St. Andrew’s Parish, Exuma, is best described as “one church in five locations”, as is usually the case on the family islands, and thus requires many hands on deck in order for it to function optimally. And function this Parish does! Blessed with a hardworking rector and an equally hard working assistant curate St. Andrew’s has been lovingly dubbed as “the parish that does not sleep.” This mantra has been attached to the Parish because there is always something going on, because ministry never stops, and people are always in need of help. However, two persons, regardless of how hard they work, two people cannot do it all and so the call for persons within the Parish to fill certain roles was heralded.
On March 17 th 2016, when 2 Catechists were commissioned and 5 lay ministers were installed, the call was answered. After months of classes exposing the students to both the theoretical and practical side of ministry within in the Anglican Church, seven persons emerged as excellent candidates to be elevated to higher offices within the Parish. On this momentous occasion the Parish was delighted that the Bishop of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands the Right Reverend Laish Z. Boyd was the chief celebrant and preacher.
In his timely sermon the bishop challenged those who were being elevated to a higher calling to be aware of the responsibility they have consented to take on. Using the structure of the church the bishop challenged them to understand that just as they are no longer sitting in the nave of the church but have been elevated to the sanctuary, there is much more that will be required of them. He reminded them that it’s not simply a matter of having a greater level involvement in the service, but also speaks to the level of accountability that is expected of them. Reminiscing about his childhood days, the bishop said just how he was required to behave a particular way as he was a representative of his parents, they will be expected to behave in a manner which represents the church as well as God.
The seven persons who were commissioned / installed on this memorable evening were:
Mr. Patrick Symonette was commissioned as the Catechist for St. John’s Church in Moss Town, where he has been faithfully serving for years.
Mrs. Virginia Oliver was also commissioned as the Catechist for St. Michael’s and All Angels Church in Rolleville, where she has served faithfully since 2012.
Mr. Rondeno Rolle and Mr. Howard Bethel Jr., were installed as lay ministers at the Historic Parish Church of St. Andrew, George Town.
Chester McKenzie was installed as a lay minister (in abstention) at St. Michael’s and All Angels church, Rolleville.
Shoshana Miller- Pennerman was installed as a lay reader at St. Margaret’s Church, Harts; and
Janetta Pratt was installed as a lay minister at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Williams
St. Andrew’s Parish extends their gratitude to these seven men and women who have opted to labour in a more meaningful way among them, as they continue to be true to their Parish’s theme for 2016 “A People –Gifted, Giving and Growing.”
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