Holland Methodist Church

Notices

Good Stewardship

Sisters and Brothers,

Through God’s never-failing grace, we have arrived at the fourth and final quarter of the Connexional Year.

Indeed, it has been a year of challenges, mostly those ushered in in the era of COVID with its demanding protocols. Challenging as these might have been, we must admit that it has been a year of learning. We went through a steep learning curve, discovering that we can continue worshipping together while inhabiting different spaces.

This is something that should have seemed obvious to us, a people who profess that God is everywhere and with God’s people everywhere; yet it took a pandemic that forced us to be physically distant from each other, to learn that in spite of not being able to dance and sing together, we can still pray and praise ensemble.

The pandemic increased the reality of human need everywhere- material, psychological, social and spiritual. It showed us clearly some needs that we might have missed or not realised how serious they were. While we were in lockdown, the telecommunications media showed us real needs that call for our attention. These are instructions for our future in ministry as we serve God in a COVID and post-COVID world. We will be without excuse if we continued to plan without paying sufficient attention to the needs that we have come to see clearly.

It is really time for a rewind. While I do look forward to my earned sabbatical rest, I know that, together, we must all approach the tasks of ministry with new fervour in the new year. Let us near that in mind as we wrap up 2020-21. But the year is far from over. I anticipate that you will have a refreshing experience under the leadership of Rev’d Damien E. Hughes during the fourth quarter.

During this quarter, even as we return to physical buildings for worship, we will miss the third Sunday worship in Dutch which is usual for Rotterdam since they do not have access to the sanctuary on first and third Sundays. This absence will allow us the time to review and come to a clear understanding of what we hope to achieve in these services. We have been catering largely to our children and young persons baptised into the faith as Methodists. Should we broaden our outlook and seek to cater to more children and young persons in general? If this is our desire, then we need to plan deliberately.

The Mission and Evangelism Committee, when it meets in early September, then, will not only be seeking to guide the implementation of initiatives we discussed during the Discipleship programme Reaching New Persons for Christ. We must also give organise more concretely for the online congregation that we have been considering.

As we look forward to relaxation of some anti-COVID regulations, we are encouraged to think, not of going back to normal in the sense of going back to life as it was before the arrival of the 2019 novel corona virus. Good stewardship requires us to focus on a new normal in which we apply the lessons we learned during the past year and a half. Only in so doing will we fulfil our calling to serve the present age.

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

Trusting God In Difficult Times_2

Sisters and Brothers,

We are well into the penitential season of Lent, a good time for theological reflection and deepening of our spirituality. Although we do not have in-person gatherings these days, I do sense, from your communications, that we are making the effort, both individually and corporately, to draw nearer to the Lord and to stay in love with God. That is commendable.

This is indeed a challenging time as the COVID-19 crisis becomes protracted and such measures as physical distancing will continue for longer than we had hoped. However, we must always bear our District theme in mind- Trusting God Through Difficult Times: Transforming Obstacles into Opportunities.

Just as the health challenges provoked by this crisis stimulated the efforts of governments, benefactors, medical researchers and technicians to develop a family of vaccines, the first of their kind, to address current needs, so too must we respond and put our resources to work for good in God’s world. Let us, as we are led by the Spirit of God, be on the lookout for opportunities and new possibilities for Christian service. As we look inward this Lent and seek improvement in our spiritual fitness, let us not forget that service in our changing context remains the best avenue for working out our faith in God. Yes, let us pray more. Yes, let us give more- (I hope that someone new took up the challenge to tithe). But above all, let us serve God with all we’ve got; and that means serving others.

Let us not allow our spiritual muscles for praying, giving and serving to get rusty while we wait for things to “get back to normal”. Remember, a new normal awaits us. Things will never be the same again. The lessons that we are learning now are for our guidance into God’s future. Let us learn well and be prepared to act on what we learn.

