DSC_0449The Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists celebrated Festival of the Laity 2013, the weekend of October 4 and 5, under the theme “Each One Reach One for Christ”. The programme was coordinated by the Personal Ministries Department of the Cayman Islands Conference under the leadership of Pastor Reinaldo Dracket. The event was held at the Lions Centre, owned by the Lions Club of Grand Cayman, with over two thousand (2,000) persons in attendance including members and friends from the community.

Also in attendance to this memorable occasion were: Dr Leonard Johnson and Pastor Peter Kerr, President and Secretary of Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) respectively; Pastor Paul Scavella, president of the South Bahamas Conference; Pastor Michael Smith, president of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission; and other Pastors and lay persons from the said territories and North Bahamas Conference. The President of our Conference, Pastor Shian O’Connor, welcomed and introduced them. They brought greetings from the various fields and extended commendations to the dedicated laymen of this field.

The Cayman Islands Government was represented by the Minister for Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure and first elected member for the district of George Town, the Honorable D. Kurt Tibbetts, OBE, JP. He brought greetings and commended the Seventh-day Adventist Church on their outstanding contributions to the growth and development of the nation.

Friday night began with a parade of nations with twenty two flags representative of the various countries represented in our churches in the Cayman Islands. This was followed by a parade of church flags created by and unique to the sixteen (16) churches in our Conference. In addition, our school, Cayman Academy, was represented with their unique flag.

The Inter-American Division and Atlantic Caribbean Union awarded a number of lay adults, youth and children. Medals and certificates were presented for outstanding contributions to evangelism in ATCU. In addition, over three hundred award pins were given to persons in the following categories: One hundred seventy five (175) Service Award pins for twenty or more consistent years of Service in evangelism. Seventy Leadership Award pins were given for fifteen (15) or more consistent years in leadership and support of evangelism in their local church. Over 70 Evangelism Award pins were given to front-line lay gospel workers.

Conception McCoy, a member of the Filadelfia Church, was awarded as the most outstanding lay person in the Cayman Islands Conference for the period under review. She was also nominated first runner up outstanding lay person for the Atlantic Caribbean Union territory. She was presented with an ipad from the Personal Ministries Department of ATCU under the leadership of Pastor Al Powell.

One of the highlights of the festival was the colourful, enthusiastic reports from the sixteen (16) churches. They focused on the major events sponsored by their church with special emphasis on evangelism. Each church dressed in their church’s colour t- shirts and with banner, created to represent their uniqueness, eagerly ascended to the stage to share what had been accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit.

The guest speaker for the occasion was lay evangelist Eugene A. Benjamin from the Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh Day Adventists. In 2010 he was voted one of the most outstanding Lay Evangelist in Inter-American Division. He presented messages with power and clarity. The Holy Spirit used him in a mighty way to challenge the laity to become ambassadors for Christ. Through the ministry of the word two persons surrendered their lives to Jesus in baptism. This brought the total baptisms in the Cayman Islands Conference to four hundred (400) for this year.

The event was broadcast live on Cayman Adventist Television (CATV), our local Adventist radio station Praise 87.9fm as well as on the World Wide Web.

This celebration was made possible through the leading of the Holy Spirit and the faithful support of the Personal Ministries Department of each church. Special thanks to the planning committee, made up of all the Personal Ministries Leaders of our churches, and all other faithful volunteers. We look with eager anticipation to the celebration of another festival of the laity, if not here in the Cayman Islands, in the Kingdom of God.

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