Caribbean Union Conference Holds Special Needs Summit
November 8, 2019 • • in News
November 8th, 2019, Castries Saint Lucia – October 17 to 19, 2019, saw the convening of the first-ever Special Needs Summit, for the Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. The event was conducted at the Conference Center of the Bay Gardens Hotel, Saint Lucia and saw participants from all the fields of the Caribbean Union, including the host country Saint Lucia.
The main facilitator for the event was Dr Larry Evans, Assistant to the General Conference President for the Deaf and Special Needs Ministries, along with Pastor Samuel Telemaque of the Inter-American Division and Pastor Ashton O’Neil of the Caribbean Union. The local Director for special needs, Pastor Lucius Phillip, came in for special commendation in recognition for his hard work in preparing for the event, which was dubbed a resounding success. Bro. Dale St. Juste, Education officer, Ministry of Education Special Education Unit, who represented the Minister of Education, Dr Gale Rigobert, in declaring the seminar open, also came in for high praise for his excellent presentations on hearing impairment and autism.
This newest department of the Seventh-day Adventist church has the responsibility to highlight the unique possibilities of special needs individuals and to foster an attitude of inclusion that would highlight their value in the sight of God, including them in the programs of the church and treating them as persons who can make a contribution to the life of the church. To do this would require a paradigm shift in our thinking, an awareness that they live among us, a change in the design of our churches and pulpits, for example ramps to allow for easy access and egress, and a willingness to learn how to communicate with them, as is the case of the hearing impaired.
The summit ended with a church service held at the Marc SDA church, where the preliminaries for the Divine segment was conducted solely by persons with possibilities. In the afternoon, a march around the city circuit was conducted, where all of our delegates participated along with support from the local Masterguide and Pathfinder clubs. A rally was conducted at Constitution Park, where certificates were awarded to participants, testimonies were shared and delegates were challenged to go back to their fields with a determination to foster the work of Possibility Ministries.
Pastor Samuel Telemaque, Special Needs Director for the Inter-American Division prophesied that the Saint Lucia Mission will very soon, be made a Conference given its hard work in preparing and executing of the program for the weekend. The President of the Mission, Pastor Roger Stephen, in agreement committed himself to giving special attention to this work in the days ahead.