Described as one of the most inspiring weekends since the start of the annual event more than 40 years ago, Healing Conference 2018 offered an engaging programme of prayer, teaching, worship, reflection and fellowship at the Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay.
The Theme for this year, Healing and Discipleship, was in keeping with the Diocesan thrust to deepen relationships with Christ and bring others to him.
The programme from May 25-27 started with comedian and newly-minted Christian, Ian “Ity” Ellis, and the internationally-acclaimed gospel singer, Jermaine Edwards, performing to the glory of God.
“Ity” thrilled the packed audience with stories about his youth in the inner city with a Christian mother, who did not spare the rod and spoil the child. He also spoke about his daughter’s experience with boys, and his reaction as a loving, caring father. All of this was taken in by a contingent of young people from St. Augustine Church, Coral Gardens.
Jermaine also shared his experiences, and touched the hearts of everyone with his popular songs. Ity’s daughter, a 5th former at St. Andrew High School, closed the evening with a powerful and moving prayer for the Healing Conference and for Jamaica.
On Saturday morning, devotions were led by Canon Basil Tynes and the Bahamians. The morning session featured two presenters – The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kingston, His Grace Kenneth Richards; and The Rev. Astor Carlyle, from Webster United Church, both of whom addressed the Conference theme, and were well received.
The day’s other highlights included a panel discussion on the establishment of healing ministries, with perspectives shared by Anglicans from Barbados and Jamaica; and a session on Healing and the Creative Arts.
This featured wonderful gospel music performed by the Rev. Douglas Barnes and keyboard maestro, Harold Davis; as well as an item by the St. Boniface Dance Ministry whose leader, Melissa Grey, gave a personal testimony.
After-dinner devotions were led by Canon Horace Ward and members of the Holy Family Church in Miami Gardens, supported by hi-tech presentations and contemporary music.
The weekend of renewal closed with a grand Healing Service at which The Rt. Rev. Leopold Friday, Bishop of the Windward Islands, was Celebrant and Preacher. Hands were laid on persons who came forward, and prayers were sent up to God according to their needs. The worship was enriched by dancers from the Church of the Transfiguration who ministered during the Presentation of the Offerings.
Dr. Lucien Jones
[PHOTOS COURTESY OF DR. LUCIEN JONES]
[PHOTOS COURTESY OF ARCHDEACON PATRICK CUNNINGHAM]