Government of the Bahamas

01/07/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/07/2019 11:03

207th Annual Session of the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands Conference of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas

Methodists from throughout the Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Conference of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA), will meet in Nassau from January 14th to 20th, for their 207th Annual Session of Conference, at Wesley Methodist Church, Malcolm Road.

This Conference, which represents the highest decision-making court of the Church, brings together about (75) seventy-five ministerial and lay delegates from the (6) six Circuits, namely, North Turks and Caicos Islands, South Turks and Caicos Islands, Andros, South Eleuthera, Grand Bahama and Nassau. Also, there will be representation from the Connexional Conference Office in Antigua, as the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands is one of the eight District Conferences in the Connexion.

The Conference is being convened under the theme: 'Constrained By The Love Of Christ: Reclaiming Our Heritage'. Rev. Theophilus Nathan Rolle is the presiding Bishop.

Each year, the Conference provides delegates with the opportunity to report on the work and witness within their various Circuits under four broad areas: a) Resources and Development (Finance and Property Matters); b) Mission, Evangelism, and Church Growth (Outreach, Worship, Membership, Preachers Affairs, Christian Stewardship and Christian Social Witness); c) Christian Education (Work Among Children, Youth, Women, Men, Choirs, and Ushers and Greeters); d) General Education (Methodist Day Schools). Additionally, the Annual Session will seek to explore innovative strategies to advance the mission of the Church, and review and ratify important decisions.

Among the key issues to be addressed is the reclaiming of the fundamental mission of the Church. Who are we? Why are we? Where are we? Against this backdrop, significant emphasis will be placed on strategic planning, with particular focus on the education and empowerment of our children and young people.

At this Conference elections will also be held for a Secretary, Vice-President and President. In the case of the secretary, Rev. Claire Robinson, who has served in this office for the past three years is eligible for re-election. Meanwhile, Sis. Esther Joy Sargent, a lay delegate from the Nassau Circuit, has served the Conference most admirably over the last three years. A new Vice-President will be elected.

With respect to the office of President, Bishop Rolle, who will complete his first triennium at the end of August, is eligible for re-election, and can serve for a maximum of three terms. However, all ministers in the full work of the Church who have completed 10 years in ministry are also eligible for election to the office of President. Additionally, according to the Constitution and discipline of the Church, the names of two ministers serving other Conferences in the MCCA are also put forth for the post.

While the sessions of Conference will mainly comprise internal, closed sessions, the public is invited and encouraged to participate in a number of open sessions. These include: a) The Conference Opening Service and Presentation of Flags will be held on Tuesday, January 15th, at 7:30pm at Wesley Methodist Church, Malcolm Road. At this service Bishop Theophilus Rolle will deliver his Charge to the Conference and the territories of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos.

b) Presentation on Church Marketing and Fundraising - Wednesday, January 16th, at 7:00pm

c) Church Growth Youth Forum - Thursday, January 17th, at 7:00pm

d) Conference Memorial and Communion Service - Friday, January 18th, at 7:00am. During this service the names of members who have died over the past year will be remembered.

e) Conference Sports & Games - Saturday, January 19th, at 3:30pm

f) Conference Closing Service - Sunday, January 20th, at 9:00am. Bishop Rolle will deliver the sermon.

Prior to the Opening Session of the Conference the ministers will meet for their Annual Ministerial Session, where the emphasis will be placed on Church Growth Strategies.

The Conference will also address the deployment of ministers to new stations or the confirmation of ministers to remain in their existing stations.