Do the best you can as a Class Leader or Assistant Class Leader, or in whatever office you hold. Only do it better because you will now apply the sensitivity, skills and confidence you have acquired through life with COVID-19. This month, we start a round of statutory meetings. Maybe you have been newly appointed to an office / a committee. Come prepared to share. Come prepared to approach your task with the confidence that our God who has called you, is with us now, enabling us through the present difficulty to serve better than we did before. Let us trust God and be available to learn more and to serve better; and there will be no telling what God is going to do. The hymn writer, William Cowper (1731-1800), had this to say:

God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform.
He plants his footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs and works his sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take. The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head.
Voices in Praise # 266

Look up, even as you look around at the harsh realities we experience, as we encounter those grieving the death of their loved ones who were hurriedly taken away by death, as we meet those whose employment situation is worse that it has ever been, as we are questioned by those who believe that God had forgotten us.

Look up, I say, Sisters and Brothers, let us expectantly await God’s future; and even in the era of COVID-19, that future remains bright to the glory of God.

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

Daniel Fast

The Holland Methodist Church will be taking part in the  Daniel Fast that will be taking place from Wednesday, 26th to 29th February, 2020.

SOME REASONS TO FAST AS A CHURCH

1. Fasting helps to bring and keep us in the presence of God as we seek God for a special purpose.
2. It helps to empty us of what does not belong so that we may be filled by his Spirit.
3. It helps us to humble ourselves before God and declare our reliance on God as sovereign.
4. Fasting helps to focus our attention on those things for which we are praying.
5. It helps to remove ourselves from the natural, everyday activities, and enables us to give ourselves fully to our spirit focused goals or desires.
6. It helps to remove the distractions of the everyday routine that sometimes hinder the effectiveness of our prayers.
7. Fasting helps in the control and discipline of our lives.
8. It prevents us from being enslaved to habit. 9. It helps us to keep physically fit and prevents us from becoming overweight. By choosing to go without we gain something of greater significance or consequence.
10. Fasting helps to release the purposes and power of God in our lives, in the lives of those we are praying for, and in the life Church.

PRAYERS THAT CAN BE USED DURING THE FAST

An Evening Prayer
To you, O God, we offer the coming day’s devotion of prayer and fasting. Thank you for the example of Jesus. Grant that we may die to ourselves, but make us new in Christ. Feed the starvation of the soul, of thought, of will and after quiet rest of sleep, open our mouths to praise you in the morning. Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Light and our Strength. Amen.

A Morning Prayer
How great and gracious you are, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! We pray for your world – for righteousness, justice , peace, healing, hope and salvation. May the whole world know amazing grace and salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, the Savior of the world. We dedicate today to the glory of your grace, to the good of your children, in the power of the Holy Spirit and in Jesus’ name. Amen.

A Mealtime Prayer
Thanks be to you, O God, for all your gifts, and especially those we shall not enjoy today. Thanks be to you for the inner nourishment of your presence and for new vigor in our prayer through this sign of fasting. Thanks be to you for family, children, friends, neighbors, church family, near and far. Thanks be to you for Jesus, the Bread of Life. Amen.

A Prayer for Breaking the Fast
To you, O God, we have offered this day of prayer and fasting. We pray for a world wide Pentecost, but especially in our Leeward Islands District and in each of our Circuits. Through the gift of your Holy Spirit empower us to be faithful ‘Andrews’ and Faith-Sharers of the good news of Christ Jesus. Grant the power of your Holy Spirit that we may serve you faithfully in the world, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

(Prayers adapted from World Methodist Evangelism)

Suggested Menu

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Breakfast Fruits/Soup Fruits Fruits/Soup
Lunch Cooked

Vegetables

Soup Green Salad, Avocado
Dinner Soup Garden

Salad

Sautéed

Vegetables of Choice

Soup
Snack Fruit Salad Almonds/

Cashews

Dried

Fruits

Nuts
  Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Breakfast Fruits Soup Fruits Fruits/Soup
Lunch Sautéed

Vegetables of Choice

Fruits & Green Salad Spinach,

Tomatoes, Cucumber

Fruits, Bread, soup & Baked Potato
Dinner Garden Salad Baked Potato & Carrot  

Soup

 

Soup

Snack Soup Raisins & Peanuts Almonds/

Cashews

Nuts

 

PLEASE NOTE THATFruits & Vegetables can be fresh, dried, frozen, juiced or canned.
Nuts & Seeds – including but not limited to cashews, peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame.
Foods can be cooked or used in their natural state.
Water & Tea (preferably bush tea).

