Each year, Christians gather in the Cayman Islands to advance Christianity
As the Cayman Islands continues to tweak its tourism product, the patron saint of those in the hospitality industry will be the focal point of this year’s CaymanKeswick convention.
The annual Christian convention begins Sunday and runs through Friday with evening meetings at the Church of God on Walkers Road and lunchtime gatherings at the Family Life Centre. Evening meetings are nightly from 7.30 to 9pm and lunches are 12.10 to 12.50pm with meals available.
The keynote speaker this year is Rob Whittaker, who last led the convention in Cayman in 2008.
He will focus on Abraham, hospitality’s patron saint.
“We will be looking together at the early days of Abraham’s experience of God. The Lord took this very ordinary man, living in a far from perfect situation, and used him to shape the world for the next four millennia! We will be tracking him and learning how we, too, can trust God and be amazed at what He does in us and through us,” Mr. Whittaker said.
In Jewish and Christian tradition, Abraham is the father of the Israelites through his son, Isaac.
Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet of the Baha’i Faith, affirms the highest religious station for Abraham.
Free for all
The convention is open to all who believe in or want to know more about Jesus Christ, said Paul Reynolds, chairman of CaymanKeswick and assistant pastor for discipleship and children’s ministries at First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman.
“The convention is for all Christians in Cayman. We currently have various Church of God, Baptist churches, Church of England, United Church and non-denominational churches involved; with a desire to see people from every Christian denomination be a part,” he said.
While a handful of people come to the Grand Cayman to help and take part in the convention, the aim is to draw together people who live here to worship, learn and fellowship together, he said. Sessions are free, but donations are welcomed.
There are about a dozen pastors and lay people in Grand Cayman involved in organising and running the event, as well as ushers from the host church.
More than 60 people are involved during the week in leading the worship sessions.
“The CaymanKeswick motto of ‘All one in Christ Jesus’, which is taken from Galatians 3 verse 28 in the Bible, speaks to the goal of Christian unity that takes us beyond the convention itself. In that verse, the apostle Paul is making the point that whatever our differences as human beings, what’s more important for Christians than our differences, is that we are united by our relationship with Christ,” he said.
Mr. Whittaker said he is eager to return to Grand Cayman.
While the Cayman Christian community may have its own challenges, Mr. Whittaker believes there are universal commonalities.
“I believe that all of us, wherever we are from, have the same basic needs in life: The need to love and the opportunity to extend love; the need to be forgiven and the opportunity to express forgiveness; the need to receive from others and the opportunity to give to others. We will be exploring how God can meet those needs in our lives and use us to reach out lovingly, in His name, to other people,” he said.
Mr. Whittaker trained as a physicist before his theological education. For 25 years he was pastor of a local church.
He said he “enjoyed so much seeing the Lord ambush people and transform their lives and families as they came to know Jesus personally. For the last 15 years I have worked at Capernwray Bible School where we have close on 200 students every year from all over the planet. I am now the principal and spend my time lecturing, preaching and sharing the unchanging truths from the Bible, hopefully in a way that is totally relevant to living in the C21st.”
He spoke at the original Keswick Convention in the English Lake District and is now regularly invited to speak at satellite Keswick conventions.
Keswick Ministries is the working title of the Keswick Convention Trust, which is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. An annual Bible Convention has been held in Keswick, Cumbria since 1875.
The purpose of the Trust is the “advancement of the (Christian) religion by the emphasis of certain Christian doctrines, such objects being pursued by holding an annual Convention at Keswick, by promoting similar conventions and meetings elsewhere, by distribution of suitable literature and by making grants of money for the said purpose”.
CaymanKeswick is one of the premier opportunities for Christians to unite with each other for worship, fellowship and Bible teaching.
Since 1974, CaymanKeswick has been an annual gathering point for many churches to benefit jointly from the teaching ministry of contemporary preachers who are well known for their gift of explaining the Bible.
Along with many similar gatherings worldwide, CaymanKeswick takes its name from the original Keswick Convention, which has been held for more than 130 years in the English town of Keswick, and where Christians continue to gather annually in one of the most respected and dynamic evangelical gatherings in the United Kingdom.
For more information about CaymanKeswick or to volunteer, contact Paul Reynolds at [email protected]