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For four days this Easter, the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists will present 'Then Came the Morning', a dramatic musical set in the shadow of Golgotha in the hours following the execution of Jesus Christ.
Combining narrative monologues, vocals, live music, video and choreography, the production delivers a multisensory display of the extraordinary events of Good Friday by presenting the story of Christ's passion and crucifixion through the eyes of those who knew and loved Him best.
"Because 'Then Came the Morning' opens after the death of Jesus, we don't actually witness the spectacle of Christ's torture or see him portrayed hanging on a cross," said the production's writer and director Melanie Hutcheson. "What we focus on instead is a series of firsthand accounts of those chaotic hours, each full of emotion and punctuated with music and choreography, in order to demonstrate the impact of Jesus' sacrifice on his loved ones and other witnesses to his execution. We hope that by experiencing their grief and observing the change that comes over each of them, this sacrifice will become real to the audience and cause them to draw closer to him - either for the first time or as a return to faith."
All the key characters, including Jesus' mother, disciples and friends, are intimately characterized and invite the audience to share in the range of their emotions, from the grief, guilt, doubt and despair of his crucifixion to the joy and surprise of its startling aftermath - the morning of his resurrection.
"The South Bahamas Conference is pleased to be a part of 'Then Came the Morning' and to be working with the young writers, choreographers, dramatists, musicians and singers who are using artistic expression to bring an awareness of the healing power of Jesus Christ," said conference fundraising and special projects coordinator Patrice Williams-Gordon. "The production was conceived as an evangelistic tool to reach the community through Christian drama, and adds yet another bold and distinctive dimension to the church's mission to tell people from all walks of life about the unconditional love of Jesus. Wherever your spiritual journey has taken you, this drama will be meaningful for you."
'Then Came the Morning' will debut at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts and has a scheduled run of April 16th, 17th, 18th and 20th at 7:00 p.m. For more information visit Facebook.com/TheMorningMusical or email TheMorningMusical@gmail.com.
The atmosphere is charged just days before the May 7 general election, but religious leaders are pleading for people to let cool heads prevail.
"No matter the weather or situation one is in, the principle of being calm and respectful is always a principle that all professing Christians should be living up to. One cannot be Christian without respecting one another and approaching all issues with a sense of calmness, serenity and peace," said Bishop Simeon Hall, senior pastor at New Covenant Baptist Church.
"When I think about this season there is a scripture that comes to mind, Luke 21:19 that says in your patience possess your souls. To me this means to live your life quietly. We should not let the furies of the world change who we are and disrupt our Christian walk. Let there always be a sense of peace in all that we do."
The Baptist minister also said that the candidates should also know how to conduct themselves as Christians, or at least religiously responsible people. And that there should not be any verbal or physical violence. Hall said they should be mindful of how they run their campaigns.
"What a candidate does to get power says a lot about what one will do when he gets it," the minister said.
And he reminded the people offering themselves for public office -- whether FNM, PLP, DNA or Independent to always remain clear-minded, to remember their purpose, be truthful and to put God first always.
Although there have been some minor disturbances during this electoral silly season, Bishop Hall said he believes Bahamians have matured and that more Christianly principles are being used. He said he is grateful to see that people are not afraid to showcase their political affiliations. But he did add that there is still a long way to go.
Bishop Laish Boyd, head of the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos said that all people -- voters and political candidates alike should remember that they must respect each other and accept that everyone has a right to support and vote for whomever they wish.
"Against that background of what is going on around the country it is essential for all people to conduct ourselves with a sense of calm, peace, cooperation and respect. We have to exhibit national comradery," said Bishop Boyd. "We cannot divide ourselves in anger in these times. We have to accept things as they are and believe that all will turn out the way it is supposed to. If we keep those thoughts before us as we go to the polls then we will be on the right track no matter what comes."
The Anglican bishop said people have to respect that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. And that if someone's opinion differs from what you believe, you should not feel slighted because they have the right to have it.
Bishop Boyd said the message is the same for the candidates running for positions of leadership. And that it is just as important that they respect their fellow candidates as it is to be competitive during these times. Politicians, he said, should not let the differences between them and the fact that they are vying for the same position deter them from still being Christians and brotherly in these politically-charged times.
