August 3, 2022 | Panama City, Panama | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

Hundreds of Seventh-day Adventists are descending on Panama City, Panama, to take part in Inter-America’s Festival of the Laity from August 4-6, 2022.

The festival event, which is the first of its kind in over 10 years, will see more than 600 lay preachers, lay evangelists, lay bible instructors, and church leaders from throughout the Inter-American Division celebrate their accomplishments in sharing the gospel.  The event will feature keynote presentations, seminars, newly available tools and resources, recognition of outstanding laypersons, strategic plans to fulfill the mission and more.

Pastor Vencot Dyer, ministerial secretary  of  the West Jamaica Conference smiles as he waits in line with a group of the delegation from Jamaica early evening on Aug. 3, 2022, to check in at the hotel for the Festival of the Laity event this week. More than 600 laypersons from the Inter-American Division territory are expected to arrive before the opening ceremony in the early evening on Aug. 4, 2022, [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

“We have awaited this Festival of the Laity for so many years and are so excited to welcome our laypersons and leaders to celebrate their tremendous impact in the growth of the church across the vast territory,” said Pastor Melchor Ferreyra, personal ministries director and main organizer of the festival. The festival will include presentations from Adventist world church and IAD leaders and feature reports from each of the 24 major church regions or unions.

“It’s so wonderful to see delegations arriving,” said Ferreyra. One of the first delegations with more than two dozen to arrive in Panama City is from the Caribbean Union territory, he said. The Caribbean Union is the largest delegation after the Panama lay delegation with over 30 laypersons taking part in the festival.

Early this morning, a delegation of 14 arrived in Panama City from the Belize Union. “Three outstanding laypersons came for the festival event,” said Pastor Gillett, president of the Central Belize Mission. They left Belize last night via Cancun, Mexico, and arrived in Panama City mid-morning.

Technical staff run some test on the screens for the Inter-American Division’s Festival of the Laity opening ceremony set to begin, Aug. 4, 2022. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

Pastor Vencot Dyer, ministerial secretary for the church in the West Jamaica Conference, flew in after 7:00 p.m to get checked into the event. He came with a delegation of nearly a dozen from Jamaica next to a group from the Cayman Islands. Grinning from ear to ear, Dyer and his delegation are looking forward to the a blessed and inspiring festival of the laity.

Hundreds more are expected to check in before the  opening ceremony.

“We are already moved by what we will experience starting with the inauguration program tomorrow,” said Ferreyra.

The opening ceremony will begin on Thursday, Aug. 4, at 7:30 p.m. Panama City Time (or 8:30 p.m. Miami Time)

The program will be featured online as follows:

Friday, Aug. 5, 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Sabbath, Aug. 6, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

To view Inter-American Division’s Festival of the Laity, on Aug. 4-6, 2022, go to webcast.interamerica.org

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