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Change from within

by Leigh-Ann Worrell

lovingmepastorjohnrogersChristianity is a contact sport.

“You cannot practice without touching someone else…,” asserted Father John Rogers, rector of the St. Luke’s Anglican church.

He believed that as the wider society became more focussed on individualism, it was time for the church to zoom in on interpersonal relationships. As such, this was the focus of the St. George church he leads, during the Lenten season.

“During Lent, more than giving up on something, we are focussing on a journey towards a state of mind, a personal transformation… We encourage people to look at their relationships and see what needs to change. When the relationships in our life are not right, it affects everything,” he explained to LOVING ME via telephone interview this morning.

“After this time of reflection and preparation is over, we will be encouraging members, especially the younger ones, to seek out their friends who once went to church … It is not about dragging them back to church, but about letting them know that someone cares about them.”

Seeking wholeness

The former cricketer added St. Luke’s focus on personal relationships tied in well with the Anglican’s theme for the year – Wholeness.

“Not everyone can be physically healthy because of impediments [and] disease… But you can get to the place where you take care of physical health, and [also] pay attention to spiritual health,” Rogers added, quoting St. Matthew chapter 6.

“Right now, the world is caught up with health. One of the biggest industries in the world is the weight loss industry. As important as that is, it is not all …The Heavenly Father knows you need food and drink, but “seek ye first the kingdom of God.”

That does not mean that the church should not play an active role in the physical wellbeing of the community, however.

The 40-year-old Anglican priest told the newspaper that during St. Luke’s patronal week, celebrated last October, the church held a games night. The Friday night festivities, which included volleyball, tennis and line dancing was fuelled by healthy drinks and snacks.

In addition, parishioners were encouraged to plant their own food to bring to the Harvest festival, held on March 10.

While he has tried to push parishioners in the right direction, Rogers admitted it was a challenge to keep himself fit.

“I am the youth chaplain for Barbados, a lecturer at Codrington College, a PhD student and I have a five-year-old daughter so I don’t have a lot of time,” he admitted.

“Once a week I try to get in … a game of golf. I am into animal husbandry. I have some sheep, but they are more pets than anything else.”

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