The Valley, Anguilla, Sunday 26th February 2017 – One week after their 6th Anniversary celebrations of God’s goodness, the pastors and congregation of the Dominion Faith Centre (DFC), hosted staff members of the Anguilla Judicial Department, Anguilla Bar Association and others at a special Thanksgiving Service to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), under the theme “Celebrating the Past; Embracing the Future.
Sunday’s thanksgiving service, moderated by Mr. Kasseem Forde, began with the DFC’s second to none signature worship session where visitors and members alike were truly blessed by the melodious voices and energetic performance known only to the dynamic Praise and Worship Team.
The official greetings and welcome were done by Mrs. Vanessa Connor, scripture reading by Ms. Heather Rodney, a staff member of the Judicial Department, and a tribute in song by Pastor Ruthlyn Harrigan. The congregation – especially the honoured guests, staff members and representatives of the Judicial Department and other first time visitors – was highly entertained by a magnificent performance in dance by the DFC’s youth ministering dancers, 1 Fifty4-Valiant.
Brief remarks, on behalf of the ECSC, were given by Magistrate, Her Worship Ivenia Benjamin, who congratulated the Court in Anguilla for all the work done over the years. She declared that God must be put first in everything we do and offered thanks to the very hard working staff of the Judicial Department, Ministers of Government, Leader of the Opposition, Mrs. Palmovan Webster, the Royal Anguilla Police Force and Mr. Stanley Reid, for their support to the Judiciary. Ms. Benjamin pointed out that it was not only the Judiciary but, rather, a team of people who work behind the scenes to make justice work in Anguilla. She thanked God and prayed for His continued guidance of the Judiciary.
The staff of the Judicial Department delivered a song of gratitude entitled “We Will Remember”. This was followed by words of gratitude to the Pastors and Worship Team of the DFC by Registrar, Ms. Vernette Richardson, who presented tokens of appreciation to Mrs. Vanessa Connor for readily coming to the assistance of the Judicial staff in their song selection and practice session, and also to First Lady, Mrs. Welcome.
The offering was lifted to the melodious voice of young Riana Richardson who gave a stirring rendition of “Jesus Blood Ah De Remedy”. First Lady Mrs. Welcome, then outlined the Mission and Vision of the DFC and, together with her husband, Pastor Dexter Welcome, made a special presentation of a cake to the staff of the Judicial Department. The cake was received by Registrar Vernette Richardson.
Pastor Dexter Welcome delivered a soul stirring sermon with the premise of “leading with the mind of God” and having “understanding to discern judgement”. With a focus on scriptural references from Matthew 8: 18-20 and 1 Kings 3: 5–8 and 16–20, Pastor Welcome emphasized that heads need to lead with the mind of Christ – for if we allow God to lead our minds none of the ills of society will exist. Whatever we are going through in life, we must give it to God for He can do it better. All were encouraged to take on the mind of Christ; shift the responsibilities to Christ and let God order our steps and stops – wherever the head goes the body will follow.
Pastor Welcome admitted that the Judiciary had an extremely tough and difficult job to do in the Courts, and encouraged judicial officers to lead with a mind of God, pray for wisdom and understanding – understanding to discern judgement as King Solomon did when God spoke to him in a dream. Pastor Welcome cemented the message of his sermon by showing a video clip of what could be considered the greatest judgement case in history – when King Solomon had to discern judgement and determine which one of the two harlots was the true mother of the living baby.
The humble man servant of God admonished all, especially those in leadership positions, to see life in the eyes of Christ and see others for who they ought to be, and what they can become, rather than at face value. We must not dwell on the here and now and vagaries of life, but see a life of prosperity and dwell on how we want life to be, rather than how it currently is; and that we need to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all things will be added onto us.”
The Thanksgiving Service came to a close with visiting Pastor Grant covering society’s most vulnerable – the children – in a powerful prayer, and Pastor Jerome Harrigan praying over the staff of the Judicial Department and representatives. The honoured guests and visitors, followed by the children and the rest of the congregation, were treated to refreshments at the close of service.