Take message to troubled communities, MoBay pastor urges colleagues
Incensed by an apparent lack of appreciation for the negative impact that the upsurge in violent crimes has been having on western Jamaica, a cleric has challenged her ministerial colleagues to take their outreach to the affected communities instead of keeping it in the Church.
"I think all the plans that we have together as leaders and Christians are really good plans. We talk a good talk, but we are talking to the wrong people," said the Reverend Loraine Chisholm, pastor of the Green Heights Assembly of God, which is located in the volatile Green Pond community in St James.
"We need to take these conferences from out of the church, out of the pretty building, out of the air condition," added Chisholm, who was at a press conference last Friday to look at the crime situation in western Jamaica.
According to Chisholm, the people who need the message of the Church to transform their lives are not the ones benefiting from the programmes taking place within the churches.
"The society spends a lot of time doing what we do, in training the people in the church, rather than taking it to the people that really need to be told," said Chisholm. "So, when we have the conferences, we all turn up, all trained again, and told again, and taught again, but the people who really need to be trained and told and taught are in the communities causing mayhem.
"We need to take these conferences into Flanker, where myself and pastor Desmond Breckett (a Flanker-based pastor), have to be dealing with people who are traumatised every day for people who have died," continued Chisholm. "We need to take it to Green Pond, where I have to be dealing with five people who have died in the past week ... . Young men and mothers and those grandmothers, who have been trying to bury them. They don't have money for food, but they have to be thinking of funerals."
Leadership training conference set for Saturday
The Reverend Loraine Chisholm was one of a host of church leaders from western Jamaica and the United States who gathered on the Logos Hope book ship, which is docked in the Montego Bay harbour. The event was staged to announce a conference that the organisers say is to train leaders in family values, titled 'Transforming Communities Through Restoring Family Values'.
The list of speakers included Dr Barry Davidson, family psychologist and CEO of Family Life Ministries; Pastor Marcus D. King of Disciple Central Community Church in Dallas, Texas; Dr Angela Ramlal-Williams, medical doctor and member of Mission of Compassion; and Dr Michael Coombs, founder of National Association for the Family.
The leadership training conference will be held in Montego Bay on Saturday, June 24.