This Menu is only given as a guide (suggested menu) items can be substituted based on availability, so you are free to make adjustments as and when necessary. N.B. The Fast is as far as possible free from ‘Rich Foods.’ Soups should be free of meat. Notice that bread is only on the last day as a transition

December – Advent’s Message

Sisters and Brothers,

It is already December and we are beginning another liturgical year- starting again the cycle from Advent through Nativity and Epiphany during December, January and February. The comforting and empowering truth is that as we travel through time, God is with us.

The Eternal God who has always been and always will be, who has brought the Methodist Church Holland Circuit through thirty fruitful years, journeys with us, continually assuring, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.

Enabled by God’s powerful, preserving, providing, protecting, peace giving presence, through the Holy Spirit who teaches and equips us for God’s service in our place and time, we can show our loving gratitude for the liberating, saving grace we have experienced in Christ.

In God, through God, with God, we can live out the theme of our Thirtieth Anniversary

          #Methodism.NL@30: Loving Service through Faith in Christ

The message of Advent ever renews our hope in God and calls us to be a people who wait actively on the Lord. This we can do through trusting God to help us serve those needing our witness. Even as we look forward to Christmas- the Season of Nativity, we can be deliberate about sharing the joy and peace we know in Christ, thus making a difference in the lives of others.

Of course, it is vital that we pay attention to our own spirituality, for growth in Christ makes us more ready to do the service which the Lord requires of us, whether in the worship and fellowship of the church itself, or through the ministries, the acts of service we render to others for God’s sake. During Nativity we often sing about the new-born Prince of Peace and pray for fulfilment of the angel tidings “Peace on Earth.” But if we do not know the inner peace which comes through a live relationship with Christ, the Prince of Peace, it is impossible to inspire peace to others who feel overwhelmed in the troubling peace-lacking situations that abound.

And then comes Epiphany and our focus on the varied ordinary ways in which God’s presence can be known among us. So, whether it’s big celebration time such as Nativity with its aura of the extraordinary- God taking on human flesh! – or in the ordinary rhythm of life, as time comes and goes, we are kept in grace by the Life Giver who calls us and gifts us for service so that the world may know indeed, that God is love.

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

7-DAY DANIEL FAST

Grounded in Christ: Loving-Serving-Rejoicing

Focus: Operation Andrew

Sunday 1st – Sunday 8th September, 2019

Dear Sisters & Brothers,

The Peace of the Lord be always with you. As we prepare to begin a new Church Year, the Leeward Islands District agreed to begin the Church year with a time of Prayer & Fasting from Sunday 1st September, 2019, at 5:00pm – Sunday 8th September at 2:00pm.   This will be a 7 day period based on the ‘Daniel Fast’ (Daniel Chapter 1 & Chapter 10) – where “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine” (vs 8). The secret to a Daniel Fast is to PURPOSE in your heart; that is, to make a vow as you enter the fast that you will purpose to follow the Lord in what you eat and drink. During a Daniel Fast you give up the things you enjoy eating and eat only what is necessary. Therefore, the Daniel fast is an expression of abstinence for the purposes of self-discipline.

During this Fast we seek for a more intimate relationship with God, a clearer sense of vision & purpose, and a deeper commitment to the ministry of the Church, while ridding our bodies of some of the self-gratifying foods and drinks. Our focus is completely on God, as we “take our eyes off the things of this world.” Let us set clear goals and be specific about what we want to achieve through this fast.

If for medical reasons you are unable to join us in the Fast, but you are interested in participating, partner with us each day in the Scripture readings and share the meditation themes, while joining us in prayer for the various prayer concerns.

