A Money Tree Watered By
Farewell to the Brennens
Living Faith Seventh-day
January 22, 2013
was a unique outpouring of love an appreciation for Pastor
Barrington and Mrs. Annick Brennen during their last Sabbath serving
at the Living Faith Seventh-day Adventist Church. It began at 9:15
a.m., on Sabbath, January 19, 2013, and ended at 1:30 p.m. The
regular Sabbath School program was suspended to allow for each
Sabbath School Unit and some individuals and families to express
their appreciation to the Brennens as they sat together on the
platform facing the audience.
Barrington Brennen served Living
Faith Church as pastor for five years and introduced many new
ministries and improved the organizational structure of the church.
He was asked to be the pastor for the Centreville Church beginning
January 26, 2013. Annick Brennen served as an outstanding
assistant treasurer during the five years and Community Services
leader during the last year. The church record keeping methods were
upgraded with the use of the Church Members Directory software for
membership data and QuickBooks software for accounting. Annick
provided training for the use of these software. Living Faith is
now one of the few electronically data-driven churches in the South
Bahamas Conference. During Annick’s term as Community Services
leader the soup kitchen was re-introduced and the kitchen was
organized with secured cupboards. The Community Services room was
organized with shelving, and the much needed pots, pans, cooking
utensils and accessories were purchased for the kitchen.
On this beautiful Sabbath morning the
celebration of love was interspersed with sweet music by the Living
Faith Praise Team (Tamika Roberts, Hubert Williams, Bridgette
Barrett, Janice Gibson, and Nelson Dorsett). The
singing began with one of Pastor Brennen’s beloved songs: “Press
On.” As the words of the song unfolded tears began to flow out of
the eyes of Pastor and Mrs. Brennen and those of the singers: “When
the valley is deep and the mountain is steep . . . In Jesus name
It was touching to listen to the kind
words of love and appreciation by all. In addition to the adults
sharing, the Pathfinders, the Children’s Ministries, and Youth
shared in very unique ways their love and appreciation. The most
unique gift was that of a “money tree” by the Children’s Division.
It was lovely plant on which the children taped fifty one dollars
bills and one five dollar bill on the leaves. Another unique gift
was given by the youth of the church. They created a giant card
held together by a bowtie and opening up to a number of beautiful
pictures and notes of appreciation. One by one, the groups and
individuals came forward, many with tears in the eyes, expressing
their appreciation to the Brennens. The Praise Team sang many of
Pastor Brennen’s favorite praise songs: “Give Thanks,” “My
Tribute,” “Yes I know,” “Lead me Lord I will Follow,” “Go Light Your
These moments of appreciation lasted
for almost three hours and ended about twelve noon when the Divine
Worship began. What an outpouring of love!
The Divine Worship began with
everyone kneeling in prayer and Pastor Brennen praying for the
people. At the end of the prayer, and while all the people were
still on their knees, they sang with the pastor the Lord’s Prayer.
It was a beautiful and meaningful way to begin the service. This
was done in celebration of the final day for Global Rain of Prayer
around the world. The wonderful singing continued during the
service. It was inspiring to hear the congregation singing with the
Praise Team more of the Brennen’s favorite songs: “Shine Jesus
Shine,” “Pass It On.” “We are a Family,” “The Longer I Serve Him,”
and “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say Come unto Me and Rest.”
the children’s story time Pastor Brennen shared with the exciting
children, who surrounded him on the floor up front, his song: “Step
into the Light of Knowledge.” During the Divine Service the final
farewell greeting was presented by the head elder, Stephen McBean on
behalf of the entire church. Then the choir sang an old-fashioned
gospel song in preparation for Pastor Brennen’s final message.
