The role of the Christian church in Caricom will be the focus of the Caribbean Apostolic Council’s first-ever Apostolic Virtual Conference on September 4 and 5. Setting Things In Order is the theme for the conference which will bring together Christian leaders from across the region to examine the role of the church in advancing the spiritual, economic and social development of the Caribbean.
“This will not be a talk shop. We will be considering some real issues. We must contribute to the positive development of the region,” said Apostle Terrence Honore, president of the Council.
He said the sessions will not follow “the traditional model of theological debate.”
“This is about how the church relates in real-time, in a real way, to real problems,” Honore explained. “We are dealing with the immediacy of the challenges we face. This is not about pontificating about creating impact for change on the Caribbean community.”
Established in 2019, the Caribbean Apostolic Council is an independent, non-profit Christian organisation, committed to improving the quality of life of the people of the region. Key areas of focus include the convening of special meetings and conferences among apostolic leaders in the Caribbean; staging of special events to enhance the contribution of apostolic leaders to the Caribbean; conducting research and studies on topics of interests and issues within the region; and collaborating and working with governmental and other agencies to improve the quality of life of people in the Caribbean.
The organisation was formed out of a need to establish apostolic leadership “that is indigenous to the region, culturally relevant and biblically based proclaiming the word to the region...to speak to nations.”
A statement explaining its rationale reads: “It is essential that the people of this region break free of the constraining factors that have been endemic and have negated our efforts to unite and fulfil the purpose of the church in the region.
“We subscribe to and support the United Nations MDG’s “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and the application of goals and targets for our Caribbean community.”
The upcoming conference, comprising two four-hour sessions over the first weekend in September, with presentations from Christian leaders, as well as panel discussions involving ministers and professionals in a range of disciplines.
Apostle Praim Persaud, of Guyana, will speak on “The True Apostolic Church,” followed by Dr Brenda Pratt, of the Bahamas on “Navigating and Transitioning Through the Apostolic.” There will also be presentations by Apostle Dave Alleyne of T&T and Apostle of Gilberto Bakhuis of Curacao.
Security expert Garvin Heerah, the former head of the National Operations Centre and financial expert Moonilal Lalchan are among the Christian professionals who will share their expertise as subject matter experts in panel discussions that are also part of the programme.
Coming out of these sessions a summary document will be shared with Christian organisations across the Caribbean and position points will be collated and submitted to the Caricom Secretariat.
Honore said the Council has written to Caricom seeking a meeting.
“We want to find out how Caricom perceives the church,” he said, adding that the objective is to realign the church for the advancement of societies across the region using dialogue and a consultative approach.
Noting that the church has a strength like no other institution in the region, Honore said the Council’s purpose is to “shift the reality in our Caribbean communities.”
Registration details and more information on the virtual conference can be obtained by calling 373-4988 or 678-0272.