January 8, 2021 |St. Paul’s, Antigua | Kay White
As a new year begins, an overwhelming number of people generally resolve to abandon old, harmful habits and adopt new, healthier lifestyles. The Adventist Community Services federation on Antigua capitalizes on this anticipated mindset and, on New Year’s Day morning every year, mobilizes and motivates its members to begin the year with a positive emphasis on health and wellness through their annual New Year’s Day walk.
On January 1, 2021, the participants of the health walk gathered at 5:30 a.m. at the New Bethel Seventh-day Adventist Church in Liberta Village. The event started with a brief devotion presented by Pastor Sherwin White, pastor of District #2, Antigua.
Because of the COVID- 19 pandemic, the circumstances surrounding the annual New Year's Day walk was unprecedented. The Federation, under the leadership of Ian Parker, secured approval from the Ministry of Health and this consent came with specific stipulations as large gatherings and crowded events are prohibited due to social distancing protocols.
The Adventist Community Services director of SLC, Pastor Kay White, shared the COVID- 19 protocols with the crowd comprising of over 100 persons, all wearing masks. The walkers were separated into groups of 25 and moved off at five-minute intervals before they journeyed to the historical site, Shirley's Heights, where the walk ended.
There was generally a spirit of excitement as the participants energetically made their way to the destination. Dr. Wayne Knowles, the executive secretary of SLC and the Pastor Prince Harris, media ministry manager, were present and enthusiastically supported the initiative.
At the end of the walk, breakfast that was prepared by the Adventist Community Services leaders across the island was distributed before the crowd quickly dispersed in light of the COVID- 19 protocols. In spite of the unusual conditions caused by the COVID- 19 pandemic, the 2021 health walk was a tremendous success. The passionate group of Adventists was able to promote and exhibit the importance of the health message to several communities in Antigua.