‘Ikigai,’ was the Japanese word on everyone’s lips, as President of the Shepherdess International Jamaica Union Chapter, Lana Brown, charged EJC Shepherdesses to find their purpose in ministry. The charge was one of several featured highlights, which took place during the installation and consecration service spearheaded by the Shepherdess International East Jamaica Chapter, on Saturday April 9, 2022, at the Hagley Park Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“Ikigai, is the concept of following your joy, knowing your purpose” stated Brown. “It is an overlap between what you love, what you are good at and what people will pay for. This concept is all about crafting your passion, your purpose… practically” she added with a smile.
Brown further added that, “if you are extra blessed, you may find your ikigai. As Pastors’ wives our ikigai must be to honour God and make a difference in the lives of people, our families, friends, co-workers and community. We must have the passion within us to make a difference.”
The potent words resonated with the group of ladies, who moments after, took their creed to remain light bearers, while pursuing their ‘ikigai’ as ministers alongside their husbands. One such person who expressed how impacted she was by the service, was 94-year-old retired Shepherdess Ambrozine Allen, who commented that “this is one of a kind as far as I can recall.”Wife of East Jamaica Conference Treasurer, Maxine Porteous, also commented in the Shepherdess WhatsApp Chat, “a well-executed and timely programme.”
The installation and consecration service was the first of its kind to take place for the Shepherdess International, East Jamaica Chapter. This two-hour programme showcased special music from Pastors’ children affectionately referred to as Pastors’ Kids (PK’s), as well as Shepherdesses and a special presentation by Zone One Leader, Sharon Whyte, captioned “Who Am I” geared toward shepherdesses embracing their identity and finding their purpose. There were fervent prayers, and greetings from members of the leadership team from the East Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists respectively.
Also echoing the broad sentiment of ‘ikigai’ was President of the Shepherdess International East Jamaica Chapter, Sharette Oliphant, who spoke to the mission and vision of the group. “We want to establish and to continue to grow on the foundation of being an active chapter. We don’t only want to be seen at ordinations but in every congregation, in every church and in every home as far as possible” she stated. Oliphant further added, “we pray that the fire that we have lit will be set ablaze in each of us that by the end of this tenure and beyond, the EJC Chapter will be a chapter of ladies who feel supported, loved and belonged. We pray that our ministries with our husbands, will grow from strength to strength.”