‘Church and society’

Breathe on me, breath of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love what thou dost love, and do what thou would do.                    

Hymn 266 CPWI Hymnal

There is something fundamental to Barbadian life and it is that the majority of our young people between the ages of 16 years and 35 years are good, positive and actively engaged in character building activities.

 It has become a norm when deviance among a subset of your youth seems to be rising to ask ‘what is the church doing about it?’ The Church, as the Catechism of the Book of Common Prayer states, is the Body of Christ proclaiming the Kingdom of God as it prays, worships and promotes justice, peace and love.

 The members of the church continuously call and invite persons to join in worship, praise and thanksgiving to God. We also seek to nurture new believers with our Christian Education programmes such as Confirmation Class, Sunday School, Bible Study and other opportunities for engagement.

In addition, members of church are involved in outreach programmes reaching out to the weak and vulnerable in society.

 The Church is the divine society that happens also to be a reality in the world and so is actively involved and engaged in the issues of the day, offering hope to the entire society.

 In a conversation recently with another senior cleric he expressed the view that the church is not in possession of a panacea for all of the ills in society. We do have, however, a prophetic duty to watch, warn and guide in all matters of concern; not simply when society feels as though it has reached a crisis point.

 The challenge for Barbados is that many of us have ignored the voice of the church and see it as irrelevant and basically non-existent. One gets the impression that persons will call on the church only when society feels as though it has run out of appropriate responses.

 We have moved away from our spiritual and moral moorings and some even proclaim that they have no religion. There are those who seem to think that Barbados’ issues
will go away if we were to have more money, forgetting the words of Jesus:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. –– Matthew 6:33

 The religious tradition of Barbados is part of our spiritual heritage and culture, in which we find concern for the welfare of others, care for the vulnerable and value for life.

 We, as church, faithful to our mission to proclaim the kingdom of God often seek to come to the community’s aid until next time. If we are to stop the tide of violence among sections of our youth, we cannot simply rely on more severe policing; but rather take charge of ourselves and be more careful about violence in our speech and daily communication with each other.

We have a duty to:-

• avoid emotionally charged terms when we speak.

• bring the children to church (they can never be too young).

• ensure that God is a part our conversation at meal times in our homes.

• Set clear rules for behaviour in our households

• be watchful over the young people in our homes

• know the friends of the children.

• know the parents of our children’s’ friends

This is not some magical formula; but simply the way in which the parents and grandparents in our lovely nation have brought up generations of Barbadians.

 May God Almighty stay the hands of those who would do harm and bless us as we seek peace, harmony and hope.

Source: (The Rev’d Canon Noel A. Burke, MA, is Rector of the St David’s Church and Chairman of the Barbados Christian Council)

2 Responses to ‘Church and society’

  1. jrsmith August 29, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    In the name of Allah, in the name of God , who is going to pay off our nations debt…………………….Us blacks need our own black Jesus …. Nelson Mandela he is not a fake……..

  2. Anthony Prescott August 29, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    It is no use talking about “spirituality”…. You have to be active. Love thy neighbour as theyself. These things need to be practice. Love of self is about taking responsibility and respecting self and others…..Where do we see this in our society.

    We soo love to talk, and the corresponding actions are absent, even in the church.


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