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Celebrating 130 Years

SLM’s Newsletter – Friday 26 October, 2018

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Antigua’s Prime Minister Calls on the S.D.A. Church to Assist with Combating the Scourge of NCD’s
Photo – Joseph Jones

 

October 21st, 2018 |Gilbert’s Estate, Antigua | SLM Staff
A community has been molded by its messages and touched by its various ministries.  Countless students have been educated through its institutions, and the health of the nation has been positively serviced through its positive impacts on health and wellness.
Under the theme, “Looking Back, Pressing Forward,” the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Antigua is celebrating 130 years of Adventism on the island. The earliest records available reveal that in December of 1888, a colporteur named William Arnold visited the island with the Seventh-day Adventist message. From these early beginnings, the movement has mushroomed into a significant organization which today celebrates 31 congregations, one early childhood education development center, two primary schools, one secondary school, one satellite extension campus of the University of the Southern Caribbean, one radio station, one senior citizens’ home, one campsite, a credit union and over 11,000 members in a population of approximately 90,000 people.
President of the South Leeward Mission, Dr. Carson Greene, indicates that our theme, “Looking Back, Pressing forward,” is quite fitting. As we look back, we know that we did not get here by our own strength. As we look back, we see clearly that God has indeed led. As we look back, we see imperfections and failures, but we also see God’s mercies and grace towards us. As we look back, we are reminded that we have nothing to fear for the future except as we shall forget the way God has led us in the past.
President, Dr. Carson Greene and Mrs. Michelle Greene

 

The 130th anniversary celebrations began officially on sabbath, October 20th, 2018 at the Gilbert’s Estate which is a 14 acre property partly owned by the church. The official opening ceremony saw the presence of the Governor General of Antigua/Barbuda, His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams along with the Prime Minister, the Honorable Gaston Browne.
During his brief congratulatory remarks, His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams congratulated the Seventh-day Adventist Church for its sterling contributions to Antigua and Barbuda through the production of teachers and musicians. The Governor General went on to commend the church for its health message. He stated, “As you recount the positive results of the healthy life-style practices of the early founders and members, there is more than sufficient evidence to declare the effectiveness of such a way of life.”
Governor General – His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams

 

The Honorable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister, also gave congratulatory remarks and indicated that, in his estimation, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as a religious organization, has made the most significant contribution to the economic development of the nation.
Prime Minister Browne also made a significant appeal to the church leadership to assist in combating the scourge of non-communicable diseases (NCD’s). He said that the members of the Adventist Church are strong proponents for a healthier lifestyle and that they could play an integral role in the public education process.
Prime Minister – The Honorable Gaston Browne

 

“Seventh-day Adventism places restrictions on consuming meat or flesh foods. Flesh food is injurious to health and whatever affects the body has a corresponding effect on the mind and the soul. Those are the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  Your [positioning] for a wellness culture will lead to a reduction in the number of those who lose limbs by amputation and who suffer an early death,” Browne said.
Non-communicable diseases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), are mainly cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and stroke, cancer, respiratory diseases and asthma. The WHO says NCD’s kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71 percent of all global deaths. For Antigua and Barbuda, diabetes is one of the main diseases plaguing nationals.
The government is currently adopting proactive approaches to tackle the problem, and one of those methods is taxing sugary beverages and incentivizing the use of nutritional foods.
In response to the Prime Minister’s call, Mrs. Silvia Ham-Ying, Health Ministries Director of the South Leeward Mission, indicated that addressing and battling NCD’s is one of the objectives of her department. “We can target the community and also our members in the battle against NCD’s,” she said. “What may be effective is to develop active groups in each community where the church serves which would focus on educating the community about healthy living,” Ham-Ying also said. There is a significant need for persons to “do good health and not just hear about good health.” Mrs. Ham-Ying was here addressing a negative practice where large numbers of the population appear to regularly check their health statuses but apparently fail to adopt healthy practices that could improve their situations. This is evident in the number of persons who expire as a result of an NCD.
The activities of the 130th anniversary celebrations continued the following day Sunday, October 21st, with a grand health fair at the Gilbert’s Estate. Mrs. Ham-Ying indicates that approximately 239 persons benefited from specialized services such as prostate exams, PAP smears, breast examinations, vision checks, and regular services such as blood pressure and cholesterol checks and Body Mass Index (BMI) calculations.

