NCC Executive Committee Heartened by President’s Message

Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders in the North Caribbean Conference (NCC) continue to navigate the “new normal”,

News September 12, 2020

Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders in the North Caribbean Conference (NCC) continue to navigate the “new normal”, while taking time to focus on the spiritual life of the church, account for members, adopt cost-cutting measures and mobilize more than 14,000 church members across its territory to focus on mission.

Pastor Desmond James, NCC President, and the Administrative team provide weekly updates to the staff and church leaders about the fluid nature of the pandemic which has spread across a ten-island territory grouped under three governments.  He reiterated that the three areas of focus in 2020 (education, community and evangelism) are key driving forces for the church. During his opening remarks to the Executive Committee, Pastor James said, “The mood across the territory is stable in the last six months.  The situation still fluctuates across the territory with three islands – Anguilla, St. Eustatius and Saba declared COVID-free. Islands continue to experience different degrees of lockdowns – from partial closure to total lockdowns.”

In the midst of his remarks at the plenary session on September 8, 2020, news arrived that the government of St. Eustatius had recently announced restrictions for residents because someone tested positive for the virus. Pastor James continued, “I was informed that the school on the island [of St. Eustatius] had to switch to virtual learning.  We continue to monitor the critical situation of the church and its institutions across the territory, study some of the pressing concerns facing the church and keep drawing plans to move forward together as a church during and after the coronavirus pandemic.  The church continues to thrive effectively. Thrust into the virtual world, we have a lot to thank God for. We sorrow with families and church members across the territory who lost loved ones due to COVID-19, and those who were unable to express and extend courtesies to loved ones who died during this time. But, together with family and friends, we keep the faith of Jesus and the promise of eternal life in our hearts as we head towards the coming of the Lord.  While the numbers do not express the impact of the church in the territory during this pandemic period, the church gracefully redefined its role by embracing the opportunity created [by] its twenty-one different platforms streaming its weekly services. Our schools are affected but [along with] the church continue to address the social needs of the members.  My weekly scan across the islands delights to see the growth in the quality of services. Most of the churches are functioning online, with a few churches reopened following the proper social distancing regulations. The increase in community services as members met needs and mingled with fellow men is heartening and speaks well of the principles of Jesus who mingled and [asked people to] follow Him. The church has a great opportunity to come alive. The array of community services speaks [to] a pandemic which cannot rob the church of its role in the communities.”

During the committee meeting, church leaders also took time to pray for Adventist families who are mourning the loss of loved ones and have lost employment due to the pandemic.  In the next five weeks, the church in the NCC will take its mission and message to the virtual platform and it is the hope that all our messages and interactions will impact lives as we bid men and women to follow Jesus.