While the leadership of the country for the next five years will be decided and is a powerful and important opportunity, the Anglican priest said people should not take it so seriously that they forget their real role in the scheme of things.
"When the ballots are counted and all is said and done, candidates should be able to listen to what the people have to say and respect it. The people speak with their vote and if you are not their choice there should be no controversy or anger. This is about the good of The Bahamas and not one solitary figure. Let the people speak. Listen to them. And obey them. This is our country on May 6 and it will still be our country on May 8. Maintaining the peace, harmony and strength of the nation is the bottom line and everyone should be working toward ensuring it remains that way. We are brothers and sisters and despite the times we should not forget that."
Seventh-day adventist president
Remembering to make the right choices even in the face of temptation is what more Christians need to do in these politically charged times said Paul Scavella, president of South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He said there is no need for the anger and violence people exhibit, as the election is just another day in another season, and people should not forget that life goes on after all is said and done.
"[Election time] is an important time for everyone but it does not excuse people from making poor decisions and being violent or disrespectful to one another. This is a time for people to come together and respect each other's choices. Let them use their God-given gift of freedom of choice and in doing this as Christians will minimalize the separation of kindred spirits. You have to make a choice to continue to love one another in these times because no matter what happens we are still family and should not let politics get between that."
The Seventh-day Adventist minister also reminds candidates to remain civil and honest. He said they should not get carried away and show the same management and care in their political roles as they take in other aspects of their lives. And that they should also see that no matter what happens, it is the will of God.
"In the book of Daniel, leaders are reminded that the Lord sets up and He takes down governments. In The Bahamas this process is done through the people so what the result says is truly the will of God."
Pastor Scavella said God inspires His people to install governments that will serve them best. And that this is why it is important for politicians to respect results and not take them personally.
"It is your choice if you as a candidate accept the results and find other use for your talents or to be blinded by loss and need to possess a title that is not yours to have and waste away your ambition," the minister said. "There is much to do and not everyone is meant to lead -- but for those who are, it is important to always be honest and remember that life is all about choices. You may not always know the way to go, but as long as you remember that God is there to guide you, you are on the right track," he said.
While expressing confidence that the current crime trends will be reversed, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said there must also be a culture shift in The Bahamas in order for the country to return to the days when violent crime did not dominate the headlines.
He was speaking yesterday afternoon at the grand opening and dedication ceremony for the Gladstone Road headquarters of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists. The headquarters opened during a time when violent crime is increasing in the country.
"We must rediscover and strengthen positive attitudes which earlier typified our people, and reinforce the spirit of volunteerism and giving among our people, most particularly among young people," Ingraham said.
"In truth, even while we will stem and reverse the anti-social and criminal behavior that undermines our society, we have a broader task and mission. That mission is to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence, a culture of mutual well-being and fellowship, a culture of life and respect for the giver of life."
Ingraham said the Seventh Day Adventist Church has long been a beacon of faithful service and Christian stewardship in The Bahamas, most notably because of its exemplary work among young people, and in support of healthy family life and healthy lifestyles.
"Your promotion and encouragement of responsibility within the family, the community and indeed the nation is most appreciated, especially so as we address the debilitating influence which the naked pursuit of material wealth, at any and all costs, is visiting on our land; for too many amongst us in The Bahamas have forgotten the true purpose of our lives - to love God and our neighbors as ourselves," he said.
Ingraham encouraged the church to share its initiatives on healthy lifestyles and faith-based best practices in collaboration with other faith- and community-based groups, as well as in collaboration with public-private partnerships.
"I congratulate the leadership of the Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, whose capable and dedicated leadership has demonstrated to the wider Seventh-day Adventist West Indies Union your capacity to assume enhanced responsibility for the work of the church in The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands," he said.
Saturday 10th December 2011 7:30 PM
Dec 10 - Saturday 10th Annual Adventist Men's Chorale Christmas Concert Under The Distinguished Patronage Of Pastor & Mrs Paul Scavella, President The Southern Bahamas Conference Of Seventh-Day Adventists The Adventist Men's Chorale With The Bahamas National Symphony Orchestra Presents " God With Us" The Adventist Men's Chorale holds its 10th annual concert "God With Us" at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk, Shirley St, downtown. Accompanied by the Bahamas National Symphony Orchestra, the all-male chorale comprises more than 40 men. The Chorale has raised over $30,000 in the past 10 years for at-risk young men and the Bahamas Academy Building Fund. Starts at 7:30 pm. Tickets $20 from SDA HQ on Tonique W. D. H'way, from members and at the door. Refreshments served. T: 341-4022 or email: email@example.com
The Jeff Rodgers Basketball Camp is now in its 25th year.
