Report on Caribbean Union Session
July 31, 2016 • • in News
Brief Report on the Caribbean Union Session
Held July 20-23, 2016
Adventist Leaders Deliver Reports
Dr. Kern Tobias, the President of the Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists during his comprehensive report highlighted the activities of the Union for the period 2011-2015. The Dr. Tobias’s delivery style was very engaging to all attendees.
His presentation included the recognition of Pastor Chirnus Isidore, as one of the pastors in the Union with over 100 baptisms during the period under review, with 101 baptisms. There was an increase in tithe and mission offering and liquidity increased to 113 percent (%) during the same period.
The outgoing Executive Secretary’s Report was presented by the distinguished personality, Pastor Cyril Horrell. He lamented the inconsistency in reporting by church clerks leading to the disparity between the Pastoral and Secretarial membership statistics, by well over 10,000 members. However, the Union’s net membership increase and stands at 27.4 percent (%).
Horrell concluded his report with recommendations to address statistical anomalies, for example, he suggested that Clerks provide monthly statistical reports to church boards, and that pastoral report is audited and that Pastors be held accountable for the lack of reporting by their church clerks.
On the second day of the session Thursday July 21st, the Union Treasurer, Bertie Henry delivered his report. Reporting that the Caribbean Union had collected in excess of 1 billion dollars (TT dollars) in tithe for the past five years.
Other reports included Personal Ministries and Mission reports, Adventist youth, Education, Communication, Adventist Laymen and Services, Publishing, Religious Liberty, Health, and ADRA. Reports were given well into the Thursday night.
On Friday day the final business day, reports were given from Davis Memorial Hospital in Guyana, Women’s Ministry’s, planned giving and trust services, Caribbean Union Revolving Fund (CURF), USC and Sabbath School and Needs Ministry.
Based on the Session theme “Embrace the Mission: Jesus is Coming” there were a number of mission reports from across the Caribbean Union territory.
New Leaders for the Caribbean Union
On Friday, July 22nd representatives of the Caribbean Union Conference ten fields met to choose leaders. The Nominating Committee met from morning and gave their report at 12:45 p.m. Elected to serve for the term 2017-2021 are the following leaders: Dr. Kern Tobias- President, Johnson, Frederick- Executive Secretary; Bertie Henry- Treasurer, Dr. Clive Dottin- Field Secretary, Pastor Claudius Morgan Assistant to the President for Evangelism, and Communications Director. Associate Treasurer: Joel Hazelwood, Personal Ministries, Sabbath School and Community Services: Ashton O’Neil, Education Director, Dr. Hilary Bowman, Publishing: Judith Small.
Family Life Ministries, Ministerial Secretary- Pastor Andrew Farrell
Women, Children & Adolescent- Deborah Henry
Youth Ministries, Planned Giving & Trust Services – Pastor Anthony Hall
Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Ministries- Dr. Clive Dottin
Health, Stewardship – Pastor Alexander Isaacs
Davis Memorial Hospital: Beverly Chang
Caribbean Health Food: Clifford Balgobin
The field administrators, elected after a motion to refer the report was defeated:
St. Lucia Mission: President: Pastor Alexander Biscette; Executive Secretary: Pastor Roger Stephen; Treasurer: Rose Desir
South Leeward Mission: President: – Desmond James; Secretary- Carson Green; Treasurer- Krysta Moore
Suriname Mission: President- Edward Blackman; Executive Secretary- Guno Emanuelson; Treasurer- Vanessa Hoepel- Dekker
Tobago Mission: President: Toney Mapp; Secretary- Martin Cunningham; Treasurer- Karen Horsford- Nero
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Mission: President: Dermoth Baptiste, Secretary: Henry Snagg, Treasurer: Rohan Charles.
Most of the administrators in the fields remained unchanged with the exception of Saint Lucia Mission. Pastor Johnson, Frederick was called to the Caribbean Union office, a new president and secretary were appointed. In South Leeward Mission a new post of treasurer was appointed.
Some positions are to be elected by the Union Executive Committee. These will be filled when the Executive meets. Further, the Union consists of 620 churches, separated into ten fields with a membership of over 234 000.
Union Session Ends on a High Note
Throughout the historic period, July 20-23rd, 2016, Seventh-day Adventist leaders across the Caribbean Union met at the University of the Southern Caribbean, in Maracas Valley, Trinidad for their quinquennium meeting.
Leaders amended their constitution, elected officers for the executive committee, field and administrators for five missions and institutions.
Pastor Abraham Jules, the devotional speaker presented the morning sermon. The afternoon saw the installation of union officers. President of the Inter-American Division Pastor Israel Leito conducted the ceremony. Union President Dr. Kern Tobias gave the response and challenge. The Union executive committee was introduced and charged by the Union President, Dr. Tobias to live up to the ideals of Christ.
The session ended with an exuberant parade of nations as delegates from each field marched around the auditorium waving flags and distributing souvenirs.
About two twenty-five (225) delegates were in attendance. A Union official confirmed that over 400 persons were in attendance, including special guests and spouses of delegates. The next Union Session is projected for 2020.