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Induction of the new MCCA Connexional President

On Sunday we celebrated the induction service of the new MCCA Connexional President, Bishop Everald Galbraith. It was a beautiful service, a joyful service, and one full of hope for the future.

Every blessing,

Sandra

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New MCCA leadership

Yesterday was the day of new beginnings for the MCCA, as well as a celebration of the former. The conference welcomed the new Connexional President, Bishop Everald Galbraith, and thanked God for the ministry of Revd Otto Wade, the outgoing President. In Revd Wade’s parting speech, he spoke strongly about evangelism, and the need for the MCCA to make this a priority rather than just a footnote. He spoke about the need to train people across the MCCA in evangelism and for each district to make a concerted effort towards church growth. I am sure that this statement sounds very familiar to us in the Methodist Church in Britain!

We also took part in the flag raising ceremony and enjoyed singing to many national anthems which covered the 8 Districts of the MCCA in the Caribbean. The MCCA has 590 churches in the region, and there is a sense of hope for growth and reinvigoration with the new leadership of the church, which also includes several new District Bishops.

Every blessing,

Sandra

Aldersgate Day in Dominica

I joined in my first Methodist street parade today with the Dominica Circuit. It is of course Aldersgate Day and the Day of Pentecost, so the Circuit came to Roseau, the capital, and took to the streets to proclaim God’s goodness and celebrate the day when the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus’ disciples, and the day when the same Holy Spirit warmed the heart of John Wesley and reassured Him of God’s love and salvation.

It was particularly poignant for me, because as we worshiped God on the streets to very loud gospel music (we were following a truck with a booming speaker!), we passed by buildings that had been wrecked by the hurricane, piles of rubble and people peering out of homes with no roofs, looking with curiosity at our group. Despite the suffering that the island went through, here were Christians that could still publically proclaim God’s goodness to their communities, and proclaim the hope that they had in Christ Jesus which was freely available to all.

We then went on to the Aldersgate Day service, where we heard a rousing sermon from Revd Michael Charles, a minister stationed in St Vincent of Dominica origin, who spoke about God’s goodness throughout the hurricane. He emphasised that by God’s grace, only 30 odd people had actually been killed by the hurricane. Of course, one life is one person too many, but the level of damage sustained by the island suggests that this number ought to have been far higher.

In the afternoon the church received training on the spiritual dimension of trauma, delivered by Revd Stephane Brooks, the International Director of United Methodist Church’s Upper Room’s Road to Emmaus programme. Many people in Dominica are deeply traumatised by the hurricane last year, but many have buried this trauma deep down in order to survive. However the training is designed to help members unpack this trauma and allow God to heal them deeply, in order that they may be able to minister to others in their community dealing with trauma. I am deeply impressed by the depth of support that the Dominica Circuit has been able to offer their communities and 8 months on continues to do so.

Every blessings,

Sandra

Dominica

I landed in Dominica on Saturday morning, and instantly saw similarities to the landscape of western Haiti which I had visited following Hurricane Matthew in September 2016. Where there was once lush, thick greenery, there were recovering trees and sparser greenery, and in some areas trees that looked like matchsticks. Hurricane Maria struck the island in September 2018, and devastated the entire island, killing over 30 people, destroying homes and livelihoods. 8 months on, some communities still need relief support and certain foods are still being imported along with drinking water.

The Dominica Methodist Circuit has been supporting communities all over the island since the aftermath of the hurricane and continues to manage relief centres and liaise with partners such as UMCOR and The Salvation Army for the ongoing relief and rebuilding work. Rebuilding has been slow due to the fact that materials need to be imported, a process which has been taking months in some cases. The Methodist Church in Britain sent the circuit a solidarity grant earlier on this year, to help cover some of the cost of building material. The Superintendent, Revd Novelle Josiah, sends his thanks and appreciation to the Methodist Church in Britain for standing in solidarity with them.

Every blessing,

Sandra

UMCOR and World Mission Fund support for the Dominica Methodist Circuit

400 families in the town of Dubique and 98 families in the town of Bagetelle are receiving relief support from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the work of which is being coordinated by the Dominica Methodist Circuit. The relief centre from which food packages are made is in fact Revd Novelle Josiah’s manse. I visited his home and saw every room full of relief supplies sent from UMCOR, including lentils, beans, rice, baby items and hygiene items. The Circuit also purchased a large shipping contained in order to store additional foodstuff and other items. The generosity of British Methodists, who raised over £40,000 for the Caribbean Hurricane Appeal in collaboration with UMCOR, has contributed to this vital UMCOR support.

The Circuit has managed to raise 100,000 Eastern Caribbean dollars ($50,000 US dollars), with support from external partners and the wider Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA), which will enable the Circuit to give their communities some funding (about $500 US dollars per family) to buy material for rebuilding and repairing their homes. The Methodist Church in Britain’s World Mission Fund sent £10,000 in solidarity with the Circuit towards this reconstruction appeal for this appeal.

Every blessing,

Sandra

MCB VP designate’s visit to MC Nigeria

There was a rainstorm the night before we arrived at Uzuakoli. Roads were blocked by fallen trees, impeding vehicle access to the school.
The recently installed water tanks for the orphanage were severely damaged as shown below.
Below was a damaged property with caved in roof at St Christopher’s school.

We prayed with the staff after enquiring about the unfortunate incidents that affected several properties onsiteand asked for more information.

Kind regards
Bunmi

Sent from my iPad

MCB VP designate’s visit to MC Nigeria

Below is Bishop Opoko’s residence at Umuahia where we were hosted before travelling to Uzuakoli where Methodist Health centres, orphanage and schools were located.

Below was the Chapel of Peace based at Amaudo – specialist centre for mental health. Student nurses from various nursing schools come for practical experience for a week or two at the centre and live onsite with both staff and patients. The centre was started by Ros Colwill – MCB ex-mission partner. It still supports and treat mental health destitute from the streets and help reintegrate back into its society in collaboration with government officials and community members. What a wonderful open and relaxed programme that still works.

Kind regards
Bunmi

Sent from my iPad