Holland Methodist Church

Author: HMC-Media Team

Methodist Heritage Month

Sisters and Brothers,

It is May – Methodist Heritage Month.

What do we mean by this?

Heritage, of course, refers to those features that derive from the past and remain important in the present.

May 1738 was the watershed moment in the lives of John and Charles Wesley, a turning point in their spiritual experience. It was Whitsuntide, that is, Pentecost time. Charles, a priest, was home in bed recovering from illness when he described a life changing assurance of God’s presence in his life. He called that day, 21st May, his “spiritual birthday.” 3 days later, John, also a priest, was invited out by his German Moravian friend Peter Bohler whom he had met the previous year. The invitation was to a religious meeting to be held at a building on Aldersgate Street in London, England.

John recorded that he went “reluctantly” to this meeting. But does not this mysterious God of ours ever move in ways beyond our comprehension? John’s discussions with Peter Bohler and others had already influenced him; but it was on that night that Wesley recorded feeling his “heart strangely warm.” In the developments that followed the Aldersgate meeting, Methodism was born, even though the Wesley brothers had no intention of starting a new church.

How did this new church come to include us? Twenty-two years later, Nathaniel Gilbert and his African slave introduced Methodism to African slaves in Antigua. The movement grew as laymen and women moved from one island to the next and to mainland Central and South American territories in and around the Caribbean Sea.

So, it should come as no surprise that when the Caribbean missionary outpost of Methodism became an autonomous church, it met as such first in May- May 1967. And until the present, the Connexional Conference and Connexional Councils meet in the month of May.

So yes, in May, we focus on the rich heritage that is ours as a people called Methodist. We sing and celebrate the richness of Methodist hymnody starting with works of Charles the prolific hymn writer; but we also honour the giftedness of numerous Methodist songwriters since. We spend time rehearsing our history and the history of the church in general. We thankfully engage in fellowship events that give meaning to Charles’ poetry “if our fellowship below in Jesus be so sweet.”

But do we simply rehearse history that has gone before us? For if that is all we do, it would be a travesty to our profession that Methodism was raised to proclaim scriptural holiness for the transformation of society. Reflection on and celebration of Methodist heritage is meant to motivate us, to move forward in faith. Methodism started as a movement and Methodists must be ever on the move as God’s Spirit warms our hearts and urges us forward.

One of Methodism’s strong features is the practice of the Priesthood of All Believers. This motivates and encourages us all to play our part, and to offer our lives, and talents to God. In the relationship that follows, God’s Spirit transforms us individually and collectively for service and our lives give glory to God. And that’s only the beginning. It’s a movement that continues, for God who guides the movement, is ever faithful. As George Mulrain and George Roberts invite us to sing:

God is faithful guiding our mission
Through His mercy we are right on track
Carrying on the work of those before us
Never tempted to turn back.

Yours in God’s service
Joan Delsol Meade, Pastor.

Persecuted for Righteousness’ sake

Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” 2 Tim. 3:12.

Whoever seeks to live a Christlike life must expect some form of hostility from an ungodly world. The spectrum of persecution ranges from mild to intense, starting with ridicule, restriction, harassment, and discrimination,  and  progressing to torture, imprisonment, ostracism, and death.

Writing from prison, Paul told young Timothy, pastor of the Church in Ephesus, that “all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” 2 Tim. 3:12. He wrote from his lived realities, having had a lifetime of suffering for the sake of Christ. Timothy knew all about his “persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured”. It was in Lystra, Timothy’s hometown, that Paul was stoned, dragged out of the city, and left for dead (see Acts 14:20).

Summarizing his experiences, Paul said: “Five times I have received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning” (see 2 Cor. 11:24-25).  So, Paul was not speaking theoretically and philosophically, but realistically, practically, and experientially. He lived it.

Not only did Jesus alert his disciples to the inevitability of persecution by saying: “If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you…If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (John 15:18); He also said persecution for righteousness’ sake should be regarded as an honour. He stated: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake” Matt. 5: 11. William Hendricksen wrote that “Scars are the price which every believer pays for his loyalty to Christ. 

