The Richmond Fire Department, the Police Department, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and the Nursing Division of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) -- all First Responders in St, Croix, United States Virgin Islands--were guests of honor at the recent Community Guest Day. But how do you celebrate Community Guest Day when you cannot invite your guests to Sabbath School because of COVID -19 protocols? That was the challenge for the Central SDA Church in Estate Plessen, St. Croix. The solution would be to turn the tables, taking Sabbath School to the First Responders instead.
Teams of Sabbath School officers set to work, contacting the heads of departments to be honored, making appointments for a visit, and explaining why Central Sabbath School was coming to their facility.
At first some of the guests were skeptical. As Jacqueline Greenidge-Payne, Head of EMS observed, “We are not accustomed to being thanked.” So, excited, she got on board early, the first one to make an appointment. She even called in a representative from the local news to cover the visit and arranged for a time when most of her staff would be available.
Meanwhile, the Sabbath School Team organized the pick-up of fruit baskets and preparation of framed custom-made certificates that read, “You are awesome, the true heroes on the front lines. Thanks for all you do. We pray for your safety and protection as you perform your duties –helping others.”
After the EMS visit, similar presentations were made to the Richmond Fire Department, the Police Department and the Nursing Division of MCH. At each site, Sabbath School personnel wore green tee shirts that proclaimed the message “I Will Go,” indicating that they were ready to do the Master’s business, even if it meant taking Sabbath School to the guests, instead of having them come to the church.
Pastor Thomas Rose, church pastor, thanked the First Responders for their dedication and prayed for their protection. He also supplied religious literature to the guests. But the celebration was not finished. David Alexander, a Sabbath School teacher, videotaped each visit and shared the video in Sabbath School. So, the First Responders, esteemed community guests, really did come to Sabbath School after all-- virtually.
The YouTube video is now available. First Responders and others have been invited to view it.
The celebration of these deserving First Responders has really just begun.