Let us use this as a time to draw closer to God and to seek His divine will for our lives and His Church. Let us all commit ourselves to prayer for each other and our Church.

Derek C. O. Browne (Rev.), Secretary for Mission, Evangelism & Church Growth

SOME REASONS TO FAST AS A CHURCH

1. Fasting helps to bring and keep us in the presence of God as we seek God for a special purpose.
2. It helps to empty us of what does not belong so that we may be filled by his Spirit.
3. It helps us to humble ourselves before God and declare our reliance on God as sovereign.
4. Fasting helps to focus our attention on those things for which we are praying.
5. It helps to remove ourselves from the natural, everyday activities, and enables us to give ourselves fully to our spirit focused goals or desires.
6. It helps to remove the distractions of the everyday routine that sometimes hinder the effectiveness of our prayers.
7. Fasting helps in the control and discipline of our lives.
8. It prevents us from being enslaved to habit.
9. It helps us to keep physically fit and prevents us from becoming overweight. By choosing to go without we gain something of greater significance or consequence.
10. Fasting helps to release the purposes and power of God in our lives, in the lives of those we are praying for, and in the life Church.

PRAYERS THAT CAN BE USED DURING THE FAST

An Evening Prayer
To you, O God, we offer the coming day’s devotion of prayer and fasting. Thank you for the example of Jesus. Grant that we may die to ourselves, but make us new in Christ. Feed the starvation of the soul, of thought, of will and after quiet rest of sleep, open our mouths to praise you in the morning. Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Light and our Strength. Amen.

A Morning Prayer
How great and gracious you are, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! We pray for your world – for righteousness, justice , peace, healing, hope and salvation. May the whole world know amazing grace and salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, the Savior of the world. We dedicate today to the glory of your grace, to the good of your children, in the power of the Holy Spirit and in Jesus’ name. Amen.

A Mealtime Prayer
Thanks be to you, O God, for all your gifts, and especially those we shall not enjoy today. Thanks be to you for the inner nourishment of your presence and for new vigor in our prayer through this sign of fasting. Thanks be to you for family, children, friends, neighbors, church family, near and far. Thanks be to you for Jesus, the Bread of Life. Amen.

A Prayer for Breaking the Fast
To you, O God, we have offered this day of prayer and fasting. We pray for a world wide Pentecost, but especially in our Leeward Islands District and in each of our Circuits. Through the gift of your Holy Spirit empower us to be faithful ‘Andrews’ and Faith-Sharers of the good news of Christ Jesus. Grant the power of your Holy Spirit that we may serve you faithfully in the world, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

(Prayers adapted from World Methodist Evangelism)

 

Lenten Meditation 2019

This is part of the Lenten Booklet for 2019. Please click the link in order to follow the daily devotionals for Lent,(God’s Abundance) where you can find the daily devotionals for Lent.

The Lenten Booklet 2019 is published by the MCCA in collaboration with the United Methodist Women.
We thank Rev. Serna Samuels, Caribbean Regional Missionary, for her invaluable contribution to this ministry.

Every blessing!

Rev. Galbraith

Bishop, The Rev’d Everald L. Galbraith J.P.
President of Conference Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA)

Report from District Council

REPORT FROM 2019 LEEWARD ISLANDS DISTRICT COUNCIL

General Matters

  1. The Connexional Representative was Connexional Bishop The Reverend Everald Galbraith who presided over the Ordination of 4 Presbyters:
    • Rev’d Andrine Jennifer Joseph who had served previously as a deacon
    • Rev’d Ruth Pratt (a Bahamian) itinerant Presbyter stationed in the St. Maarten Circuit, and
    • Rev’ds Doris A. Lynch-Gibbs and M. Liana Richardson- Woods, Local Presbyters from the St. Maarten Circuit.

 

  1. Caren Richards-St. Rose, a Local Presbyter from the Dominica Circuit was transferred by a resolution of the District General Purposes Committee. She now serves the Antigua Circuit. Her husband is an Anglican Minister who has been stationed in Antigua over a year ago.