In this increasingly secular and materialistic age, it is becoming progressively more unpopular to be followers of Jesus and to publicly declare our faith in God. Followers of Jesus are prone to be insulted, ridiculed, misunderstood, criticized, and even hated. Don’t be surprised if family and friends turn against us, revile and scorn us because of our zeal for the Lord. Let us regard it as an honour and a small price to pay for our loyal service to Christ. The scars of gossip, hatred, name-calling, envy, malice, and vindictiveness should be worn as a badge of honour by the soldiers of Christ. Jesus and Paul had their scars. Do you have any scars as a result for your faithfulness to God?

Living a Christlike life in this broken world that idealizes relativism can be costly. Standing and speaking up for the marginalized, victimized, and abused; defending the rights of children and vulnerable adults; and speaking out against injustices in high and low places are acts that are unlikely to be warmly embraced, but which are more likely to be followed by a knife in the back. 

Nevertheless, followers of Christ are assured that no amount of “trials, tribulation, distress, persecution…peril, or the sword, is able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Therefore, I join Henry K. White and F.S. Fuller-Maitland in saying:

Onward then in battle move;
More than conquerors you shall prove;
Though opposed by many a foe,Christian soldiers, onward go.” 
(VIP # 336)

Thought:    Always do what is right, even if it is costly.

Prayer Focus:
Pray for all those who are being persecuted for doing what is right.

Transitioning to Lent

Sisters and Brothers,

Welcome February! Time is indeed, moving on.

This month we transition through the ordinary time ‘after Epiphany’ right into Lent which starts on 22nd instant. As happens every so often, MCCA Men’s Day, the Week of Prayer and World Day of Prayer will fall in Lent.

What’s it about Lent that I wish to mention even before we get there? Remember, my invitation over the past two years for us to consider tithing for Lent. “Give one tenth during Lent.”  Well, I’m at it again. Maybe if we practice this during Lent, it might grow on us as we seek to be more effective stewards of the grace we have received from God.

While we are not mandated to tithe, I do remind us that the MCCA has taken a position on tithing. The church’s (MCCA) position on tithing is captured in a position paper posted on the website. Give tithing a try, and note the effect it has, not just on your wallet, but on your life; and then you can decide from there. We may just find that in a season of inflation and increasing economic hardship, we begin to see God’s wonderful transformation of our financial situation. Let us resolve to trust God for this.

So, while tithing is not mandated -no one is compelling us to give one-tenth- we know that God loves a cheerful giver; and so we focus on the New Testament principles for Christian giving which we have already noted in Discipleship Studies. And while these relate to giving in general- stewardship of time, talent and treasure, I emphasise them here in relation to the gift of money earned.

  1. We are called to give as we have received (i.e., giving is not meant to be based on what we hope to get). We are not trying to twist God’s hand as if God owes us any favour. We are simply blessed because God chooses to be generous.
  2. Giving is like sowing seed, i.e., our gifts are multiplied times over in God’s scheme of things. We may never be aware of how grace is channeled through our giving, how many persons benefit from what we give, even some near and dear to us. How true it has often proven that when we cast our bread upon the waters, it returns bearing unexpected fruit.
  3. We reap what we sow. In other words, harvesting is proportionate to our giving. Let us sow generously, not only our time and talent, but also our treasure to the glory of God.
  4. The true measure of Christian giving is not the quantum of the gift but the attitude of the heart. Small wonder Paul taught the Christians at Corinth:
    Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work”.
  5. Christian giving should be regular ad systematic.  This is why Paul uses the word give in the continuous present tense, as if encouraging the people to make it a habit to give.

So, what more can I say? Try it and don’t be surprised if it turns out that you like it, even if it costs you money, because the blessedness of God’s favour grows upon us as we let go of boundaries, even deliberately and systematically giving what we could choose to own!

May the Lord’s richest blessings be ever yours.

In Christ
Joan Delsol Meade



Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We greet you in the name of our Risen Lord, Jesus the Christ.

