The poolside tent at the Hotel Versalles in Clarendon was the place to be on Sunday the 5th of January. Clear skies and brilliant sunshine warmed the pristine environs of this venue as the administrators, directors, pastors and their spouses gathered for the Ministry and Marriage Seminar under the theme “Keeping it Sweet and Sublime.” The ladies and gents of the CJC administrative and ministerial teams were adorned in casually elegant attire for the affair which promised wholesome fun, delicious food and good information. The fellowship began as soon as the couples started arriving. Ladies hugged, smiled and chatted; the gentlemen shook hands and laughed heartily as the atmosphere warmed up with relaxed anticipation. Among the invited guests was Her Excellency, Lady Patricia Allen who shared her wisdom and instruction during the introductions.
A powerfully insightful devotion by the vivacious Mrs. P. Eaves-McKenzie followed the opening pleasantries and overview of the day’s objectives by the Conference President, Pastor Levi Johnson. Mrs. Eaves-McKenzie challenged her audience to prioritise introspection and aim to exude godliness and love in all interactions. The first segment, chaired by Pastor Roy Dennis and his charming wife Keisha consisted of an informative and pertinent presentation by successful Marriage, Family Therapist and CEO of Family Life Ministries Dr. Barry Davidson on the emotional abuse of women. Dr. Davidson passionately presented facts and statistics and even shared tools for assessing one’s partner for abusive tendencies and traits. A brief question and answer session followed.
Lunch was next on the day’s agenda and the hospitable staff of Hotel Versalles ably served the delicious meal to the eager guests. With the masses fed, the program shifted gears as Pastor Conrade Graham and his cheerful wife, Marklyn led a fun segment. There were prizes and surprises with some fun and games in tow. Some ministers took on the task of lifting their wives and running with them between two prescribed points. Others showed how well they know their partners by consenting to being blindfolded and challenged to identify their wife from a parade of ladies who were only allowed to extend their hands to the gentlemen.
The next part of the programme captioned ‘Real Talk’ was chaired by the straight-talking Sis. Odean Phoenix. The CJC Administrators were put in the ‘hot seat’ to field questions from the pastorate present. The matters raised were hard-hitting, but the panel comprising the Conference’s President, Executive Secretary and Treasurer were equal to the task and responded with graceful candour embellished with warm humour. Among the sentiments expressed by the panel, was the reassurance of their willingness to assist the men and their families with whatever marital and familial challenges they may face.
To round out the day’s proceedings, Pastor Derek Bignall and his wife the effervescent Yvonne Bignall made a lively and relevant presentation on marriage. The presentation focused on ‘The Team.’ Synergy between the presenters was seamless and the authenticity of the presentation was simply refreshing. They left a lasting impression on their audience who were treated to a lovely original love song by the couple. What a treat! Pastor Franklin Brown and his wife the lovely Sophia Brown brought the curtains down with a gracious vote of thanks which was followed by a moving benediction by Pastor Everett Smith.
A Sunday well spent at the Hotel Versalles for the ministerial couples of the CJC. All things considered, the day was simply sweet and sublime. Many of the pastors and wives expressed delighted satisfaction with the event and an eagerness to attend other seminars of this nature. Some also spoke to the usefulness of the information gathered and the expectation that these events will help those attending to preserve the health of their family life.