Pastor Brennen began his presentation with a brief report on the
achievements of the past five years. He shared that the membership
of the church grew from 600 to 754. One hundred and forty-nine were
added by baptism, four were added by transfer of membership, and one
by profession of faith. There were seven who transferred their
membership to other Adventist Churches and 20 who died, awaiting the
resurrection. He read very slowly the names of the 20 persons who
died. They were: Lofton Alday, Lolesha Bain, Andrew Clarke, Laura
Albury, Adai Bowles, Leona Adderley, Sidney Brown, Lloyd Dorsett,
Pamela Dorsett, Terrance Edgecombe, Evadney Goddard, Anthony Harris,
Hazel Hepburn, Betty Knowles, Ciro Lowe, Jackqueline Moxey, Chesteen
Rolle, Karen Whyte, and Genevieve Saunders.
Pastor Brennen further reminded the
members of the special days and events that were initiated during
his stay at Living Faith Church.
Barefoot Sabbath (Come to
church with shoes a leave without them by donating them to those
who need shoes)
Right Side Up Sabbath (AY at
11 a.m. and Divine Worship at 6 p.m.)
Casual Sabbath or Dress Down
Sharing Sabbath (Bring a small
token to give to someone during the church service)
Project Sturrup (Community
Christmas Tree and Giving days.
(Erecting a Christmas tree in church and members bringing
gifts for the needy)
He told the congregation that more
than 2000 pairs of shoes where collected during the five years of
celebrating Barefoot Sabbath. The shoes were given to hundreds of
people who were in need in Haiti, Asia (the Barefoot Program) The
Red Cross, and the Church’s community.
In his sermon Pastor Brennen gave a
review of high points he wanted the members to remember. A few of
them were from his last sermon series on the Reformation. Here are
the seven high points he left with the congregation:
Reformation in the Old Testament
was necessary because the people had fallen away (apostatized)
in three areas of their lives: diet, dress and worship. The most
important reform needed was in their worship. It was who and
how they worshiped.
The reformation came about
because people no longer understood the meaning of the
“priesthood of all believers.” (I Peter 2:4, 9, 10). Since
Christ’s death and resurrection, the people no longer needed to
confess to a priest. Each one could go to God on his or her own.
One of the reasons the
Reformation happened is that there was a "rediscovery of the
attractiveness of the gospel.”
The Reformation spread over
Europe and the Christian world after the people learned how to
read and write.
No reformation can truly take
place until there is first heart reformation. Dress and diet
reform is not possible without first heart reform—a spirit
renewal. Pastor Brennen shared that we need to rediscover the
Scriptures for ourselves, we need to rediscover the
“attractiveness of the Gospel,” and we need to rediscover
Jesus. He asked the question “Can the world see the beauty of
Jesus in you?”
Victory in Jesus is not the
absence of pain but accepting that God is with you through the
pain. Victory in Jesus in not the absence of the desire to do
something wrong, but the trusting and depending on Jesus
everyday to keep you from falling and to live a more abundant
life. Although Jesus died so that we will one day be SINLESS,
His greatest joy is when we sin less and less and less and less.
Forgiving is not reconciliation.
Do not confuse forgiveness with reconciliation. Forgiveness can
facilitate reconciliation, but it does not require it.
Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. It is not something
you do FOR someone else. Forgiveness frees us to think
objectively about what to do next.
Pastor Brennen concluded his message
by sharing five texts he wanted the congregation never to forget.
Galatians 2:20, 21: 20. I
have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but
Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I
live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself
for me. 21. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if
righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
Psalm 27:1, 4, 5: 1. The
Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord
is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? 4. One
thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may
dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To
behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple. 5.
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In
the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall
set me high upon a rock. 11. Teach me Your way, O Lord, And
lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. 14. Wait on the
Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
Romans 8:35, 37-39: 35:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or
nakedness, or peril, or sword? 37. Yet in all these things we
are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38. For I
am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor
principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to
come, 39. nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in
Christ Jesus our Lord.
Philippians 4:13: 13. I
can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Revelation 22:12: “And
behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me . . .”
Pastor Brennen ended the service with
an invitation for everyone to meet him in heaven. He invited the
congregation to join him in singing: “Jesus keep me near the cross,”
and then he prayed.
The day was most touching and
enlightening. May God continue to bless the Brennens as they
continue in service at the Centreville Church.