Holder: Return to being mature Christians

Bishop Dr. John Holder.

The Anglican Church needs its members to return to being the mature Christians they used to be.

And as head of the Anglican Diocese, Bishop Dr. John Holder admonished them to do so, he reminded Anglicans that the churches needed each other to complete the chain of strength and ministry.

“I say over and over again that the parishes in this diocese are linked in a chain and we need each link to be as strong as humanly possible… to work together, to pull together, to struggle together, if we are going to continue to live up to the responsibility that is there on our shoulders as Christians in society,” he said during the installation service of Reverend Davidson Bowen as Rector of the St. Philip The Less Anglican Church in Boscobelle, St. Peter.

“It is never the rector and the rest, or the rector and the council of the congregation; it is the rector and all persons in the parish working together as a unit. I think as Anglicans we need to get back to the point in our ministry, our history, our church, when we are able to deal with the issues and the ups and downs and the challenges we have as mature Christians and not necessarily keep asking third and fourth and fifth parties to help us do what we should do as mature Christians.

“I hope you can be a good model, good example of how we can work together. No one can ever say that whenever, if you have two or three or four persons to work together you are robots. I think Jesus chose [his disciples] well and we know the problems there. I say that to say that we need to move on as Christians, as parishes, as a Diocese, working together for a common good. We are here for one primary purpose as Christians and that is to make this world, through the grace of God, far better than we found it,” he said.

In his first address to the church as the Rector, Bowen thanked the church for its support over the past six years that he had been “priest in charge” and asked for continued support as well in the years to come.

“The last six years have been an education. I have learnt a lot here at St. Philip the Less. I came here from St. Thomas thinking I knew parish life. The one thing I brought with me from Canon Knight, who was the then rector, is that if you are going to do anything, do it properly or leave it out, especially when it comes to the sacraments of the church, particularly baptisms, weddings and funerals. People need to feel as if the child get baptised, as if they are married, and …,” he said as the church laughed.

“He said funerals cause problems. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s… All of these things help remind me at times why I am doing what I’m doing and when I stop on the East Coast and pelt ’bout things, and kick ’bout things and cry and quarrel and ask the Lord what it is I’m doing, it reminds me, as the Bishop said, that it is not about me. If there is one thing I can take forward in my ministry it is that it is not about me.”

He re-emphasized the bishops remarks about the churches being links in a chain where one was as strong as the other. (LB)

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