To all elders of Portland, pastors and other workers of the North East Jamaica Conference, I say “Welcome to the Webpage of the Elders’ Association – Portland Chapter on the website of the NEJC and Operated by the Elder’s Resource Centre”
The Elders’ Association – Portland Chapter
The Portland chapter of the NEJC’s Elders’ Association is committed to enhancing the capability of its members to evangelize its community and to shepherd God’s people entrusted to its care.
To equipping elders to perform their God-given and church-members endorsed assignment
Vision: - Every elder is a knowledgeable, skillful, and highly motivated ambassador for God, evangelizing his world and shepherding God’s flock.
Philosophy: - The Elders’ Association is the Elders’ organization for their cooperation, training, advocacy, and other professional support.
Purpose: - The Elders Association exists to provide relevant support services that continually enhance and improve the evangelism, leadership, and support services performances of the elder.
The Elders’ Resource Centre
Philosophy: The Elders’ Resource Centre is the training arm of the Elders’ Association.
Purpose: - Its purpose is to have elders educated and skilled in the performance of their duties – especially those related to evangelism, church leadership and membership conservation.
It seeks to fulfil its purpose by initiating and facilitating training and equipping of elders and leaders.
- Identify and investigate the training needs of elders;
- Identify and secure resources for the supply of relevant knowledge and skills;
- Initiate and facilitate learning and the acquisition of skills and competences by its elders;
- Make information relating to doctrine, church orders, protocols and procedures readily available to elders;
- Facilitate relevant peer reviews and counselling among elders;
- Keep elders updated with respect to relevant news, information and instructions;
- Perform other functions as may be requested by the Elders’ Association or the NEJC;
- Report to, and be guided by the Executive Committee of the Elders’ Association.
The Online Facility (Elders’ Webpage)
The online facility is a ready reference handbook, for the readily available (to elders) of available information relating to the elders’ functions – such as: -
- Doctrine, church orders, protocols, procedures and guidelines;
- Updates of the above;
- Church news items,
- Schedule of church events and activities – inclusive of meetings;
- Relevant peer communications.
- Elders’ Association schedules and activities.
The Elders’ Association was established in Portland, Jamaica as a successor to the Portland Evangelistic Association, an organization formed by the Adventist Lay Preachers.
The present vision statement “Every elder a living witness…” still reflects the very strong focus on evangelism – as in campaign preaching and Bible work and the lobby for greater appreciation and facilitation of the work of the evangelists.
The obviously high correlation between being an evangelist and a church leader was probably one of the driving forces in the progress towards to more overarching body of elders.
Among the functions of the elder are:-
- Catering to the spiritual needs of baptized church members (visitation, further bible studies, advise, encouragement and intercession, etc.) in addition to similar and other functions aimed at the conversion of sinners;
- Conducting regular church services and administering special rites and ceremonies (baptism, communion, burial, etc.); and,
- Encouraging, Coordinating, and guiding the activities of various departmental leaders.
These functions require the elder’s knowledge and competence in not only the scriptures and its impartation/exposition, also in relating to:-
- The church community;
- The pastor as the over shepherd of the local congregation, the elder being the under-shepherd;
- Wider organizations (missions, conferences, unions, etc.);
- Government, its agencies and their legal and regulatory frameworks; and,
- Special situations and circumstances such as pandemics and other disasters.
It is to support the preparation, improvement, and encouragement of persons elected by their local congregation as elders and leaders, that the Elders’ Association exists.
It is in support of this that the Elders’ Resource Centre is established and to be maintained with education and training of elders as its objectives.
It is in pursuit of these objectives that the elders’ webpage containing the online portion of the Elders’ Resource Centre is established and to be maintained as a ready manual and handbook of guidelines to support the daily activities of the elder.
The guidelines and instructions contained in it are intended to impart confidence and encouragement to the elder as he carries out his duties.
Administration of the webpage
In order to maintain the relevance of the webpage and to minimize its abuse, it is proposed that access to it be renewed each year between convening of the Annual General Meeting of the Association in February and April when the list of elders and leaders elected for that year has been received by the NEJC and submitted to the elders’ Association. Thereafter, the access passwords or identity verification means will be changed.
It is further suggested that abuse of access permission, by sharing identity with persons unauthorized for its use that year, will result in the change or the access protocol and render the offending elder inadmissible to the webpage.
Documents submitted for posting on the site could be subject to inspection before being actually posted. Elders are requested to respect the professional nature of the site and to refrain from posting malicious or frivolous on it.
Moderation should be observed in the posting. It is not the site for multiple or daily voluminous articles.
Special thanks to:-
- The President of the NEJC for his approval of the Elders’ Resource Centre and establishment of the Webpage. President Adlai Blythe maintained the approval that was first given by Past President Arlington Woodburn;
- NEJC’s Executive Secretary, Danielo Daniels for providing technical information and for his actual hands-on work in the establishment of the webpage;
- The Elders’ Association Executive for its initial acceptance and approval of the idea as originally presented and the subsequent adjustments and improvements;
- To you, the members of the Association, rigorously discussing the motion, making suggestions for its improvement, and electing the controlling body;
- Elder Lucille Wynter for consenting to lead the controlling body as the Director of the Resource Centre;
- The other directors of the Centre;
- The elders who submitted documents for posting.
Elder Lucille Wynter, First Elder of the Port Antonio Church is the Director of the Elder’s Resource Centre.