives or friends with the disease so it was an activity that was embraced by so many in the office.”

“We passed out more than 175 bags and prayed with many of those who stopped by,” said Pita.

The initiative was the first community outreach planned in collaboration with women’s ministries and health ministries departments.

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EJC to represent Jamaica Union at the IAD Bible Connection Finals

Crystal Clark of the East Jamaica Conference (EJC), has earned the right to represent the Jamaica Union Conference (JAMU) at the upcoming IAD Bible Connection (formerly Bible Boom) Finals after placing first at the Jamaica Union Finals on October 21, 2017 at the Mico Teachers College.

Clark, who hails from the Guava Gap Church in Stony Hill, St. Andrew, competed against participants from Central and West Jamaica Conference, along with fellow EJC team member Nordia Sutherland, to determine who would represent the union with the other semi-finalists from the 23 union fields in IAD.

The competition was conducted using a software designed by the IAD, in which the participants responded via computers to answer 50 questions garnering a maximum of 450 points. Not only were the correct answers recorded but also the response times of the participants. Clark emerged the winner with a score of 395 points.

Jamaica Union Youth Director Pastor Dane Fletcher was impressed by the winner’s knowledge of the scriptures and her performance throughout the match.

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