The 8th District Council, the 217th Annual Meeting of the Leeward Islands District, convened virtually with the intent to offer hope and encouragement under the theme, “Trusting God in Difficult Times: Transforming Obstacles into Opportunities.”

In the Post-COVID era we are cognizant that it is not so much that COVID-19 is gone but that we must learn to live with its constant presence.  We must not let our fears restrain us from fulfilling our mission and ministry, but rather, move forward, letting our faith constrain us (urge us on) despite the challenges. 

The District recorded its sincerest appreciation to the technical team, comprised of Young Adults including young clergy, who made it possible for us to connect virtually despite connectivity challenges. 

The Council welcomed our Connexional Treasurer, Sis. Muriel Peggy Smith, who extended greetings on behalf of the Connexional Officers. Sis. Smith shared with us concerns about the financial situation.

The Connexion is struggling financially, thus the need for all districts to support. Sister Smith made the appeal for continued support. She applauded our District for our generous giving but noted that there are some districts that are not honoring their obligations. Consequently, the Connexion has embarked on fundraising efforts to assist with operational expenses.


Some of the highlights were: 

  • Virtual Welcome Service
    The Welcome Service was hosted by the Holland Circuit and streamed on YouTube on Sunday, January 8. It was truly reflective of our church as it was intergenerational, reflected traditional and contemporary worship forms, embraced various music genres as well as the languages of the District.  

The District President, Bishop the Reverend Charles A. Seaton, brought the Word based on John 4:21-26. The message challenged us to consider our spiritual health in the face of the many global and societal realities which have had a negative impact on the Church. Bishop Seaton concurred that believers in today’s world cannot be operating as what John Wesley referred to as “Almost Christians” but must be fully committed to the cause of Christ.  He challenged us to become “Genuine Christians” affirming that our faith will be evident in the quality of our moral life as well as in our involvement in mission and ministry, resulting in a stronger church.

  • Reception into Full Connexion
    The District has advanced, on behalf of the Connexional Conference, the Reverend Jean Ronald Charles for reception into full Connexion and ordination.   
  • Candidates For the Ministry
    It is of grave concern that this year we had no persons offering for the full-time ministry of our church. We pray that those who sense a call to serve may respond, confident in knowing that the God who calls is faithful. 
  • MCCA Unified Strategic Direction
    The District received Year 1 and 2 projections of the Unified Strategic Direction.  We encourage Circuits to adopt the mission and vision statements as we seek to own this Direction.  Circuits are encouraged to be more intentional in facilitating processes whereby all members can now be engaged in the implementation.  Additional assistance is being offered to Circuits so desiring.


Mission and Evangelism

  • Home and family are the central focus.  We are committed to strengthening the family and encouraging the continued use of the Family Altar.  Special child friendly materials are being sourced to ensure that the children can meaningfully share in family devotions
  • Marital Seminars and Singles Workshops are being planned to strengthen family life.
  • As we continue our spiritual journey, District wide Prayer and Fasting is encouraged  (3-10 September 2023 and 1-8 September 2024).  
  • Daily devotionals via WhatsApp have been successful.  All Circuits are participating. The global reach is commendable.
  • To capitalize on administrative costs, membership cards will be extended for the triennium through August 2027.


  • Superannuation Fund

Superannuation payments for all ministers in District are up to date. 

From the District Resources and Development CAP the following are noted:

  • Circuits Assessments remain lower than pre-covid levels.
  • Several Circuits are still indebted to the District and re-payment agreements have been initiated.  
  • Discussions with BDO, an international auditing firm, have begun toward procuring external auditing services.  

Christian Education
The Christian EducationCommittee commends to Circuits the following:

  • The District Website spearheaded by the District Young Adults Commission has been launched and can be accessed via the link:  www.lidmethodist.org
  • Training of Class Leaders and the development of creative methodologies for Class Meetings.

General Education

  • The District continues to play a vital role in education, shaping and nurturing young minds in their development.
  • The academic school year was still a challenge due to the continued presence of COVID-19. We acknowledged, however, that it could not have been successful without the commitment and dedication of our teachers. We give God thanks and praise for the boards of management, school administrative staffs, parents, students, ministries of education and other partners for embracing the schools, ensuring a successful academic year.
  • Congregations are encouraged to welcome and embrace the School Communities when they join us for Worship and special Services. 

