“We have been able to remain as a united Union Conference, as a result of God’s goodness and the sacrificial work of His people,” declared Dr Kern Tobias as he invited attendees on a journey through the lens of the President’s Report, at the 17th Quinquennial Session of the Caribbean Union Conference. On July 21, 2022, the first day of official business, his comments engaged the attention of the audience inside the auditorium and dozens online, who had gathered for the session which was hosted at the University of the Southern Caribbean in Maracas Valley, Trinidad.
Dr. Tobias reminded the delegates, guests, and visitors, “Sessions are very important events in the life of the Church. It is here that decisions are made that affect the entire church. Delegates, your voices . . . your votes, matter. I urge you to participate with your voice and vote. It truly matters, and it is a sacred responsibility no matter how long it takes.”
The video report from the Office of the President of the Caribbean Union Conference was an ode to the goodness of God. Dr Tobias expressed thanks to God that, despite adverse situations occasioned by natural disasters, a crisis in Eastern Europe and the uneasiness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Caribbean Union Conference was able to convene the constituency meeting, according to the appropriate constitutional provision. Every crisis allowed the church to adapt, move on, and respond in a compassionate way, showing Christ’s love despite the circumstances.
“We praise God that despite challenges, His work goes on. We give God all the glory for what He has done,” Dr. Tobias added as he urged members to remain focused on the Mission of the Church. The all-encompassing report explored the strategic focus of the union from 2016 to 2020 as expressed by the theme, “Lord, Transform Me.” This initiative encouraged every member to be transformed for ministry. Dr. Tobias emphasized the fact that 1,147 students were baptized during the quinquennium and applauded the achievement of Eric February, of the Mountain View Academy on St. Vincent, who achieved 20 CSME exam passes—with 17 subjects scored at the highest (Grade 1) level, and 3 subjects at the next highest (Grade 2) level.
He highlighted initiatives from all church institutions and each one’s significant contribution toward 19,739 baptisms across the Caribbean Union, during the period under review. The acquisition of WGOD Radio by the North Caribbean Conference was singled out for commendation. Three presidents received special awards for nation-building in their constituencies: They were Dr Kern Tobias of the Caribbean Union Conference, Dr Clinton Lewis of the Grenada Conference, and Pastor Dermoth Baptiste of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Mission.
The work of the Lord is moving forward in the Caribbean Union and there is still much to be accomplished. As the Caribbean Union Conference hosts its constituency meetings from July 20 to 22, 2022, leaders will be appointed to serve the Church during the new quinquennium. A full report will be given as the session progresses.