For the man who was there from its inception, the years have flown by. The event itself has become a main staple in the sporting landscape of this country, that young kids look forward to, from year to year. This year, according to organizer Jeff Rodgers, will be no different as the camp embarks upon its 25th Silver Anniversary camp. This year's camp will be held July 25-27 at the Bahamas Academy of Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) on Wulff Road.
"I'm more excited this year than ever before," said Rodgers yesterday. "One of the things that is taking priority this year, is to get fathers and mothers involved. It's good to teach the fundamentals of basketball but there is so much more to life than our young people playing basketball or playing sports. I think sometimes, we kind of miss the boat when we don't take quality time to spend with our children. There is going to be
a father-son evening where fathers play like a one-on-one with others fathers and sons, and then the same thing with mothers and daughters. We're just trying to build some excitement to the camp. I expect some great things to happen and I'm looking forward to making this year very successful."
Over the years, the camp which caters to hundreds of Bahamian youngsters, has grown by leaps and bounds. Rodgers has even branched off to other countries in the region, staging camp sessions in the Turks and Caicos Islands and Jamaica. This year, he has committed himself to having a camp in Abaco, and quite possibly, returning to the Turks and Caicos Islands and Jamaica.
"Wherever we go, the message is the same - to encourage young people to believe in themselves and in their futures," said Rodgers. "Most people have callings in life - some accept them and some don't. I think mine is to work with young people. It's been a blessing to me because it has helped me to keep my life together.
"It is a joy when you can touch young people's lives and motivate them and encourage them. There is always hope when you're focussing on the positive things in life, and young kids need to know that. When we look at the kids who have been touched by this camp over the years, to see some of them working as instructors in the camp is a blessing. We've helped some of them go off to college and we have seen them come back home and are now working in the community. It's a joy to be able to see that."
Working along with the kids this year are Cleveland Cavaliers' Head Coach Byron Scott, Cavaliers NBA 'Rookie of the Year' Kyrie Irving, Detroit Pistons assistant coach Dee Brown, Tyrone Bogues, former NBA player Scott Burrell and Klay Thompson - son of former Bahamian NBA great Mychal 'Sweet Bells' Thompson and current starting two guard of the Golden State Warriors, just to name a few.
"It's a great crew that we have coming down," said Rodgers. "I'm sure all of the kids and their parents will appreciate what we have in store for them this year. I'm just looking forward to putting it all together for the kids."
Sponsors coming on board to assist with the camp this year include: Scotiabank Bahamas Ltd., Royal Bank of Canada, J.S. Johnson Insurance Ltd., Colina Insurance Ltd., Family Guardian, Bamboo Shack, Bahamas Business Solutions, Jewel Party Supplies, Freddie's Barber, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Ministry of Tourism and The Bahamas' Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (SDA). Rodgers said that he is grateful to all of them.
Nassau, Bahamas - Executive
members of the Seventh-day Adventists church comprises officers of the
Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission and the Fields. This Union Mission is
made up of the Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, (Nassau,
New Providence); the Cayman Islands Conference, (Cayman Islands); The
North Bahamas Conference (Freeport, Grand Bahama); and the Turks and
Caicos Islands Mission (Providenciales), Turks and Caicos (Provo) paid
a call on Governor-General Sir.Arthur Foulkes (Pictured seated centre)
at Government House on Wednesday, January 12, 2011...
PASTOR Jeremiah Duncombe, former full-time pastor and president of The Bahamas Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, launched the Bahamas Global Impact Prayer and Fasting Network (BGI-PAFN) yesterday to address what he sees as "an eroding of the moral foundation of our country".
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
- Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:15)
Recently, the Bahamas Christian Council (BCC), through some of its members, has taken positions on public policy that have left many Bahamians more confused by their utterances instead of being enlightened on national issues that are debated in the public square.