As a District Council, we commend to you our ever-faithful God and we encourage all congregations to not give up, and to not feel overpowered by the seemingly insurmountable challenges. We encourage all to stand firm, continue to be unwavering in faith, relying on God’s steadfast love and to see God at work in the situations we are facing.
Therefore, beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labour is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15: 58).

Your Servants in Christ,

Bishop, the Rev. Charles A. Seaton                         Rev. Dr. Joan Delsol-Meade President                                                                  Secretary


Sisters and Brothers,

It is Advent again. A new liturgical year has begun.

Notwithstanding the changes and challenges experienced through twenty-one months of dealing with COVID-19, time moves on. We are moving toward the fulfilment of God’s plan. The Advent Hope, which we hold as Christians, is ever before us.

Even now, God is calling us to greater things, to do and be better than we ever dreamed, to always keep moving towards the very best. We can move confidently into God’s future as we acknowledge God’s hand guiding, providing, protecting and delivering in the past. Yes, we can recall the good in the past for reminders that stimulate hope. Then we anticipate that God will lovingly take us forward in time. For this we ought to cooperate with God’s Spirit.

Knowing that the Lord walks alongside and with us in the present is truly enabling. We recognise that God who has kept us in times past, who is alongside us in present successes and struggles, is the One whom we know in Jesus Christ- the same yesterday, today and forever. This gives us every reason to willingly put our future in God’s hands.

So then, Advent brings past, present and future in an unending scheme of things that are under God’s control. Recalling past good, and celebrating God’s presence in the now, are the bases for our confidence in what is to come.

So, no matter how challenging the present might be, hope is our watchword. And as a people of hope, we must certainly bring hope into situations that would provoke hopelessness in others. Advent is a good time to act decisively in bringing help, hope and heart action that can change sad hearts into thankful ones. Let us do to, with and for others, as much good as we can to show the love of God. Causes will be mentioned in our gatherings. Let us take them seriously. And be as generous as we can with our time, actions and service supported by our prayers. We can trust God to let the very best issue from such offerings. In God is hope and hope is alive!

This, this is the God we adore,
Our faithful, unchangeable Friend whose love is as great as His power
And neither knows measure nor end.
‘Tis Jesus, the first and the last, whose Spirit shall guide is safe home.
We’ll praise Him for all that is past,
And trust Him for all that’s to come.
Joseph Hart, 1712-69, VIP#29

Yours in God’s service
Joan Delsol Meade

Lesson From A Canny Manager

The parable recorded in Luke 16:1-15, and generally captioned, The Parable of the Shrewd Manager, can be thought-provoking if not confusing. On the surface, it appears to be about the use and abuse of money or possessions. Here we witness the actions of a canny employee, about to be fired because of mismanagement. There is no mention of the actual deed; however, it is made evident that he used his control over his employer’s possessions to acquire the friendship of his subordinates, so that he could secure himself against an uncertain future.

He decided to “cook the books” by reducing his master’s debtors’ invoices by 25% on wheat and 50% on oil. This must have both shocked and pleased the debtors. If this parable is about money and possessions, then it is wise to remind ourselves that one’s attitude to earthly possessions can indicate one’s shrewdness or silliness, trustworthiness or untrustworthiness, or miserliness or generosity. So, yes! There is the very fundamental issue of honesty and using someone else’s possessions to “feather one’s bed”; but I am sensing that there is a deeper message.

The actions of the protagonist of this parable highlight the value of relationships and community. His anxiety about falling from grace and losing his job, about not being strong enough to dig, and too ashamed to beg (16:3), forced him to contemplate the alternative course of securing community support. When he was fired, he wanted people to welcome him in their homes (16:4). He did not want to become friendless. He wanted to avert his impending situation by applying the principles conveyed in the Guyanese proverb: “Hand wash hand make hand come clean”.

