10th May 2017

Sabbath 22 April 2017 was a truly wonderful experience for the Jersey and Guernsey small groups. A trio from the South England Conference (SEC) descended on the small parish of St Helier in Jersey and were greeted by Jersey's beautiful spring sunshine. The trio included Pastor Douglas McCormac, SEC Executive Secretary, Pastor Simon Martin, SEC Church Growth and Advent Mission director, and Mavis Bramble, secretary to Personal Ministries, Sabbath School, Church Growth and Stewardship departments. The three came prepared to inspire the members in the Channel Islands.

As the trio could only visit one Island, the members in Guernsey took a boat ride to Jersey on Friday and joined their Jersey counterparts for a 'Big Sabbath', Island-style! It was a refreshing change for the Channel Islands groups who are accustomed to worshipping with a group of between 8 to 15 adults. Suddenly 40 people seems to be a huge number. 

The Sabbath service commenced at 10:30 am with group introductions all around. Battle lines were immediately drawn, and it was clearly a Guernsey vs Jersey day. 

Pastor Martin started off the day with a presentation for the children ‒ a story on bananas and spiders ‒ and the peril of listening to the wrong messages. Pastor McCormac then spoke to the adults on Nehemiah 8:1-12 (using the example of the 2008 US presidential inauguration). 

The divine service was taken by Pastor Martin who spoke on the passage from 1 Samuel and the power of positive statements under the title 'My Box of Words'. The key 2ctext was from 1 Samuel 14:6 ‒ "Jonathan said to his young armour bearer, 'Come, let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised men; it may be that the LORD will work for us. For there is nothing to prevent the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.'" The pastor concluded with a prayer for the congregation and a call to service that God has truly placed us on these Islands so that His truth may be shared to hungering souls. 

With the people fed spiritually, there was a short break for lunch where the Jersey ladies stepped in with a wide array of delectable food. After lunch Pastor Martin again spoke on the topic 'The Five Missional Habits of Effective Adventist Disciples'. This was followed by a seminar on Personalities which was presented by Pastor McCormac. 

The day concluded with a communion service led by Pastor McCormac and a reminder of Him who brought us out of darkness into His marvellous light. 

To celebrate the occasion 2aand to provide an opportunity for further social interaction, a games night was organised for Saturday night. The evening was filled with musical chairs, rhythm challenges, miming and charades and everyone eventually called it a night at about 11:00 pm. 

It truly was a remarkable weekend, and the members in the Channel Islands were energised and invigorated by the visit.


[Richard Mukungatu]

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