‘Our Tribute, appreciation and farewell service’ to honour Rev. Hilton Joseph and his wife, Sister Sharon McCardy-Joseph. Clockwise from top: Bro Levi Bradshaw makes a presentation; a group performance from the member churches; general view of the congregation; Sister Orvis Mills praying for Rev. Hilton Joseph and Sister Sharon McCardy-Joseph. Photo by Peter Ngũnjiri.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – ‘Our Tribute, appreciation and farewell service’ to honour Rev. Hilton Joseph and his wife, Sister Sharon McCardy-Joseph was held on Friday evening January 29 at the Zion Moravian Church in Basseterre. The event featured an evening of songs, solos and spiritual expression.

Rev. Hilton Joseph is the Superintendent of the Moravian Church St. Kitts Conference and Pastor of the Zion and Bethel Pastorate. He is originally from Antigua and Barbuda and has accepted a call to serve as the Pastor of the Spring Gardens Moravian Church in Antigua effective March 1.

The service was attended by Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris; Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Shawn Richards; Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs et al the Hon. Eugene Hamilton; Cabinet Secretary Mrs. Josephine Huggins; Accountant General Mr Levi Bradshaw; and other senior government officials.

The evening’s colourful proceedings were led by Rev. Onita Samuel-Warner and Rev. Adelyn Binta Mgonela under the broad sub-theme from Matthew 5:17 ‘Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine’.

In the ‘Thanksgiving and Gifting’ section of ‘Our Tribute’, representatives from all the Moravian churches in St. Kitts, and the Moravian Church St. Kitts Conference came bearing gifts, which they presented to Rev. Hilton Joseph and Sister Sharon McCardy-Joseph.

Bethesda/New Dawn Moravian Church in Cayon was represented by Sister Verna Lewis; Ebenezer Moravian Church in Mansion was represented by Brother Levi Bradshaw; Bethel Moravian Church in Parsons Ground was represented by Sister Ileta Barnes; home church Zion Moravia was represented by Sister Emelita Warner-Paul; while Sister Sherlene Johnson and Sister Jamilla Connor represented the Moravian Church St. Kitts Conference.

Brother Levi Bradshaw represented Ebenezer Moravian, he expressed sincere appreciation and thanks to Rev Hilton Joseph and Sister Sharon McCardy. He spoke on behalf of the Accountant General Department, Ministry of Finance, Government of St. Kitts and Nevis. Bradshaw serves as the Federation’s Accountant General.

“Sharon was a member of the staff of the Accountant General Department, Ministry of Finance, for the entire time of her stay here in St. Kitts and she was a valuable asset to the Ministry of Finance, Debt Management Unit,” said Mr Bradshaw. “I want to express my thanks to both of them and wish them well in their future endeavours.”

In response, Rev. Joseph noted that as a newly married couple hopeful in God, they had embarked on a journey to a new territory called St. Kitts and Nevis in July 2008 without a clue what was before them, but they decided to trust God where they could not trace Him, which they made the default setting of their lives over the years.

“As a result our lives are better today, and we give God thanks in everything,” said Rev. Joseph. “Therefore, tonight is about the sovereignty of God, of a God who has led us and enabled us on this journey to be conduits of His grace, His mercy, and His love.”

Sister Sharon McCardy-Joseph told the congregation that they have been privileged to have entered the lives of a wide cross section of persons from every strata of society, pushing on to become better for God.

“We have been honoured to have been a part of this nation building,” said Sister McCardy-Joseph. “We realise now that God strategically placed us to be an influence for Him. For that we give Him all the glory. Our hands have been healed, our feet have been healed, our minds have been healed; in Him we move and breathe and we are grateful to be His vessel and to be used as He desires.”

Rev. Joseph thanked his family and friends who had become family. The Executive Board and the organisers of ‘Our Tribute’ event noting that they were indeed humbled by the details, sense of the preparation, and sense of the energy that would have been put in to make it a reality.

“My esteemed colleagues, the members of this powerhouse of a Moravian Church St. Kitts Conference, the gracious Government and people of this Federation, we say thank you,” said Rev Joseph, as Sister McCardy-Joseph added: “Thank you for welcoming us into your space and enabling us to work in this part of God’s bountiful vineyard.”

Jointly, Rev Joseph and Sister McCardy-Joseph declared: “Our bodies will leave but our memories remain and we say, God bless you all and God bless Liamuiga, this fertile land of St. Christopher and Nevis – oh Land of Beauty!”

At the end of the service, Rev Hilton Joseph prayed for Reverend Erwin Warner who will serve as the acting Superintendent of the Moravian Church St. Kitts Conference and continue as the Pastor of the Bethesda/New Dawn Pastorate, Reverend Onita Samuel-Warner who will serve as the Pastor of the Zion and Bethel Pastorate, and Reverend Adelyn Binta Mgonela who serves as the Pastor of the Ebenezer Pastorate.