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Time of reflection & promise of hope for churches in VI on Old Year’s Night

Bishop John I. Cline leads his congregation in worship on Old Year's Night at the New Life Baptist Church. Photo:VINO
Elder Calvin Matthews preaches the word to his congregation at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Road Town. Photo:VINO
Elder Calvin Matthews preaches the word to his congregation at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Road Town. Photo:VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Worshippers in the Virgin Islands rang in 2013 surrounded by the gospel and the comforting words of their church leaders as they were reminded of some of the struggles and triumphs in the year behind them and encouraged by thoughts of a blessed year ahead filled with the promise of hope.

Seventh Day Adventist Church in Road Town listened attentively to Elder Calvin Matthews as he offered a message of faith relating, among other things, the story of Jairus’ daughter’s resurrection in the bible.

Elder Matthews encouraged the church to leave their fears behind and to trust in God as Jairus ultimately did in receiving the miracle of his daughter’s rise from the dead.

Prayers were also offered and hymns sung as the congregation joined in unison, offering up praises to the Lord in thanks for their successful passage through 2012 and a plea for a safe and successful year in 2013. 

Meanwhile, over at the New Life Baptist Church in Duffs Bottom, worshippers rejoiced in song and in spirit as they danced to the music in their seats and in the isles at the church.

The message of Bishop John I. Cline was clear as he advocated for a brighter tomorrow even as he asked worshippers to take stock of their lives in the present day.

“We live in this thing called time,” said Bishop Cline, “we move through time and we have a past, we have a present and we have a future.” He preached that yesterday is gone and tomorrow is yet unknown; the only time we have is now, he added.

Bishop Cline added that “what’s done is done” and there was no way to go back and change the past and there was no sense losing sleep over the issue.

He told the flock, mistakes provide a valuable lesson for persons going forward, allowing us to avoid repeating the errors as we forge ahead. “Many times life escapes you,” he said, “because you’re either living in the past or living in the future.”

One member of the congregation, Deslyn, expressed the significance of attending church at this time of year was in the special feeling of being able to ring out the old year and ring in the new in the presence of the Lord.

It offered an important opportunity to look forward to where she wanted to go and to also reflect on where she had been. It’s about “giving thanks, giving praise and giving all the glory and honour for my life because… so many people died, I could have had nothing… once I have Jesus in my life, once I have God, I have… I believe the greatest gift in the world.”

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