Human relationships and community acceptance and support are critical for meaningful existence. Humans are made for relationships; we need each other to survive. As John Donne put it: “No man is an island. No man stands alone …We need one another, so I will defend each man as my brother, each man as my friend. The steward’s actions and intentions speak to the fact that stigma, discrimination, isolation, and loneliness are counter to true humanity. It is only through being together that can we move through darkness, sickness, divorce, unemployment, and brokenness, and become whole and healed people of God.

It is most regrettable that this man only knew the value of his community when his back was against the wall. When all was well and he was in his master’s good books, he didn’t seem to have given any thought about others. It is conceivable that he may have priced the goods unreasonably high. Now that he was heading for a crash, he quickly sought the support of the community.

For various reasons, we often find ourselves in circumstances where we need each other to survive and live meaningful lives. So, Charles Wesley was correct when he made his plea:

Help us to help each other, Lord,
Each other’s cross to bear,
Let each his friendly aid afford,
And feel his brother’s care.

Help us to build each other up,
Our little stock improve

Thought:  We are created for community and interdependence.

Prayer:      Lord, help us to always remember that we are made to embrace community all the time, and not only when our backs are against the wall. For Christ’s sake. Amen.

By: Everald Galbraith
October 2022

Christian Stewardship

Sisters and Brothers,

A month has already gone by in the new Connexional Year! I trust that we are travelling with the Lord, from the old things to the new, as the hymnist Sydney Carter suggests we do.

It is October, the month we agreed to focus on Christian Stewardship. Apart from what we will do in Bible Study, the focus for the five Lord’s Days is indicated on the circuit plan:

2nd – Stewardship of Time
9th– Stewardship of Talent (Gifts)
16th– Stewardship of Life
23rd– Stewardship of Money (material Resources)
30th – Stewardship of Earth’s Resources

A good place to start is to ask and answer the question, “What does it mean to be a steward?”

A steward is a manager, a trusted servant, responsible for seeing to the affairs of the employee. In the Bible the steward was responsible for such things as administration- purchasing supplies, overseeing the other servants, keeping records. The Greek word for steward, oikonomos literally means “manager of the household. “

The idea of stewardship is rooted in God’s Word. This biblical concept includes the idea that God is the architect of an entire household. To be included in this household means participating in the new life which emerges from God’s constant process of creation. A place in the family of God implies devotion to the welfare of all who are included.

As Christian Stewards, we recognise that:

  1. God is Creator and Owner of everything. The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it (Psalm 24: 1) This principle is seen clearly in Genesis chapters 1 and 2;.
  2. Human beings are called to be managers- stewards of God’s world. (Luke 12: 16 – 21)
  3. The human is not the owner but is given dominion over all that God created and owned. (Gen. 1: 26ff); Gen. 2: 15)
  4. Human beings are responsible and accountable to God for the management of God’s creation, including the very life that God has entrusted to us. (Mat. 25: 4 – 30; Luke 12: 42 – 45)

God has honoured humans, giving us a part to play in creation. We have been placed in the God’s Garden to “dress it” and “keep it.” (Genesis 2: 15)

The Bible shows clearly that we are all stewards to whom God has entrusted such gifts as life, time, varied abilities or talents, material possessions including money, the gospel, our relationships at home, at work, in the church, etc, health and the environment.

What then is Christian Stewardship? Christian Stewardship is man’s recognition of God’s sovereignty over creation and is a grateful response to God’s manifold gifts. Man’s response is expressed his dedicated and creative use of all these gifts towards the fulfilment of Christ’s mission in the world.

Christianity is a response to the love of God as revealed in Christ and expressed in terms of proper stewardship of all the resources available for the sustenance and enrichment of life. Christian Stewardship is humankind’s grateful and obedient response to God’s redeeming love, expressed by the resources for the fulfilment of Christ’s mission in the world.

Let us endeavour to be good stewards who do not take God’s gifts for granted, but rather, live in grateful response to the one who so generously gifted us.

May we always praise the Lord, even as we use our gifts to the glory of God.

