Hope and encouragement will be doled out in spades at The Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas & The Turks and Caicos Islands upcoming Lenten Mission, considering Anglicans missed out on opportunities to come together in this fashion last year due to the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic which forced the cancellation of the annual Mission.
The theme “Reigniting True Worship Here on Earth” is derived from the Diocesan theme for 2021, “Reigniting True Worship.
Anglicans are expected to be “fired up” after this year’s Lenten Mission which will be held virtually February 18-19 and 21-22 at 8 p.m. nightly.
“Through Mission we want to give a message of hope and encouragement. We’re encouraging people to get focused and to get closer to God than they were before,” said Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd.
The purpose of mission is to challenge people to rekindle their flame, and calls people to worship God in Spirit and truth.
“Our theme for Mission is driving home the fact that we’ve got to get back on track and get back in church.”
During the lockdown restrictions in 2020, Boyd said one thing people found themselves challenged with was going to church to worship.
“With the lockdowns, all churches experienced some fall off … [but] you’re going to work and school and everywhere else now – we want you at church for an hour-and-a-half. We’re encouraging people to get focused and get closer to God than they were before,” he said.
“The good thing about COVID is it challenged us to zero in on what really mattered, even if you didn’t know what it was before.”
“Our God is a God of new beginnings, so there’s no limit to getting back on track and getting closer to him – that’s night one. The thing about a God of new beginnings is he calls and doesn’t leave us, but he calls and empowers and directs, which is night two. He says I gave myself, night three and the fourth night, you don’t just give yourself but you give your all. And while it means different things to different people, the point is God demands everything from us and our total focus. And that doesn’t mean us just giving to God and God giving back to us by directing and influencing every area of our lives.”
Canon Mark Kendall, rector at St. Thomas Parish, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands will preach on the topic of “The God of New Beginnings” on Thursday’s opening night with the focus on the youth.
“The God Who Commissions and Empowers Me,” will be addressed by Reverend Willish Johnson, assistant curate, St. Anne’s Parish, New Providence on Fridays’ night two. The focus will be on the men and the women of the diocese in particular the ACM and ACW.
“The God Who Gives Himself Invites Me To Give Myself,” will be addressed by Father Kirkland Russell, rector at St. Stephen’s Parish, Eight Mile Rock, on Sunday’s night three. The focus will be on Cursillo and the other renewal movements of the Diocese.
Boyd will preach on the topic “True Worship Demands My All” on the final night on Monday, February 22. The focus will be on the clergy, seminarians, ordinands and those aspiring to the ordained ministry.
Boyd is happy the Anglican church will host Mission this year.
“During Lent last year, we were in the midst of a lockdown and weren’t worshiping in person and the world was still reeling, so we weren’t even sure how to operate, but gradually restrictions were lifted because best practices showed the world and country how to function in this COVID environment.”
Boyd said 2020 was the year to come to a better understanding of how to focus. And now they are latching on to technology, which he said has always been here, and seeking to make use of it as they host their Lenten Mission.
“God is a good God and COVID-19 is not the first crisis that God brought the world through, there has been many down the millennials. We will be living like this for a little while, so we thank God for giving us the wisdom to navigate and move on through this pandemic.”
The Anglican Diocese normally hosts at least two missions – one in New Providence, and one in Grand Bahama, along with smaller missions throughout the islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Because the Mission is being held virtually, they will be doing just one diocesan event, which will include singers, readers, people doing opening and closing prayers form all over the diocese.
“It will be truly a diocesan event. And we’re in the final stages of putting it all together.”
All services will be broadcast live on ZNS TV and Radio Bahamas (1540AM, 810AM and 104.5FM) as well as on Facebook and YouTube.
“Our intention is to present every avenue for people to connect to watch and listen. We just want to reach as many people as possible,” said the bishop.
Anglican Diocesan Mission format and preachers
Thursday, February 18
“The God of New Beginnings”
Preacher: The Reverend Canon Mark Kendall, rector,
St. Thomas Parish, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands
The focus will be on the youth.
Friday, February 19
“The God who Commissions and Empowers Me”
Preacher: The Reverend Willish Johnson, assistant curate, St. Anne’s Parish, N.P.
The focus will be on the men and the women of the diocese in particular the ACM and ACW.
Sunday, February 21
“The God who Gives Himself Invites Me to Give Myself”
Preacher: The Reverend Kirkland Russell, rector, St. Stephen’s Parish, Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama
The focus will be on Cursillo and the other renewal movements of the Diocese.
Monday, February 22
“True Worship Demands My All”
Preacher: The Rt. Reverend Laish Boyd, diocesan bishop
The focus will be on the clergy, seminarians, ordinands and those aspiring to the ordained ministry.
Mission services will be broadcast live on ZNS Television, ZNS Radio Bahamas, (1540 AM, 810 AM and 104.5 FM) and on Facebook and YouTube at 8 p.m. nightly.