A district convention to celebrate the Lord’s Supper (Communion) uniquely marked the pastoral transition of Pastor Danny Philip and family from St. Croix to St. Thomas. Following the footsteps of Jesus, Pastor Philip decided that the Communion Service was a fitting legacy to bequeath after five years of pastoral ministry to the churches on St. Croix. The district is comprised of the congregations of Bethel and the second established church (Faith). Pastor Philip told members, “[It has] been both a joy and a privilege to be your pastor. You must not lose the transforming presence of God in your life. God is looking for minds and hearts that [have] been transformed. Guard the avenues of the mind.”
Pastor Philip’s transfer to St. Thomas is among the transitions being effected by the North Caribbean Conference (NCC) Administrators in 2018. According to Pastor Desmond James, President of North Caribbean Conference, “The moves are in an effort to give pastors an opportunity to use their giftedness in enhancing the Mission of the Church. The Mission comes first and wherever and whenever pastors are transitioned, they keep the Mission alive and allow members to experience the ministry they offer.”
A change in pastoral leadership brings with it equal parts of excitement and anxiety. There’s a lot of hope in transition and realizing that hope requires both the incoming pastor and congregation to work intentionally through the transition process. Although saying goodbye is emotionally challenging, it is a significant first step in the transition process. Over the last six months, many NCC congregations took the time to bid their pastors farewell in tangible ways. Emotional parting expressions revealed that pastors are loved, and that God’s people celebrate pastoral ministry.
The St. Thomas and St. John Seventh-day (SDA) congregations have already said goodbye to pastoral families and beginning June 30, 2018, began to welcome other pastoral families to serve the districts. Pastor Jerry Languedoc started his new ministerial assignment in the SDA District #2 (Philadelphia and New Horizons Congregations) and Pastor Danny Philip began his ministerial service with the SDA District #4 (Agape and Cruz Bay Churches). On July 7th, 2018, Pastor Glendon Cross will unite with the SDA District #1 (City and Maranatha Churches). On July 14th, Pastor Noel James will assume responsibility for the SDA District #3 (Shiloh Tabernacle and New Horizons congregations).
The NCC Administrators will lead the installation services for pastors in the coming weeks. The installation service affirms the pastor’s calling to ministry and acknowledges the newly appointed leadership.