Yours in Christ
Joan Delsol Meade

Commencement Connexional Year ’22 – ’23

Sisters and Brothers,

Through grace, we commence another Connexional Year. The assurance is ours that the grace that saw us through last’s years complexities is more than enough for all that is to come. All that the Lord requires of us, the Lord will enable us to fulfil. For this though, we must be ready to discern and available to follow the leading of God’s Spirit.

Life in Christ is not always easy, but rather, often demanding. The District’s theme Trusting God in Difficult Times: transforming obstacles into opportunities, reminds us of this. In the context of challenges we shall face during the year ahead, we need to prove not just to ourselves, but to the communities we serve, that we are a church. We are registered as such – a movement of people committed to sharing in God’s mission in the world.

This means that we have taken on, in both an ecclesiastical sense as well as a socio-political sense, the imperative to do mission. We agree to serve the world beyond the walls where we meet for communal worship and fellowship. We must come to church, yes; join in fellowship with believers, yes; learn the faith, yes; be constantly praying and growing in grace, yes; but there must be more to us than that. Outreach is key. We must go out and make disciples as our Lord commands. This we do through Christian Service and Witness.  We cannot ignore those who are not part of our present fellowship for it is to those whom we are sent. We are sent out to love and to serve and as we do, some will love in return.

Therefore, with COVID distancing in perspective, we resume Operation Andrew- friendship based evangelism. Everyone can be an Andrew leading another into friendship with Jesus. How you do that depends on your special gifts. The Bible teaches that each one of us is specially gifted. With your gifts, you will serve and win persons to whom others do not have access. You have what it takes because you are God’s special gift to somebody else. Don’t belittle what God can do through you. It is in our weakness that God’s perfect strength is realised.

It might sound a bit cliché when we say “Little is much when God is in it” but please put your little gift of love and friendship into the Operation Andrew basket. We will all look back with grateful hearts as we rejoice, “See what the Lord has done!”

Let us follow the Lord as the Spirit of God leads us into a world needing to know more of God. We can show that love through service and witness.
For God’s sake, let’s just do it.

Yours in God’s service
Joan Delsol Meade, Pastor

Lest We Forget God’s Goodness

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after themDeuteronomy 4:9 NIV

Moses, the leader of God’s people and statesman of the Hebrews, wanted to ensure that all God’s chosen people, young and old alike, remembered all that God had done to and for them. Consequently, he urged parents to educate their children in the knowledge and activities of God. By doing so, parents would have the opportunity to recall God’s faithfulness while conveying the narratives of God’s goodness from one generation to the next.

God’s activities on behalf the Hebrews formed the groundwork of their religion, the base of the covenant relationship and the covenant legislation. These activities also served to distinguish the Hebrews and their religion from their neighbours. They would understand and appreciate that the God who had done all these things was also the God who demanded and deserved their allegiance, obedience, and commitment. 

However, this plea to “watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget” comes against the background of the human tendency to forget. We are prone to forgetfulness, and that’s not because of Alzheimer’s. Some persons are guilty of forgetting where they came from and what God has done in their lives; some forget the rivers they have crossed, the battles fought, and the compassion and amazing grace of God with which they have been blessed. When we forget, there is the likelihood of becoming puffed up with pride and being deluded into believing we have accomplished all these things on our own.

Every believer can say with Donnie McClurkin, “We’ve come this far by faith/ Leaning on the Lord/ Trusting in His holy word/ He never failed me yet; and it is highly recommended that we remember, reflect on, and reveal what the Lord has done in our lives. We must develop the habit of telling our church, co-workers, children, classmates, and family members, about the wonderful deeds of God. Remembering and advertising God’s actions will strengthen our faith and brighten our path. We will grow in confidence in God.

I agree with Dottie Rambo who wrote:

Roll back the curtain of memory now and then,
show me where you brought me from
and where I could have been,
oh remember I’m human and humans forget,
so remind me remind me dear Lord.

I appeal to you today: Do not forget what God has done in your life, and tell others about it.

Thought: Memory is one of God’s greatest gifts to humans. Prayer:    Lord, help me to use my memory to retain good things and not evil things and evil thoughts. For Christ’s sake. Amen.