David and I were joined at the Conference by a number of others from
The Conference started with a flag raising ceremony at the MCCA Conference Centre which is on a hill overlooking the island. Accompanied by a military band the flags of the countries in which the 8 District Presidents lived were raised, together with the Antiguan and Conference flags. Special mention was made of
The conference centre chapel in which we met is octagonal, with each wall being made of wood or stone from one of the 8 Districts that make up the Connexion. After opening worship greetings were brought to the Conference by many of those attending. I brought greetings from the
It was interesting to hear from the MCCA Women’s representative talking about the important role that women had played in the development of MCCA, and that we should not forget women now in the Church’s leadership. The MCCA Men representative responded by a moving apology on behalf of the many
Saturday morning began with the Nathaniel Gilbert Lecture at the Cultural Centre, the former parliament assembly in
A lively question and answer session followed which demonstrated that the challenges facing many traditional Churches around the world are common here too - a concern about being too middle class, not flexible enough in mission and ministry, not connecting with young people who were more attracted to Pentecostal and charismatic churches and not taking financial discipleship seriously enough.
After lunch back at the MCCA conference centre we set off on a heritage tour around the island. We visited the site that Rev Dr Thomas Coke arrived on Christmas Day 1786 to find a Methodist community already established. We went in search of Nathaniel Gilbert’s unmarked grave, visited the
Prayers were said on the steps of Nathaniel Gilbert’s house from which he preached to his slaves. Revd Stephen Poxon brought greetings and talked movingly of the lessons he had learnt during his ministry in