September 18, 2020

Choir Festival attracts capacity crowd in Cayman Islands

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The Berea Seventh-day Adventist Church’s attracted a capacity crowd last weekend to witness the annual Conference-wide event held at the Sir John A. Cumber Primary School.
Berea Church’s 176-strong congregation, which has organised the festival every year since members introduced it four years ago, normally worships at the much smaller Grace Christian Academy on Crescent Close, off Boltins Avenue, .
On hand for the choir festival on Saturday afternoon (25 March) was the Minister for Education, Employment, and Gender Affairs, the Hon. Tara Rivers, and the Hon. , Leader of the Opposition. Also attending were the church’s administrators and other leaders, led by Pastor Shion O’Connor, president of the Adventist Conference.
Presenting the Charge, Pastor Shion O’Connor, reminded the choristers that their job that afternoon was not to perform or to entertain but to please God with their praise.  Pastor O’Connor said that it was the act of worship in itself that “entertained” God.
The President exhorted the congregation to sing, both in thankfulness for what God had done, as well as with regard to what He was about to do.  “Sing as if you have already gotten” what was asked for, he encouraged.
In her remarks, Minister Rivers paid tribute to the Adventist Church for its involvement of youth in the church and in the community, and thanked the church for its commitment to community service.  She said that she “appreciated the church being in our neighbourhood,” given its strong community spirit and involvement, adding: “We really have to get back to being our neighbour’s keeper.”
Continuing in that vein, the Minister said: “We can’t reach all people, but each of us can at least reach one, and if we do, the domino effect can be immeasurable,” adding: “Make it your mission to reach one and you would be amazed at how you can transform the community of West Bay and the country as a whole.”
For his part, Hon. McKeeva Bush thanked church members for “doing work in various parts of the district,” adding: “This is what church should do — not only preaching sermons but going into the community and meeting needs.”
The Leader of the Opposition thanked those who “persevered in [his] community,” adding: ‘I am glad you hold the faith and that the church is alive and active in building our community, works with us, and feels what we feel.”
Among the twelve choirs participating in the festival was the Cayman Academy school choir, directed by young student Jaison Harvey, and the ACKy Choir [representing the Cayman Chapter of the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) Alumni Association] which sang the Negro Spiritual “Ain’t Got Time to Die.”  The Filadelfia Church sang in members’ native Spanish, “En Grande Cido Sea Dios” while the Berea Church Choir, in the final rendition for the afternoon, brought the house down with its rendition of Andrae Crouch’s “Mighty Wind,” with lead soloist Winsett Blake and Robert Lawrence.
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