 

  1. The Connexional Faith and Order Committee has sent a number of position papers: These include:
  • A final statement answering certain questions concerning episcopacy (the practice of appointing bishops) in the MCCA.
  • Statements on (1) Baptism (2) Forgiveness and (3) Common-Law Unions. These papers are available to all members and your reflections on/ responses to these are invited.

 

  1. The Pastoral Letter to the Congregations which was read on 27th January is posted on the website and gives some idea of the atmosphere at District Council.

 

  1. The District Pastoral Committee and the District Pastoral Performance Review Commission have been appointed. All completed Pastoral Performance Review instruments for the 2017-18 Connexional Year should be submitted to the District Commission by 31st March 2019 at the latest.

 

  1. Superannuation: the Rev’ds Alberic and Joyce Rohan who are currently serving in the BVI Circuit, have both applied to superannuate, the husband after 45 years and the wife after 43 years of service

 

  1. Stations: Apart from the superannuation refereed to, there was only one change in ministers’ stations. Rev’d A. Carlwyn Greenaway will succeed Rev’d Nichola Barrett-Glasgow who leaves Aruba to return to her home District Jamaica at 1st September, 2019. A minister from Haiti is expected to replace Rev’d. J. J. Ralph Denizard who will leave the Guadeloupe Mission to return to Haiti.

 

  1. Dispensation to Administer the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper: Conference agreed to the Circuit’s application for a dispensation to be granted to Br. Alfred Glasgow to administer the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

 

  1. Resources and Development: In view of the significant financial hardships experienced by circuits in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the District Budget for the triennium was revised. It is not possible to exempt the Holland Circuit from paying an assessment. Even the Guadeloupe Mission has started to make a contribution. The assessment for Holland is USD 4,400.00 per year. This is the smallest assessment , the next highest being Montserrat with an assessment of USD 7,750.00

Hurricane damages and claims: Category 5 Hurricane Irma of 6th and 7th September, 2016 devastated St. Maarten, St. Martin, Anguilla, BVI and St. Thomas/St. John.  The total claim submitted by these islands before any adjusting is US$5,695.071.89. The total losses exceeded the insured amount of US$2M and therefore payment was made to the Corporation of US$2M.

After adjusting the claims, the total agreed claims amounted to US$ 4,045,612.46. The Corporation agreed at its meeting in Antigua in January 2018 that an additional amount of US$1m would be taken from the reserves of the Corporation to assist with the claims for Hurricane Irma. A total of US$3 m was paid to the affected Circuits. The final pay-outs to Circuits were made in June 2018.

Hurricane Maria another Category five (5) storm followed. The circuits affected were Montserrat, St. Croix and Dominica. Total unadjusted claims submitted to date is US$ 2,035,595.55.

The total adjusted claims totaled US$ 1,194,288.22 and amount of US$1,119,288.22 was paid out after the deduction of US$75,000.00. This was paid to the affected Circuits by October 2018.

….

The audit report for the Holland Circuit for 2016-17 was completed by Sis Emmilein Rombley & Bro. Ivan Glasgow. Bro Ivan Glasgow completed the report for 2017-18.

 

  1. Mission, Evangelism & Church Growth

Circuits are invited to embrace a model of invitation to increase the membership of the church by 60% over a five- year period (12% each year)- utilizing **OPERATION ANDREW based on St. John 1:40-41 … which seeks a commitment of each member to reach one person during the Year through Intentional witness.

This is a commitment to witnessing to, praying for, sharing one’s faith with, encouraging and leading (name of individual) to Christ. It seeks to address the Great Commission and our commitment to Church growth – while seeking to REVERSE the decline in membership. If only 10% successful, it would be more than we had before; BUT a 20-25% success rate is not impossible.

Reaching out beyond the membership of the Methodist Church is important, therefore, our focus must not be limited to delinquent members, though that is important. Positive growth will come from outside the regular membership of the Church.