For example, several members of the BCC, and a number of other prominent pastors, have become "sensitized" to the idea of how taxes generated from and regulations imposed upon a legalized numbers industry could benefit The Bahamas. On the other hand, a few prominent pastors, including BCC members, have maintained that any parliamentarian who votes in support of the gaming legislation should be voted out of office in the next election. Accordingly, this week we would like to Consider this...What is the role and relevance of the Bahamas Christian Council in today's Bahamas and does the council speak for the Christian church in The Bahamas?
The Bahamas Christian Council
According to its website, the BCC "is constituted to promote understanding and trust between the various parts of Christ's church in The Bahamas at all levels; to further Christ's mission of service by joint action of Christians in The Bahamas; to witness for the Christian community in The Bahamas on matters of social or common concern". A noble mission indeed, but has the BCC accomplished that mission?
The BCC does not enjoy the full participation of all the major denominations in The Bahamas. For example, the Roman Catholic Church does not actively participate in the council and, although the Anglican Church is represented on the council by a prominent prelate, the Methodists and the Seventh Day Adventists, along with the aforementioned denominations, often find it necessary to issue official statements on public policy that are either in contradiction to or at least more intellectually and scholarly sound than the positions that are enunciated by the BCC. Other religious groups, like the Jehovah's Witnesses, have always declined to participate in the BCC's membership, deliberations and pronouncements.
Today's BCC can be described as a select group of special interests that are dominated by a few denominations. In fact, it has morphed into an organization that resembles a "political action committee" and not a council of churches in the traditional sense.
More recently, it has become a group of pastors who seem to be more interested in telling people how to vote than addressing issues from a spiritual or moral perspective. In fact, it has been suggested that the BCC has generally abandoned the moral argument.
What has become patently clear is that the BCC does not always address moral or social issues with a unified voice. As observed in another column in this publication, Front Porch by Simon, regarding the debate on the bill to amend the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Act of 2009, the BCC's "rolling responses have been so scattered, chaotic and whiplash-inducing, that the [BCC's response to the bill] seems to depend on what day it is, how you read [its] statement, and then how you pick through the minefield of their tortured explanations on what they are trying to say.
"This lack of clarity has made the council appear amateurish, not serious and irresponsible on weighty matters of public policy."
By contrast, the statement of Roman Catholic Archbishop Patrick Pinder was described by Simon as "markedly different in terms of moral imagination, pastoral sensibility, scriptural exegesis, intellectual reach and an understanding of the relationship between church and state, Bible and constitution and citizenship and discipleship".
Regarding that same sexual offenses amendment, the statements issued by the Conference of the Methodist Church and Seventh Day Adventist leaders were considerably more informed and scripturally sound than that of the BCC.
We agree with Simon's observation that "besides the loss of authority by a broad cross-section of Bahamians, [the BCC] has lost credibility among significant elements of its own membership".
The gambling debate
In his column, "WHITE FILE: Thanks to the BCC, too many still walk in darkness", the late P. Anthony White, a prominent, long-standing icon in St. Agnes Church, observed on the issue of gambling that "there has...been the never-ending case of the council's position on the matter of the numbers business in The Bahamas, an issue stretching back to years before majority rule".
"It has been an issue with which successive governments of the old United Bahamian Party, the Progressive Liberal Party and the Free National Movement have wrestled, but could arrive at no point of resolution because, it is widely believed, of the influence of the Bahamas Christian Council," he said.
"The council, an organization with what has been seen as a litany of flexible principles, has traditionally said no to gambling, beginning in the early 1960s, when the UBP government refused to bow and allowed casino gambling by issuing exemptions to the colony's anti-gambling laws.
"The Progressive Liberal Party government...back in 1979, actually drafted legislation which would have legalized a lottery in The Bahamas. The matter went to Parliament for a first reading, but never went any further.
"The then powerful Bahamas Christian Council's continuing position on gambling powerfully prevailed. Politicians were not prepared to risk their popularity and electability by angering the church.
"That position prevailed, ironic and hypocritical in its nature, despite the quite obvious fact that so much of the proceeds of winning numbers-players ended up each Sunday in the collection plate, to a great extent funding the rich and expensive lifestyles of pastors who shamelessly ascend pulpits and rave against gambling."
