Cayman’s seniors from across the three islands gathered for a special pre-Easter service and open-air luncheon in Savannah on April 10.
The event recognized the contributions of seniors to the islands’ development, a press release states. It was hosted by the Department of Children and Family Services and the Adventist church’s community services department. The large group of seniors included five from Cayman Brac and one from Little Cayman.
“May you feel the hope of new beginnings, happiness and His peace and love during this joyful Easter holiday,” Department of Children and Family Services Director Felicia Robinson said during the church service at the Savannah Adventist Church, which preceded the luncheon at Pedro St. James Castle.
Attending on behalf of the government were Minister of Community Affairs, Youth and Sports Osbourne Bodden, the ministry’s chief officer Dorine Whittaker, Ms. Robinson and the department’s acting deputy director, Cassandra Fearon. Representing the Adventist Church were President Shion O’Connor, who was the guest speaker at the church service, and the church’s director and assistant director for community services, Pastor Caple Thompson and Angela Hall.
In her remarks at the church service, Ms. Robinson noted that the Easter season is characterized by a sobriety, a freshness, a gentle softness and purposeful reflection on life and new beginnings, as well as endings, and is a time of forgiveness and second chances.
According to the release, she invited attendees to close themselves off for spiritual maintenance, an exercise that should entail contemplating how we define family, friends and neighbors, and how we treat, support and value those who come into our lives. She asked the congregation to think about individual and collective legacies.
Ms. Robinson said she hoped that congregants’ hearts would be filled with gratitude for their experiences, blessings, hopes and opportunity to still fulfil dreams, and for the “many sacrifices you have made … and most of all to celebrate with each other because you are still alive.”
Mr. O’Connor commended the Ministry of Community Affairs for bringing together those who contributed to building up the Cayman Islands. He reminded the congregation that once they were sheltering under God, they need not worry about the future. The pastor appealed to listeners not “to let go of God’s hands” in challenging times, but to give God thanks in all times, good or difficult.
At the conclusion of the service, seniors were bused to Pedro St. James for lunch, catered by the department and hosted by the church’s community services leaders, volunteers and students of Cayman Academy. Sound and music arrangements were provided by Dwayne Euter. During the luncheon, the students gave out hugs, waited on tables and provided entertainment, including an Easter pageant and instrumental and vocal performances.
At the conclusion of the lunch, Ms. Fearon thanked the volunteers and sponsors. She added that the department’s ability to provide these celebratory senior citizen events is enhanced by the partnership with the church’s Conference, highlighting Ms. Hall’s mission to honor and to give back to the seniors.