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CCC elects a new Board

The Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC) has elected a new board.

The new board was elected upon the culmination of the CCC's 7 th General Assembly held recently in Panama . The Assembly took place at the Hotel Riande Continental in Panama City from the 10 - 15 th June, 2005.

15 members were voted in to form the Continuation Committee i.e., the Board of Directors of the CCC. Members of the new board include church, youth and women representatives from several of the CCC 's 33 member countries, including Cuba, Cayenne, Dominican Republic, Antigua, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

Newly elected, to the Praesidium for the next five years was Roman Catholic Bishop Donald Reece. He will join, Dr Oluwakemi Linda Banks and Rev. Dr. Lesley Anderson who were re-elected by the CCC General Assembly to serve another term as Presidents.

Resolutions along with amendments to the CCC 's Constitution and by-laws were passed with the intent of taking the organization into the future. In approving the constitutional amendments, a new organizational structure was also effectively approved.

Resolutions touched on several of the contemporary issues affecting the Caribbean as well as other issues of urgent concern that were raised during the Assembly. These issues included the role of women and youth within the CCC, the financial sustainability of the CCC, the role of the church in social affairs, and the state of ecumenism, regionally and internationally.

A profound theological exploration on the theme of the Assembly, Healing and Transformation, Given in Christ, Fulfilled through the Holy Spirit , was led by Rev Professor Kortright Davis of the Howard Divinity School, Howard University, Washington D.C.

Professor Davis used a contemporary Caribbean context as the background for his presentation while Professor Neville Duncan of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica, also made a significant input in addressing some pertinent issues of the present day Caribbean for the Assembly.

The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, in a written address which was delivered by his representative, Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson, the World Council of Churches (WCC's) North American President.

In his message he reiterated the important task of churches in the world today. Speaking specifically to the mandate of the CCC: "to promote ecumenism and social change in obedience to Jesus Christ and in solidarity with the poor,"

Dr. Kobia commented that "This has been one of your greatest legacies which we cherish and very much appreciate in the ecumenical movement." He continued, "I want to thank God for the committed leadership that Mr. Gerard Granado has given to this important ecumenical regional body."

In spite of the challenges presented the programme work of the CCC was applauded, especially in the area of HIV/AIDS.

Among some other highlights of the Assembly was the opening ceremony which took place at the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral. This was preceded by another ceremonial event where the Praesidium and the General Secretary, Gerard Granado, were specially honoured by the Mayor of Panama City, Juan Carlos Navarro. photo gallery >>

Rev Dr. Carlos Ham of Cuba, who now functions in the World Council of Churches, also received an award for his contribution during the period of his service as President of the CCC.

The Assembly came to a dignified conclusion with the closing ceremony at which newly elected President Donald Reece preached the sermon. Throughout the Assembly, and up to the very end, delegates were inspired by the Assembly theme song: "Arise, O Christ" The hymn was composed for the occasion by Bro. Paschal Jordan of the Order of St. Benedict (OSB).

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