When it was announced at Mass that our parish of St Peter’s, Carenage will be doing a Life in the Spirit seminar, I was excited and could not wait to register. Having done four Life in the Spirit seminars, I knew the fifth was going to have an overwhelming impact, and so it did.
It began Sunday, February 21, with our powerful and dynamic speaker, Artherly Nicholas whose message was spectacular. His music ministry, GRACE, was present of course, and he had us pumped and ready for the graces of our Lord. Imagine 70 participants all socially distancing, standing, and praising God — it was awesome.
Week after week, we had powerful speakers: Deacon Derek Walcott, Deacon Sheldon Narine, Sean Fournillier, the Jesus Save Our Youth (JSOY) Ministry who had us off our feet dancing and praising God, Deborah ‘Sister Debbie’ de Rosia, and Dr Peter Timothy. To end it off was our parish priest, Fr Harold Imamshah.
The moderator, Carol Richards kept us in line night after night, making sure all the COVID-19 protocols and the time allocated for each topic on the agenda was being observed, and generally ensured a smooth flow of all activities.
After our talks and group discussions, there was sharing of testimonies. Two of the testimonies stood out for me: one from Phyllis Wickham-Stewart, chair of our parish council, and Sister Debbie’s message on ‘Releasing the Spirit’. Surely the Holy Spirit was released in each one of us even before the praying over. GRACE Music Ministry prepared us for what was about to come.
We were all stirred when the Holy Spirit moved through the church with every note sung.
As we received instructions on how the praying over would proceed, the singing was gentle, everyone was swaying from side to side, some with their eyes closed, others with their hands extended to the heavens, just welcoming the Holy Spirit.
I remember looking over to my friend and saying “Do you feel it? He is here!”
It was time. One by one Fr Imamshah escorted us individually to the designated area for praying over, encouraging us to relax. Then he would escort us back to our seats with an elbow bounce.
It was my turn; I was calm as ever as I walked over with an open heart. As I sat there being prayed with, I did not know what gift to ask for. I was praying together with the group and then the prophecy came. As the laying of hands drew to an end, the power of the Holy Spirit was hovering over. We were dancing, singing, crying, just giving God thanks for all His power and glory. We were on fire, blazing fire.
At Mass on Monday, March 22, Fr Imamshah shared with us the message of the Transformation in Christ. We all were transformed in some way or another.
We had two testimonies that night from La Shelle Charles, our young and talented keyboardist, and Molly Chin, one of our beloved parishioners who mentioned it was her first Life in the Spirit.
Those six weeks were just awesome!
Our parish is now filled with a burning desire to transform our community, our families, friends, our lives. Come take a drive down to the west side, the fishers of men community.
Thank you Noga and Judy for sitting after Sunday morning Mass with Fr Imamshah and planting the seed of bringing the Life in the Spirit seminar to us once again, especially during this pandemic when hope and faith are really needed.
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for being with us. A special thank you to our neighbouring parishes St Finbar’s, St John the Evangelist and St Anthony’s for sharing your talents and services to St Peter’s, Carenage.
Thank you to all our dynamic speakers, the different music ministries: GRACE, San Juan’s, Alan Lyder and Living Water Men, and the JSOY Ministry.
Thank you to all who gave their testimonies. Thank you to the Eternal Light Ministry and Church of the Assumption for helping us with the praying over. And lastly, a heartfelt thank you to our special and dedicated planning committee for going beyond the call to make this seminar a success. Thank you to all our parishioners who contributed to making this experience truly awesome.
We look forward to our participants getting more involved in community life in the parish as they grow and continue testifying to the Lord’s goodness.
— Giselle ‘Gigi’ Lawrence