Each Congregation should, therefore, schedule an Andrew Lord’s Day once per quarter – where all Andrews (members) invite their Peters (person praying for) to worship – Bible Study – Class Meeting – etc. (Even though we are encouraging them to join us in worship regularly – on this occasion we are emphasizing the work of Andrew). It is hoped that once the Peters (invitees) become regular attendees they too will have the desire to bring others along. (N.B. We must be extremely careful – with our attitudes as Methodists – that while inviting others it isn’t only to worship BUT to become a part of the Church family to share in the ministry of the Church. Let us not act as if they have come to ‘take over’ the Church.

This requires ongoing updates, reminders, follow-ups, etc. to sensitize of Operation Andrew; Prayer Meetings where we come in agreement with each other as Andrew’s, and seeking God’s help in reaching out and getting through to the Peter’s.

Council has requested that Methodist Position Papers (referred to above) be presented / distributed (in pamphlet form) to all Methodists and that discussions are held on same.

Since the Church is a part of the family of God, and since the Church is a family comprised of families, Council decided on the following:

  1. A Data Base be Developed in Circuits to identify:
    – Different types of families in the respective congregation: single- parent, nuclear, extended etc.
    –  Factors/issues affecting and or impacting families- separation, migration; parent- children conflicts.
    – Important milestones: marriages, wedding anniversaries, etc.
  2. We emphasize Parental Responsibility/Children’s Obedience to parents as divinely instituted.
  3. The Sanctity of Marriage as a divine Institution be promoted.
    It is hoped that over the next five years we develop our data base to inform us where we are and to better prepare us to carry out ministry effectively.
    Further, within the next year, give feedback on the establishment and operation of the Data Base; and in subsequent years on the development and expansion of the same.

Long Service Certificate Application: Council has requested from the Connexional Conference the long service award for 40 years service as an Accredited Preacher for – Bro. Alfred Glasgow

New Syllabi for MCCA Preachers

A new syllabus is available for each of the following 5 examinations which preachers are required to sit from the 2019 -20 Connexional Year. The subjects are: Old Testament, New Testament, Christian Doctrine, Worship & Preaching and Methodist History.

Period of Prayer & Fasting to Start New Connexional Year

It was decided to have a time of **PRAYER & FASTING: to begin the Church Year (Daniel Fast – based on Daniel chapters 1 & 10)

Sunday 1st September – 5pm with supper and Breaking the Fast on Sunday 8thSeptember with Lunch at 2:00pm.

Suggested menu will be provided – to include fruits, vegetables, nuts, juice, water, tea (bush preferable)

A daily scripture reading will be given for devotional / meditation – and focused prayer concerns (specific areas / along with those presented by Circuits)

Zoning of the District was agreed to as a means of streamlining and making more efficient use of resources. However more consideration is being given re groupings giving consideration to ease of travel, language, time zones, etc.

Zone 1 –               USVI / BVI

Zone 2 –               St. Maarten, St. Martin, Anguilla, St. Eustatius, Guadeloupe

Zone 3 –               Antigua, Montserrat, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis

Zone 4 –               Curaçao, Aruba, Netherlands 

 

  1. Christian Education

Youth Encuentro 2019

The 6th MCCA Youth Encuentro is scheduled to be held in Belize City, Belize/Honduras District from July 22-28, 2019.  The theme for this gathering is “Methodission: Forever Fired Up for Christ!”.The Holland Circuit will not be represented.

Formation of District Youth and Young Adult Commission: This will happen at the Encuentro. Since Holland will not be present, it makes sense to name a member for this Commission in advance of the Youth Encuentro.

Upcoming Dates for Women’s Ministry.

July 9 – 13:
Women Executive Meeting in St. Maarten

July 2020:
MCCA Women Quinquennial Seminar to be held
In July 2020 in Trinidad
North America area Meeting (TBA)

July 2021:
World Federation of Methodist & Uniting Church

Women to be held in Sweden

12.The next meeting of the District Council is scheduled for January 10 – 17, 2020 in the Curacao Circuit. The District Ministerial Council will start on Friday 10th January and The District Council will commence on Sunday 12th January with the Welcome Service.