 

 

 

The 130th anniversary celebrations in Antigua/Barbuda continued for the entire week with mini exhibitions, nightly meetings, a circumnavigation cruise around Antigua, and a convention.  The final event will be a gala banquet on Saturday, October 27th, 2018.

 

Seventh-day Adventist Schools Receive Renewable Energy Funding
L – R: Principal Bob Nicholas – SDA Primary School, Mr. Dochian Thomas – Business Manager,
Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment – Ms. Joan Carrot & Principal Cheryl Morris – SDA Secondary School
 
Thursday, October 25th, 2018 | St. Johns, Antigua | Observer Media and SLM Staff
The Seventh-day Adventist Primary and Secondary Schools will receive up to US $50,000 in grants for Environmental Management Systems and Renewable Energy Systems called Grid Interactive.
The grant funding is donated by the Government of Italy and will be given to the schools by the Department of Environment.
The schools will also be required to produce educational campaigns to help the public understand the importance of renewable energy systems in a bid to enlighten the population on the need to reduce the nation’s dependency on fossil fuel which is the greatest contributor of greenhouse gases in the world.

 

In September 2018, the Ministry of Health, Environment and Wellness sent communication to the schools regarding the availability of grant money for projects relating to waste management and renewable energy.
The schools responded, through its School Board, by completing application forms; within a week, the Environment Division responded through Miss Shema Roberts indicating that the schools’ bids were successful.
This meant that the schools would receive a grant of up to US$50,000.00 to be used in this project. Part of the funds will be used to install a renewable energy system which will include solar panels.  The schools are also required to set up an education campaign which will include students, staff, and even the community on issues of  proper waste management.
The Business Manager of the school, Mr. Dochian Thomas, says that “this initiative will assist the school financially, as at present, the schools expend approximately EC$70,000.00 in electricity cost. The project will also assist with the schools’ community services drive by increasing awareness in the community with regards to proper waste management and community awareness.

 

The Seventh-day Adventist Schools have a once per term community clean-up where students do litter-picking in the Ottos New Town community.  Students also visit homes for the aged and share gift baskets.

This project should be completed by March 2019.

Purpose, Passion and Partnership – SAC Convention in Columbia, Maryland
Attendees to the Society of Adventist Communicators Convention from the Inter-American Division

“We’re here to serve with purpose, to have passion in the work that we do to spread the gospel, and to build partnerships with communicators,” said Libna Stevens, President of the Society of Adventist Communicators (SAC), about the 29th convention.”

 
Libna Stevens, who serves as President of the Society of Adventist Communicators, is also the Assistant Communication Director of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (IAD). This year, the IAD was well represented with several communication 
directors from around the Division, participating in the annual event. 

 

The Caribbean Union asked Dr. Mark L. Braithwaite from the South Leeward Mission to attend this event on its behalf.  During the period, Dr. Braithwaite was able to attend several of the presentations, including the key note presentations by
:
Kaleb Eisele
(Humans of Adventism),
Erica Jones
(Gorgeous2God),
Justin Khoe
(ThatChristianVlogger),
Emily Long
(71.5 Magazine) .

 

Abel Marquez – Communications Director of the Inter-American Division (L) and Libna Stevens – President of the Society of Adventist Communicators (R)
The sessions were extremely informative and included tours to NBC’s Newsroom, National Geographic Studios, the Newseum in Washington, D.C. and also Museum of the Bible.  The tag line of the convention was “Purpose, Passion and Partnership” and according to Dr. Braithwaite, “The tagline adequately highlights the fact that as communicators within the Seventh-day Adventist Church, we should function with a purpose to passionately share the everlasting gospel as we partner and network to do it effectively.”

 

The Society of Adventist Communicators will have their annual convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2019.  All communicators are encouraged to attend this inspirational event.  The convention serves as motivation and encouragement as we seek to proclaim the everlasting gospel effectively in this age of technical advancement.
 | South Leeward Mission | 1.268.562.8109 | communications@slmadentist.org | www.slmadventist.org
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