Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Church must play its role in pushing culture agenda

Published:Thursday | August 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/ Gleaner Writer
Christine Walters, a history teacher and member of the Longville Park Baptist Church in Clarendon, shows off items used for domestic purposes in pre- and post-Emancipation Jamaica during the church’s Emancipation vigil.

On Tuesday, the Longville Park Baptist Church in Clarendon was transformed into a cultural arena as the congregation celebrated the Emancipation vigil under the theme 'Emancipation Sinting', culminating in the reading of the declaration of freedom.

Throughout the night, the seniors and youngsters entertained with performances of cultural items, including dances, poetry, and well-known folk songs.

Also on display in the church were items used for domestic purposes in the past such as clothes irons, wine jars, enamel basins, and teapots, among others. Not to be left out were a number of traditional dishes topped by 'chocolate tea with the oil on top'.

History teacher and member of the church Christine Monroe Walters, in an interview with The Gleaner, said that the church community should propagate more than just biblical messages and play a vital role in fostering the country's culture.

'Today, as a free people, we really saw the need as a church to celebrate, to commemorate such an activity, and, at the same time, to see it as a teaching tool for so many of our young people who are so unaware of all of that," Walters said.

She pointed out that during the cultural presentations, many of the young people were on their phones and totally missed the lessons that were being taught.

"I still think that many of them have not come away with the kind of appreciation of this whole historical phenomenon that we would want them to have.

"So as older people in the church, we still see it as our duty to teach them because our culture, our tradition, is rich, and they have a lot to learn and benefit from," Walters stated.

The challenge for her and the church, Walters said, was to get young people to recognise and understand that unless they developed an appreciation for the past, they would not understand what is happening now.