As we observed in last week's article, on the issue of gambling, the BCC has yet to produce one iota of evidence that the Bible condones or prohibits gambling. We maintain that if they could they would, but they have not because they cannot.
The council's future
We believe that a re-engineered BCC has a vital role to play in the orderly development of The Bahamas. That role should be to recognize the need for the council to better analyze, address and articulate the fundamental factors that have led to the inundation, erosion, and decay of our national, social and moral fabric.
The BCC should be about promoting public discourse regarding the abject poverty in which so many Bahamians live, propose realistic solutions to arrest the cancerous cankers of hatred eating away at our young, at-risk men and prescribe methodologies by which we can overcome the constant challenges for restorative justice that perennially elude us.
Above all, if the council is to actually function in the normative sense, it should be more inclusive in its membership and comprehensively reassess realistic approaches to the suffocating social ills that surround us, including equality of opportunity and the attainment of human rights for all of our citizens, without reference to color, creed, gender or sexual preference.
The council must also unambiguously address how to bridge the deep chasm that exists between those in our society who have amassed enormous material wealth and those who have not. It should also emphasize our collective responsibility to safeguard those who do not enjoy the fruits of the nation's successes.
The council's voice should be heard regarding issues that concern the environment, crime, high unemployment, positive interventions for the young and dispossessed in our society and the overcrowding of our communities. The Christian Council's relevance will also be measured by the extent to which it can diffuse deeply divergent denominational differences while simultaneously ameliorating bona fide ecumenical advancements.
If the council is to reset and restore its relevance in the modern Bahamas, it must demonstrate how all citizens can better navigate the relationship between legal rights and Christian values, always cognizant of the inviolable principle of the separation of church and state in a secular, pluralistic democracy.
If we are to have a fully functioning, prescriptively proactive and effectively engaging Christian body, we should shun those who would be wolfish on important matters and allow true shepherds to lead the flocks along the kinder and more compassionate path toward a more positive and flourishing future.
o Philip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis and Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 27th Annual Jeff Rodgers Basketball Camp will run from June 30 - July 25, this year, for boys and girls, ages 5-19, and will be conducted at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium. The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Friday.
The Jeff Rodgers camps are based on character-building through the fundamentals of basketball and discipline, and they get more and more exciting each year, with new activities always being added. A number of international professional basketball players and coaches including former National Basketball Association (NBA) great Mychal 'Sweet Bells' Thompson, legendary Tyrone 'Muggsy' Bouges, Coach Byron Scott, Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Klay Thompson and Coach Mark Jackson from the Golden State Warriors, and professional basketball player Michael Thompson Jr., are among the special guests coming to town for the camp. University Coach Scott Burrell will also be looking out for top basketball talent.
Supporting the camp this year are BTC, Bahamas Southwest Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Scotiabank Bahamas Ltd., Colina, J.S. Johnson, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Bahamas Business Solutions, the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas (ZNS), the Ministry of Tourism, Columbian Emeralds, Sapodilla Restaurant, Caribbean Bottling Co., Baha Mar, Atlantis, Jewel's Party Supplies and Nautilus Water. Their contributions are most valued and appreciated, said tournament organizer Jeffrey Rodgers.
A new aspect this year is that the camp will operate in conjunction with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture. A number of satellite camps will be hosted throughout the island, including Carmichael Road, Flamingo Gardens, Pinewood Gardens, Elizabeth Estates, Fox Hill, Kemp Road, Mason's Addition, Hay Street, and Christie Park on Nassau Street. These camps will be managed by instructors from the Jeff Rodgers Camp and supported by ministry appointed facilitators. Members in these communities are encouraged to register.
Also new, at the end-of-camp, during 'Fun Night' when the campers demonstrate their skills, the parents will have an opportunity to play basketball in organized scrimmages.
Registration forms are now available online at jeffrodgersbasketballcamp.com and at the Seventh-Day Adventist Conference on the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway, from the hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Wednesday 16th April 2014 7:00 PM
For four days this Easter, The South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists will present: "Then Came the Morning", a dramatic musical set in the shadow of Golgotha in the hours following the execution of Jesus Christ. When: April 16-18 & 20, 2014 Where: Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts Time: 7:00pm